Brian Grazer talks 'Face to Face' book, plus Tom Hanks and '8 Mile'

By | 2019-09-21 | including 1 item |
For Brian Grazer, being a film and TV producer isn’t all about name-dropping celebrities and A-lister lunches at the Palm. OK, some of the job is definitely about that. But the spiky-haired Oscar winner behind movies such as “A Beautiful Mind” and “Apollo 13,” and shows including “Arrested Development” and “Empire,” says one of the keys to his success has been his ability to connect deeply with other people, whether he’s talking to Bono or an Uber driver in Paris. That’s probably no surprise coming from Grazer, who co-founded Imagine Entertainment with Ron Howard in 1986, establishing one of the entertainment business’ most enduring partnerships. In his 2015 book, “A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life,” Grazer drew heavily on his habit of engaging in “curiosity conversations” with the likes of scientist Jonas Salk and writer Isaac Asimov. His new book, “Face to Face: The Art of Human Connection,” explores the virtues of getting people to open up with one another, starting with basic eye contact, in an era defined by social media and smartphone-enabled multitasking. He writes about how that skill, combined with old-fashioned Hollywood persistence, helped him get such hits as “Inside Man” and “American Gangster” made. In an interview at his Santa Monica home, the 68-year-old Grazer spoke about why he wrote “Face to Face,” the future of his company, and how actor Tom Hanks kept him from bailing on the Eminem movie “8 Mile.”