Hollywood Producer Brian Grazer Speaks On The Art Of Human Connection In His New Book

Breakfast Club morning everybody is DJ envy Angela yeesh Allah mean the guy we are the breakfast club we got a special guest in the building yes indeed Brian Grazer welcome sir thank you yeah I'm glad to be here I got a lot of accolades uh New York Times bestselling author correct oscar-winning producer ok Golden Globes Emmy Grammy Award nice his films along with Ron Howard imagine entertainment I think y'all have growth like 13 billion dollars in movies or something like that yeah take a billion right he's got a new book out and I'll call face to face the art of human connection all and you would have come on this show you really want an answer yes yes so the uh I didn't really intend on writing a book but I did a previous book it was called a curious mind and that was because for 40 years I've decided since college that I would try to disrupt my comfort zone every week by trying to understand another business other than my business mhm and so I've met thousands of people Nobel laureates Michael Jackson Edward Teller the father hydrogen bomb endless amounts of people but I and they would share their insights and I would get into these one-on-one conversations which I've put a high value on to the point I thought I'd rather have one of these conversations with somebody that was meaningful and have another hit movie then somebody said don't ever say that out loud but then I had this epiphany and I realized that none of the people that I'd met over the 40 years would have really connected with me or ensured their heart and me theirs if we didn't actually look at each other yeah that that was this sort of central bridge it was like to human connection it was kind of the Wi-Fi of human connection yeah and my fine wife high five high five I yes yes yes so so that's what it is so I basically thought I wanted to share this with other people and share the technique so that other people can do it truthfully because I was like a f student in elementary school for quite a while because I was dyslexic and if I can do it anyone can do this you would do selection ously how did you overcome your dyslexia I started to say dyslexic snis it sounded I didn't you know up until up until the fifth grade then I could I remember pretty vividly I could read one word and then I was able to spell not phonetically just something happened and I could I still have and and it just sort of gradually happened it was it was almost like kids I met this kid in Buenos Aires who was Venezuelan who spoke perfect English he was 22 years old and he learned it through video games Wow so I probably learned to read and spell through human connection by talking to people because I had a grandmother I just one person my grandmother who was my sort of mentor Savior in life and she said your curiosity is gonna take you all the way and she would always go you're gonna go all the way think big be big and and I'd say aren't you looking at these report cards these are all F's but she didn't seem to care so I did really use of this sort of you know engine of curiosity to learn a lot and that probably fused together with my sort of beginning to learn to spell in the television what was your love for television what made you jump in today well I okay but maybe that was it that was very very long time ago that was my first thing when I was 25 years old right okay so I work for this really brutal boss it's okay to say his name is Edgar sherek and because his daughter just wrote a book about him as being bipolar mmm-hmm Scott Rudin who's another well-known producer he and I worked for this one guy that yell lets you every day was that a good thing a bad thing because well it was a bad thing and he it was a bad thing but the only good thing was he said if you can create an idea and sell it you can produce it so you can go from being like a nobody which I was to being a producer Everybody Somebody yeah I don't know if I've felt like somebody and he was always yelling and he say you're fired and then I'd get fired for a couple of weeks and then his partner and say look if you play golf with me because I was ironically I was on the golf team and so if you play golf with me at 5:30 a.m. I get you back with Edgar and he would so until and so then I ended up getting some movies for T V made when I was 25 one was called Zuma Beach it was like the day in the life of Zuma Beach it was mostly just good-looking people you know Baywatch kinda it was kind of like that it was like American Graffiti at the beach okay and it got really high ratings because it was conceptual and it was sexy and and then I produced a twenty I had an idea to make a 20-hour miniseries on the 10 commandments where I would use each commandment sorry I remember that oh yeah Wow thank you I don't watch it but yeah yeah but you remember it exists yeah but where as each commandment was an underlying theme and a contemporary moral dilemma so you see both sides of why shall you know you know thou shalt not kill or you see both sides of it and so that got me kind of hot and in the movie and you know in the business then I got offered a lot of jobs then I asked the yellow guy to give me a raise Yeller yelled at me and said no raise and then I just took a big job at Paramount B can you make that sound so easy like it wasn't even there was a bridge word basically what happened is I I was a writer so those movies for T V that I was referencing those were my creations and because I had no money and somebody said since you have no money you gotta have something so I'd write my ideas and as rudimentary as they were they were a conceptual and and that was valuable and then I wrote the mermaid this my I wrote the movie called splash about a man darahannah Tom what is the greatest actor of all time if you ask me Wow think I think so good thanks Tom to me Tom Hanks would I love a love flash my wife blasted his date Wow to this day Charlemagne really let's play I would love to see a secretive splash like I want to see him underwater living with her that's what happened at the end right he became our man became her yeah yeah well yeah a lot of Peter down hundreds of time us on this mermaid movie I can see why yeah the movie is great well because I kind of knew what the internal heartbeat about the movie was it was a love story it was a guy it was about a guy that has a lot of things he has a bones of produce stories got he's not like a loser he's got good shit but he can't have love and so I thought that disability would be really interesting there's no splash I really feel like somebody sauce thank you but I'm glad you like it was my story you're right and then I thought how can I make her even more unattainable and at the same time give a woman more power and mystique make her a mermaid and that put her into it that put the movie into another genre elevator to another genre so it was like a fantasy along with a romantic when your boss when your boss at the time right or what that when eight when you went to save nobody prove that this is my back to you Oh on the splash move yes well I had no boss at the time why I percept that time I was at Paramount I pitched it to those bosses multiple times they said well they just wouldn't even let me back in the office they mostly go that's a stupid idea it's just they don't you Amer there's no such thing as a mermaid and I'd go I understand that you know and then one then once I made one movie and gave me some credibility called night shift it was still hard to make the mermaid movie and I had one company Warner Brothers just said they'd do it if I didn't let him the Tom Hanks go underwater and be with the woman I go but that's the whole point of the movie I'd rather again be like on the street with nothing then do it and have defeat the whole purpose yes movie isn't the worst part about pitching ideas when you got to sit down and talk to a bunch of non creatives yes it's really really hard I think you're trying to hit it you're hitting a wall all the time about finances and how much they can make they always hug yeah they try to bring up economic model to everything and we all know that doesn't work in life because art forms don't work that way so but they always do that so what I do on pitches now what I've learned after splash is that once when people are dinging you out for the story they go we're not that story stupid then I go right to the theme and if people and you picked themes like in the case of splash it's a love story so I go do you mean you don't root for love or Parenthood or Empire I'd go yeah I understand there these are the characters but you have to root for family if you don't root for flame family and then people don't want to look at themselves in the mirror like that so they go yeah of course I root for family and then they often will go yes with Empire a tough sell back then only because there wasn't a lot of black representation on TV at the time yeah it was a very very very tough sell for network television it was oh it was like one meeting at a network it was and even I've had a lot of success prior to that I I didn't cry but I thought I'd cry they were so disgraceful about it you know like you know like shaming and stuff like that really what would a shame in hip-hop there was she was I don't know just like I only wanna shouldn't say but it was it was just like this is a terrible idea 90% 95% black movie black TV series and on network television you know don't you watch television oh you understand and yeah it was hard because Empire yeah yeah it's true we dope it the thing yes I think we all like that it opened the aperture for them absolutely so but I think if you if you find that you go please if you find a theme that that is irrefutable then they then it sort of help like you did eight mile and you telling a story about sitting down with mmm yeah that felt awkward because I was picturing it as I was reading what that scenario was like for you to even why was it awkward have that meeting because I again you know like we're having fun talking stuff and I feel like I try really hard to have human connection that's kind of what and I tried all of these techniques to communicate with him and have him look at me but he just kept looking straight out the window while I was over here and I've Jimmy Iovine was over there looking at me like you like that and I've literally tried it all and then after about 20 minutes which felt like two hours at least he just goes I'm out and I just was unable to connect in a make way that made him feel safe or or interested or trusting and then as he I said you can't go like that and so he put his hand on the door to leave and I just in desperation just know I didn't tackle him because he know I didn't but does he in desperation I just said you can animate can't you and of course I said you can animate well can you draw can you what does that mean like physically well here's the thing what made me really want to meet him was I saw he was uh he was it was at the he was at the VMAs and he was on screen for a short minute on screen in this in his seat and something he had this really icy urban glare going on that feel it felt really the glare Brian that's just like can't do it it just showed me I need to see what an urban glare welcome st Terrace by the way the only one that's busted me and it's legit bust on that right why urban just see glare I make it I see glare so I'm having to learn stuff on the show but it's true huh okay yet icy glare I had a glare okay on TV gotcha and then somebody made him laugh and he really did animate he had this which you look for in actors with honestly animated his face became fluid you know and like Tom Hanks your favorite actor there's a thing that you look for in actors and so he had that quality that's why I wanted me so I I guess I just it was desperate I was 20 minutes in he was gonna leave I just said that word it was irrelevant he stopped off and he stopped he came back sat down I'm gonna charge into this thing sat down and he told his story I said what's your story and he and he launched into his story and that really became what became eight-mile became the architecture for the movie 8 mile and this guy won an Oscar first hip-hop artist to ever win an Oscar oh those were music I know but still I that was a great movie hey Milo's good it's actually better now I didn't really care what if these hurting us it's turning good now but when I go back and watch it on reruns it was a very good actually wrote a whole chapter in my first book based of Eminem I call it Livia true and it's the M&M and I'm out there and it's Livia truth so nobody I use your truth against you so you know at the end when he's going to the whole point of the movie yes the whole point of the movie is what you just said I was gonna you know the rap thing and doing all the battles it was really it was self actualizing yeah that's the thing that really because you know kids get traumatized you know and he was paralyzed through these different things that were traumatic to him and he was able to say yeah my my my my mom's you have to say mm-hmm my mom's a whore yeah you did fuck my girl yeah and I'm a poor kid you know that could eat he was able to shed himself of all the things that caused him shame and all those all those traumas created a lots of disabilities in his life and his disability to actually look at an audience till he finally overcame that but every disability in his fo - yes foe didn't have anything to use against them yeah I have to read your chapter that sounds yeah have you ever faced to face connection with somebody and decided that person that's not a good person just from your sit down wow that's a really good question yes I have because at this point you know I I do use eye contact to make snap decisions you know in terms of things like that what you can make mistakes like that you can but if you're dealing with high volume you have to feel people's energy and sometimes I feel like somebody's energy is not gonna be good outcome for Bryan so I agree with that with the energy part but have you read Malcolm Gladwell's talking to strangers yes he's a really good friend of mine he introduced me to Gucci he goes I'm gonna I'm gonna what he's a great friend 15 years think he goes we made that connection by the way but we made the connection between Malcolm and Gucci Gucci spoke about how he read Malcolm's books in jail and then like yes Malcolm tweeted him with something again ended up having a sit-down yeah exactly but you asked me a question I should stand point oh no in talking to strangers Malcolm talks about we make yes fakes because we make try no we think like you said Eminem wasn't looking at you yeah I - I yeah but that don't mean that he's not a trustworthy person yeah I would not have ever made the judge yes 100% correct okay I would have never I would never say oh he wasn't trustworthy I'd just say he wasn't interested that's the only thing I could guess but going to your question there are people that I've met that I felt like just might not be a good person right your intuition and energy was like this is not yeah that they they're not embracing humanity at all i certain people are like technocrats so they want to move technology as fast as they can they want to move sometimes AI as fast again the expense of the human species and I know that's a broad statement and there are some caveats of course that could inform that but I I care about people that care about me right cuz you're also in a business where there are some really disgusting people yes there's one you know that his sentence that I didn't know that had this problem but I just never wanted to work with that person because I just in objecting could be Harvey Weinstein you said he's finished charge decentest I don't know what he's charged or sins right Franklin okay yeah well I just say energy I I just never wanted to be in that'll in alignment why are you protecting him save me it'll protect them right okay I mean I would say this that when I went up to win and I went up to I stood up to receive an Oscar for Apollo 13 and didn't get it and Harvey Weinstein which is a bummer at the end of the night he goes if you're with me you win an Oscar now I was able to win an Oscar two years later on a beautiful mind great movie thanks Russell Crowe babe yeah yeah no he's good he's good great move denzel's really good that was a great mood in jail the Russell Crowe - the best yeah so so if sometimes you do meet people off often I meet people people that Energy's out of is it ever a situation where sometimes it could be a project that you want to get done they'll give you the freedom to do it but you just don't like them personally or is business not personal business isn't personal movie movies aren't cuz they're finite period of time but I guess I look at I make this again sort of judgment do I feel do I feel can I imagine that I'm gonna have a good beginning with this person and more importantly do I imagine that I'll have a good end mmm like will it end well because I really care about good endings with people and they have all for the most part ended really well so I try to project will this thing end well because the middle you're gonna wrestle stuff out you're gonna disagree it's a creative process and whether it's a movie or TV show so I I sort of try to forecast will this end well right and yeah what about actors aren't they always acting so it's hard to gauge sometimes yeah okay with actors I don't think of it so much I just go by the talent is that person authentic is that person they connected to the source and is that source are they able to access that source for a writ for authenticity and originality in their voice I mean they're there in their voice when you say any to the role no are they authentic human beings so that they can pivot do you have to be that way as an actor nope you're not pretending you're pretending to be somebody else anyway yeah but I have to believe that I have to have to believe in these intangibles like okay so are you talking about these three actors you like a lot you like Tom Hanks Tom Hanks Denzel and Russell Crowe yeah you will notice with exception of Tom Hanks because he does he does comedy but when Tom Hanks does drama and the other two guys do drama they have this one thing in common they don't say a lot of words because they're thinking so much and when the audience is wondering what that person is thinking and that's magnified through the behavior through the behavior and physicality of charisma that you're going wow what is that person thinking same thing with Steve McQueen in the day you're going that dude is so badass like what is what's going on what's he gonna do or Brando or an or Pacino who's so amazing but you know I think we could go through those guys but Russell Crowe and Denzel are very economic and the words that they say on screen but you really you study their make you study their faces you study their physiography you study their body movement and Telegraph's a lot the king of all that of course is DeNiro you know if you look at his dailies you don't really see much I mean with Bobby and you don't see much but it adds up and of course the marriage between De Niro and Scorsese is perfect because because Marty Scorsese really knows the power of the lens of a lens is a magnifier he studies he lives inside that lens and he knows how to get the most impact out of Robert De Niro and so I think that's that's sort of what I that's my sort of take on acting and authenticity and everything else but you know that they're coming from a real place you talked to Denzel he will challenge you until he has the truth and if if he doesn't get through it quickly goodbye now same thing with Russell Crowe by the way no I'd rather you said I could you look at like Denzel you're constantly thinking especially like a movie like training day you're thinking what is the Lonzo thinking even sit down weather wasn't Lonzo a bad guy I was he's just in a bad situation that's a really good point oh that's brilliant actually because I yeah I vote right I think I wondered it but never really thought it through so I could label it that way honestly because I don't know that's a really good point I don't know what do you think I don't know well remember I told you about Harvey Weinstein what do you think do you think he was a good guy I don't know yeah then I didn't know anything about hard well he was in a bad situation but on training date probably a guy in a bad situation because the older Russian tough guy in a really bad situation why do the money could he had a hot temper and he killed somebody right yeah no bad guy yeah um I agree with you especially when it comes to the human connection but based off your logic we're fucked because there's no human connection anymore cut the social media well that's the problem and that's sort of another reason I wanted to write this book because I really think you know look I social media is cool some of it I mean is cool and then smartphones are the most you know one of the greatest technological inventions of our of our century for sure but I think you should get smart on your smartphone but when you think you're when you're gonna see somebody like in the case of me seeing you I'm not gonna walk in with my cell phone you're not gonna respect that you're gonna it's the story starts out there outside the glass yes and then when I come in the story further continues but but you want to feel that somebody is connecting like honestly doing the best they can do we you know imagine me doing an interview when we're on our cell phone as well we're interviewing people do this well no one's done it to me real-life situations of art is going to get a record deal yeah and going into the room to meet with an executive and and listen to the music and the executive is on their phone doing other stuff and casting happen I'm not I'm not signing here because the person's not even paying attention so I mean and they'll be like I was listening you said it in your book I was listening I heard everything you said yeah but you're not even making eye contact or giving me that respect that's your phone down correct yeah because actually Ron Howard said very early on and I thought I was I thought I was being really attentive but on our set on our movie splash I'm sorry come splash yes on that movie because I had written a couple of drafts myself I felt like I knew it really well and so on the right there the writers that we brought on who really made good logan-san Pablo Mantell then Ron and I are the four of us are together I would be multitasking doing other things and you know feeling like I'm making valuable contributions and Ron said it's not about making valuable contributions yeah of course you can do that but you don't when you don't look at them you hurt their feelings and that's exactly how Ron would communicate of course and I thought that's really true he's a very intriguing guy he is he's you should get him on the show I would love to have Ron on I'll tell him because he it so be but here's a lot of real living ham exactly that's how I met him he was Richie Cunningham you met him way back then I'm a date not happy days before it yeah so what happened is I had at that point in my life it was early on and so I was still doing conversations with people in the media business and I was about 26 years old and I was on the Paramount lot and I had an office it was called the directors building on the third floor and I could open the window and kind of yell out at people like to meet up and stuff I see Richie Cunningham I go oh my god this guy's he's an American icon so I yell out I go run around Howard like that he's like zips around a building he was ducking me because it was frightening [Laughter] all right so yell out the window that's away I thought oh wait I can't give up on this so I called his office direct I say to his assistant Luiza who's still with him actually believe it or not I was the guy they all at the window I'm a young producer on the lot I know Ron has produced a couple weeks for TV but he's also he's Richie on happy days I get it I really want to meet him I really want to meet him and as we're kind of you know charming about it and everything and then Ron said okay and I said let's do like a Hollywood lunch have lunch and he admitted to me only this trip like literally a couple days ago but that was his first Hollywood lunch he'd ever had in his whole life he's always on sound stages just working and he's not a he's a shy guy he's not an outside guy I'd be great on him on the show I'd love it it'd be great how does it what did you see in him to know that y'all could build this he had all the company okay honestly when I met him oh I saw him he had this sort of this low this energy of goodness about him hmm it just exude this energy of goodness mm-hmm and I thought that's fantastic I well I want a bet on that you know and I also kind of needed that at that time I live because I was you know kid that was you know still so I was you know being successful but I did need some you know role model of goodness like that I mean I think everybody does it helps you make if when you have a really good person around you you tend to make better decisions right gooder decisions towards people and so so there that connects to a guy that would say to you you're hurting their feelings and those are things that I need I think we all need to know how people feel you know because we want optimally we want people to feel good right and you don't have to spend three hours with people you can do this all in 30 seconds make somebody feel good just by looking at him and going hey or any kind of a real acknowledgment that's not right phony is gonna be powerful to somebody's life so you're an or a person you read or as have you ever read The Celestine Prophecy no so yeah so you can see auras around people I can't see auras yeah I mean I you know probably not as vivid as described in a book that's that's actually about that subject but I do feel like that's how I operate in life I try to feel I feel their energy which would constitute being an aura yeah have you ever been wrong oh I've never been wrong but sometimes because I'm so because I fall in love or passionate about the person or I just lose track of my death of that definition you know where I go I don't feel like this guy's right but I'm gonna make a case for why I have to do this mm-hmm and that's a mistake in fact I recently had that yesterday I thought this is a message I should not do this thing really yeah was it a movie uh it was a person and you were supposed to do something with him well it's a person that is like sort of two strikes of doing something wrong something wrong you know like making sloppy choices kind of lying oh yeah and I say kinda lying it was kinda like kinda like all kind you know when they say you go like it's like when they say a version of like what's your resume or what have you done recently what happened what you did and then it doesn't line up there's like one or two components the line of exaggeration yeah a little exaggeration a couple filler slots then yeah but when they do it twice and it it's misguided gotcha right I saw you a big hip-hop fan I am I have a big I don't I'm not yes a big hip-hop fan I don't think I'm an expert I would heal of what who do you love hooting well I started off meeting old dirty bastard yeah 25 years ago would you meet him well what happened is I was I was taking a taxicab because I always stay downtown I was taking a cab to midtown and in the cab because they never Luber cars I'm in the cab the guy's got the radio on real loud to shock jock guy and he's talking shot Chuck guy he's a radio host you know but it's like a Howard Stern oh how is there a tape yeah okay it might have even been Howard Stern probably with Howard in New York I will be an anthony maybe yeah so he's interviewing someone named old dirty bastard ha ha but that's 25 years ago when nobody wants to be called old dirty bastard except this one guy in the radio he's going oh no no I'm all dirty bastard and so it was like a little discussion about that and then there was like a conversation or how many kids do you have any oh I don't know how many kids could be it's hard to know you know like don't know honestly it was kind of like not finite it wasn't hey and the same thing with wives and women and baby mama stuff like that so this was kind of like my first early kind of taste of that kind of thing so it's an urban thing so I thought I'm gonna go meet I'm gonna find this old good fine old dirty ol dirty bastard and because I'm found I found Jonas Salk he took 3 years to meet me yeah but not the big Disney calling route they can you find me oh yeah no but I had methods I knew people's nothing I mean honestly Jimmy Iovine and I have been friends for almost 35 years no hurt him he's a music guy so I end up finding him bottom line is he says I can come to his a studious do-do meet you my studio oh boy but but there wasn't really a studio like basically it was like he was on a sidewalk maybe it was a studio I'd be that guy that could be a liar if I said I'm sure it was a studio because he wouldn't let me in to the thing that he was supposed to be afraid of yeah but there was a you know hole whiskey down all the way you know bottle he's all over the place I'm thinking wow this guy is fascinating as a trip he's so fluid you know and I thought he's animated yeah he's very very animal he was hilarious mm-hm and and so I thought what he you know I thought this is like my first introduction to early hip-hop to make this story honest and complete I would go I was also friends with the editor of the actual editor of the New York Times and I told him about this meeting I had with this guy ol Dirty Bastard on so he I said something about it and he said well I think he said I feel like that's an inferior subculture that will go away well well Kim who was it I'm not gonna say his name because he he's a nice guy he was just wrong yeah and so then that set me on the I said I'm gonna prove this wrong so I met Chuck D and then I went off and I met Slick Rick and I thought wow there's a lot of range in all of this too and others you know early a young young LL Cool J and stuff like that so anyway I thought wait I can prove this out like a cinematic equation prove this guy wrong that that hip-hop is actually not just subculture and in fact in a fairy subculture it's the actual culture itself right and this guy doesn't get it and I'm just a young guy learning it so that's how that all began so that's when I started to sort of build this equation which later became eight-mile but I have to you know give lots tremendous thanks and that that Eminem was that not only just the subject of it he was the solution to gotcha and then that let's not give all the credit to the white guy is jay-z we like jay-z absolutely okay I have made in America with jay-z but if I hadn't I met ODB and all that I wouldn't have thought to do the made in America thing with jay-z and I wouldn't have thought to do an album on American Gangster after the whole thing was locked and done this is a great story about jay-z very quickly okay you have to be quick oh okay so jay-z says can I do you know we caught up with it late that I was doing American Gangster and so he said let me do the soundtrack actually we've already done the entire soundtrack it's been scored and done locked he's that's not possible it's not possible and I said well it is and so we can't do it he goes I will do an initial an additional album for American gangsters I feel an understanding or kinship with Frank Lucas and I said okay but we have no time so that you're on your own basically mhm and I have to give it to this guy he works when he wants to he works really really hard he wrote all the lyrics did everything and completed an album with I think 12 tracks in three weeks really honestly I hated that out when it first came out but not because of the music okay I hated it because Jay had retired oh why did he came out with Kingdom Come which I thought was a great album cuz he was like telling us where he was at in his life then and I felt like he was using American Gangster to still rap about to go back around the drug game yeah you were so smart around you no no but I mean that's a I love course he wouldn't know what kind of Allied I'm oh that was kind of a lot I don't know we said you live again oh that was kind of no I was yeah but anyway so that's so those things happen then of course you know the Empire Empire was basically built like this I had a guy someone a writer was writing um a Dan Brown Da Vinci Code movie for me mhm Thank You Vinci Code great movie so his name is Danny strong a white guy and Danny strong is working on this movie um high stakes move because these movies get expensive and it wasn't coming together and so we both agreed let's you know call it a wrap on this and he says I said what are you gonna do next Danny what do you do tomorrow and he goes I don't know I'm gonna try to do this thing I want to try to do King Lear in the world of hip-hop I go you are not leaving this office without us being partners in doing this together because I got to talk to my agent I go there's your age is gonna tell you this that I know the most about hip hop you know of the people that make stuff and you have to do this with me and that I you know had this whole archive archive of information of course from doing eight-mile etc etc you have to do this with me because I do have to talk to my agent I go but you're predisposed to do it on me we have to do it together bottom line is I call his agent before he can even get in the car I go his name is Joe Cohn good honorable agent CAA hey I said your you have to do this me because you know that I have all these different hip hop things and you know that this is my territory and one way or another I have to have it so he goes okay I give it to you and then Danny strung said cool then two months ladies ooh you got to meet this guy Lee Daniels so I go never hurt him so I go what is he gonna do because I wasn't sure I had I had never met Lee Daniels and didn't know and he's oh he's got a really interesting voice and you'll believe me you'll find him interesting Lee Daniels comes to my office he's trying to drive in a convertible and pajamas he always wears today the guy comes in with pajamas in the afternoon and that's how we did it four years comes they did pajamas hey you got to come in ready yeah you have great conversations Leena yes oh yeah great conversations yes and you're doing Gucci Mane's movie I'm doing Gucci Mane's movie yes hmm um because Malcolm said something about he met Gucci I have to meet Gucci and then I have this 15 year old kid he's now 15 but at 14 he said of all the guys the mumble rap guys my kid right or wrong he just goes Gucci's the real thing so then I read Gucci's book I liked his book a lot I thought it had lots of empathy it was real earned success it has redemption it's an American Dream story to me so it doesn't have to be you know it's not it's it's it has a bigger meaning and he's kind of I mean you guys you know he's very important in the trap' movement you know and I sort of see him as a you know as a is almost a progenitor of that movement and I and I like all that very some of the new artists that came out all came under his ambassadors yeah he goes well Flocka Nicki Minaj French Montana amigo you said me goes yeah so that really counts and I I i think he's a great guy he's also like you a very fast reader very fast reader and anyway i'm thrilled to do this with him why didn't you do something all dirty if you want so intrigued by him like I didn't have enough contact with him I met the RZA shortly after and RZA seemed like the he seemed like he was the cohesive person to the group and kind of the storyteller and anyway sort of like the the band strategist you know so anyone that's more into the house yeah and I was really interested in the RZA once I got to know much but when I got to know him then I we put him in American Gangster as an actor and that's when he said some about the DAO of Wu and then I love the Dao vu because it's a distinguishing trait no other band that I know over hip-hop band has this sort of Eastern thought as a foundational philosophy and I I just loved that it was redirecting negative energy you kind of changed the trajectory of Eddie Murphy - because Nutty Professor was like a turn from all of the raunchy yeah Wow jiff he was doing well well yeah that was really he had done Eddie wasn't used to audition well what happened is I met Eddie Murphy through a friend of mine Michael Keaton I got to go see Raw mm-hm and then and then Michael Keaton says to me top three top two best Batman Wow Michael Keaton Wow yeah he will cuz he's nothing again so he says Eddie Murphy said hey I could come to the green room so I get to go to the green room to see Eddie Murphy and I looked at him and I did have a like a human connection and then he was getting he was going through a very low period he was going through a low period in his career and felt kind of boxed in at Paramount which he was and he liked and trusted me and so then we did boomerang together which was laughs we love boomerang classic even a soundtrack everything the soundtrack was really good it was good so we did boomerang together and that was a hit but not like the Nutty Professor kind of thing and then when Eddie and I pitched the nutty where I had to pitch the I'd not had to but I pitched the night professor chairman of the studio they said well Eddie's you know kind of not hot enough that it uh you know if he's gonna play five characters is there any other way that's gonna be very expensive they said to me I said it is but he is so gifted he can do this they said well you have to do he has to tell him he has to do a screen test which of course Eddie Murphy has never done so he made him audition they made him audition but they hadn't made him audition in these multiple characters so Rick Baker oscar-winning makeup artist actually adhered that all the prosthetics and any ones there were two weeks of doing all that for a screen test and that was good enough and they signed off and said okay how did you talk him into auditioning he I didn't have to really talk him into it because he's a very smart guy and he's also got very strong intuitive skills and I knew I didn't have to I just had to present the truth to him gotcha right like this is what they're making if you want it and yeah if you want and he really wanted it he really wanted it he'd never done it and I think Eddie loves new challenges gotcha and he's brilliant I know if you guys know this but he is a brilliant classical pianist really oh my god he could go to a piano he plays beautiful elegant classical pianist I mean he's like he's not Rachmaninoff but he's amazing I learned it when I slept at one of his houses in not bubble hill but in Sacramento and we were bored and he went to piano boogie boy laughing yeah no booking about how's it go it goes on limousine in your butt put it magazine I love you guys no I never heard it you'd be going like that guys of bullshit yeah I've heard the title booking but I I never gets the party started right about that story the fact that you said Eddie was down you have a lot of executives in Hollywood turning their backs on people when they're not doing yeah but don't you think everybody has a down period yes that's the crazy thing of Hollywood that is the thing I there's many central things that I've learned and be able to transport to my life is you have to have humility because first of all it's the right thing to do but you need to be forgiven because success is not a straight-up rejection and we've seen guys like get really loud like I'm the king and you know kind of rude and then they have one flop there in the penalty box forever right now sometimes they get out five six seven years later but but it just be easier I feel like my success that is ongoing is really attributable to the fact that people forgive me I they give me a break on the things that don't work I absolutely make stuff that doesn't work I mean I don't want to I try with the right intentionality and disciplines but stuff just doesn't work sometimes yeah so you have to have people rooting for you and so so what so I don't know about talent and stuff so you want to like if unless someone's a complete jerk which is very rare I find sometimes they just get really heady and lost and stuff like that but then you want to stay dialed in to who's talented and do stuff with them do people still have those conceptions of like black content cuz you know he said they said hip-hop was an inferior subculture and like I guess you said in order to Eminem was a person that cleaned it up that's why I push back on that go I say yes yeah push back on I'm like like oh it's plenty of black excellence out here yes so do people still have that mentality when it comes to black content that is inferior very no not much no not much very very little because they just they do see the elasticity is a proven track-record a proven track-record out every tiny if you really wanted the facts are every once in a while when you're making a big movie unless it's like Michael B Jordan or something they go how will it do internationally you know like they do that thing and it's just like if you tell a great story with good people you know with talented people in it and the story is compelling and it works I mean if you want to flip it this way crazy rich Asians like that seemed like forget it right blows up right you talk with me yeah you gotta take yeah yeah I love her that's my homie yeah yeah but Aquafina is definitely she's great so what's wrong with some coaches though meaning like backing me which i think it's good to do subcultures that's what I look for I look for undiscovered subculture yes because even with crazy rich Asians that was the first all Asian cast cinder what a Joy Luck Club yes yeah hilarious yeah no but I'm sad no I think it's great to prospect subcultures that haven't been this before you know like that's in in a sort of in a secondary way I think that's really valuable to the Gucci story because you know the mumble rap scene that movement in Atlanta all that that hasn't really been exposed just the granular nature of how that works and yes what it was like for this guy to grow up in the street doing drugs and trapping this thing and then it became music so I made that sound too fast and easy which you can correct me um but but you're right I actually look for those that's why I did this movie called Friday Night Lights Friday Night Lights was good I'm gonna tell you another one backdraft thank you I didn't know shit about no firefighters yeah nobody I know firefighters was just another thing of like because I was way way the pre-tied 911 but I'm really I like celebrating selfless human beings that do heroic stuff in it I thought firefighters do that they're selfless they do heroic things and they don't have power so they don't even get to like have guns and you know do it that way so you know cuz power sometimes gives you the excuse to do things and stuff but I just thought they were like you know beautiful people that they don't get paid much generally they get paid very little it's awfully generational from family to family and they're just saving lives they are just good people absolutely and I would say wild lows Friday Night Lights I am from a small town called Moncks Corner South Carolina the population was 7,000 people so high school football on a Friday night was every fuckin thing yeah do you play you couldn't go to football games and that shit was like torture so I was suspended that day Lorne school I couldn't go to football game because that's where the that's where the people everybody good you're right in small town that's all they do is do that like you would I would risk going to the football games even I would get arrested like they'd arrest you if you're suspended from school football game yeah you get arrested you find your way yeah I stand outside defense yeah you know yes yeah because that's where that's where all the beautiful girls are that's where everything funny you can see over the fence right Brian we appreciate you for joining connection thank you so much Brian what is out out down today this week mm-hmm any movies you working on anything I'm doing lin-manuel Miranda's directorial debut Wow it begins the January this year I was called tick tick boom kind of a multi character it's well singular character starring Andrew Garfield but it takes us into the world of rent which tick tick boom was written by Jonathan Larson it's a really great thing kit should be a really great movie and then I just finished hillbilly ology that Ron Howard directed which is about this kid that grew up unfortunately in the Appalachian very educationally in socioeconomically deprived area that again was dealt just with a personal trauma and getting over it but do another Friday Night Lights movie Friday Night Lights and Del Rio Texas aboard a reboot no it's just it's just a reboot I don't it's a it's a new it's called for I guess it would be a reboot yeah yeah I just look for anything like doing a movie with Kevin a TV series Kevin Durant called swagger that's it's kinda it's about AAU basketball it's like Friday Night Lights built out of like a you bashes quasi AAU basketball I didn't realize what it was all those crazy parents galata urban bears thank you for classes well let's Brian thank you very much it's the breakfast [Music]

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