Hi reddit!

Brian Grazer here. In 1986, I co-founded along with my friend Ron Howard the company Imagine Entertainment, and over the years, the films and TV shows I've had the good fortune to be involved with have been nominated for a total of 43 Academy Awards and 131 Emmys.

Hopefully these titles include some of your favorites.

I've written a book (along with acclaimed journalist Charles Fishman) called "A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life" in which I share how my weekly “curiosity conversations” with an accomplished stranger have inspired me over the years.

I also paint and am an expert marksman with blowguns. I learned that from an Amazonian Shaman. He was a first contact tribal native that I met through Sting over 30 years ago.

Victoria's hanging out with me in person. Let's answer some questions.


Update: I'm so grateful to be on reddit this morning. I had the opportunity to answer really GOOD and original questions. And I hope you all enjoy checking out "A Curious Mind."

Comments: 166 • Responses: 56  • Date: 

The_Iceman228817 karma

Can you saying anything about the current status of season 5 of Arrested Development?

BrianGrazer20 karma

The only thing I could say is: Mitch Hurwitz, the creator, is working his ass off. Not only to write it, but to figure out the logistics for all of the actors to be in it.

TheGreatPastaWars26 karma

Well, if he's hard up, he can just get Gene to play all of them. He's a master of disguise.

BrianGrazer12 karma

That's up to Mitch & Ron.

prodan12348 karma

That's my question as well. You said it was happening, but later clarified that it isn't a done deal. Are there negotiations with the actors? Is the holdup with Fox or Netflix or Mitch Hurwitz?

BrianGrazer15 karma

I'm a hard on myself, guarded person. So until something is finished, it's still not done. Every conversation is a negotiation. Even this one.

trevrox11 karma

If Kiefer Sutherland really decides not to return for more 24, have you guys ever thought of just making Mary Lynn Rajskub the star of the show? She could take down Kate Morgan any day. #ChloeIsBack

BrianGrazer9 karma

She's such a stud. She's awesome. Everyone loves her. And sure, we've thought of it.

davec7910 karma

Does your hair do that naturally or do you have to work at it?

BrianGrazer13 karma

I have to work at it.

My hair is flat.

But now, because I've worn it for 20 years this way with gel, I wake up this way, and if for some reason, I don't, I immediately put gel in it, or I'll forget who I am.

trevrox10 karma

Can you give us ANY update on 24? Anything! Has any progress been made? How long do you think until it will be officially returning? Jack is back in 2016? :)

BrianGrazer15 karma

The writers have created an outline that we're all reading and doing notes on. That's the most I can say.

Vilens408 karma

We had heard Mitch Hurwitz is re-cutting season 4 of Arrested Development to flow chronologically. Any idea when we'll see (if at all) and how?

Any updates on Season 5?

BrianGrazer10 karma

No updates that I can publicly speak about. Ask Mitch directly. He'll try and tell you.

prodan12343 karma

Where can we ask him?

BrianGrazer6 karma


prodan12343 karma

Unforetunately, he isn't as active on Twitter as you are. His last tweet was almost an year ago.

BrianGrazer11 karma

I will remind him to get back on Twitter.

thegerrysauce8 karma

Who was your favorite small character on Arrested Development? Mine is Steve Holt. STEVE HOLT!

BrianGrazer16 karma

Ice the Bounty Hunter.

matts27 karma

What are you most proud of having done? What do you most look forward to doing?

BrianGrazer6 karma


I think I'm most proud that I've kept up this discipline for over 30 years of meeting a new person every 2 weeks.

And I've stuck with it, and adhered to the rules that I created over 30 years ago.

One rule, of course, is: Don't ask for anything.

No asks.

Because I want to keep it pure.

Going on vacations with my kids and fiancee is what I most look forward to doing. Africa last year, Myanmar this year.

spirit_spine6 karma

If you don't meet anybody new in the next 13 days, hit me up, we'll hang.

BrianGrazer7 karma


bmputz7 karma

Thanks for doing this Brian! What about Arrested Development made you guys interested in producing it?

BrianGrazer7 karma

I love doing movies or television about families, particularly dysfunctional families. Like everybody's.

BrianGrazer7 karma

From MY vantage point, the progenitor of shock-comedy was Mel Brooks in BLAZING SADDLES. That's what got me into show business. So it was he that would make me interested in ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT.

beernerd6 karma

When you filmed Apollo 13, the folks at JSC offered to let you use the original Mission Control, but you guys opted to build a replica instead. Can you elaborate on why you decided that? Did it have anything to do with the poor upkeep of the original?

BrianGrazer5 karma

It didn't have to do with the poor upkeep - it had to do with having control over the environment.

So you're better off owning your shooting area, so you don't interrupt other people's lives.

QSector6 karma

Hi Brian, that was a great interview on CBS Sunday Morning. At what point in your life were you finally able to say, "I've made it"?

BrianGrazer7 karma

I still haven't said that.

I want to say it.

BrianGrazer3 karma

I wrote a book that I hope everyone buys!

JUrciuoli236 karma

I am a big fan of 24! Fox announced back in January that they were in talks about a new season possibly airing in 2016! Do you think something official will be announced for the May upfronts or at least this summer? When in 2016 would it air?

BrianGrazer5 karma

I think it's 50/50 in terms of announcements.

Spoonsy6 karma

Can you talk more about the Amazonian Shaman? That sounds amazing

BrianGrazer6 karma

I met - over 30 years ago - through Sting, I met Rouny (spelling approximation) who was a first-contact tribesman from Brazil in South America. He had a huge plate in his lower lip that extended his mouth. He wore a penis cone. And I learned how to shoot a blow-gun having studied him.

So now I have a blow-gun area in my art studio, which I'm pretty expert at.

I have a few different blow-gun sizes. They're all came. But they're different sizes.

Spoonsy4 karma

That's awesome. Do you have any pictures of the blow guns or the blow gun area?

BrianGrazer11 karma

-RickGrimes6 karma

Hi Brian, big fan of yours and Ron's films :D You've worked with Tom Hanks a few times now, and he's one of my favourite actors. Is he as awesome as he seems?

BrianGrazer5 karma


He's DEFINITELY as awesome.

Actually, he's definitely, in fact EVEN MORE awesome than he seems.

BrianGrazer11 karma

That's why I hired him to be in APOLLO 13 - I asked "is there an actor that exists that EVERYONE would want back safely?"

And my curiosity asked that question, and I thought Yes. Tom Hanks.

bem1355 karma

How hands on are you when its comes to producing?

BrianGrazer7 karma

Very hands-on when it comes to the early-on process of making a movie or a television show.

helsmack5 karma

Splash was such an important milestone for your career (and fantastic movie!). How much of it was true to your vision and how much of it was compromised?

BrianGrazer6 karma

More than 100% was true to my vision. Meaning that Ron Howard was better than I thought he was, the writers that followed me (Lowell Gantz and Babalu) were amazing, far better than I could have hoped for.

thewarinspector5 karma

What would your advice be for a couple of first-time filmmakers with regards to effectively marketing their movie to festivals and online?

BrianGrazer5 karma

Figure out a sexy sentence on your project so that you can communicate it.

fede01_85 karma

Are you and Ron Howard the Lennon/McCartney of movies? :)

BrianGrazer6 karma

We only wish to be.

BearBong5 karma

I had the pleasure of seeing you speak earlier – but didn’t get to ping you with a question, so I've been waiting online – here it goes:

You’ve had seemingly hundreds of your ‘Curiosity Conversations’ with an incredibly diverse group of people – from ODB to CIA Directors – how do you remember the nuggets of wisdom from the many many conversations you have & how do you practically apply them later on?

Good luck with the AMA!

BrianGrazer5 karma

It's hard to remember, but I always take notes.

Usually, with someone, either somebody has advice, a point of view, or a secret that you've never heard.

BearBong5 karma

Thanks! I definitely had a few things written down from your talk - specifically, "instincts have no value unless they're informed". Love that.

BrianGrazer6 karma

That is probably a quote from both my speech this morning, and the book.

TheGreatPastaWars5 karma

Hello, Mr. Grazer.

Out of the many things for which a producer is responsible, what do you feel like is the most important and what do you feel you excel at the most? Do you personally like to help shape the content of the film or do you prefer to have your directors/writers shoulder the onus for that? Also, how many times did people have to remind Russell Crowe to speak with an American accent in A Beautiful Mind before they said, screw it, Russell Crowe is going to speak how Russell Crowe speaks and he does not wish to speak in an American manner?

BrianGrazer11 karma

I think the most important is to have a creative vision.

That you feel comfortable being intractable about. And adhering to the creative vision, most importantly to the emotional delivery system.

I personally favor being part of the idea at its most nascent stage.


I think we just said "Screw it, he's going to speak the way he speaks, he's a genius actor."

functionalfatty5 karma

Hi Brian, I love that your work has been so varied, yet you have managed to maintain a consistent quality throughout. I imagine that the "Made In America" doc was a challenge, because you were tasked with incorporating so many different artists/personalities/sounds into one cohesive piece. I was wondering if you could explain your approach to the project, and whether/how your approach differed from your other work? Thanks.

BrianGrazer5 karma

Quite honestly, this was Jay's vision and idea.

He curated the bands.

I just helped him actualize it.

He's been a friend, and he created The American Gangster album.

mrshatnertoyou5 karma

Can you discuss your interest in blowguns and how much practice is required to get you nto the expert marksman category?

BrianGrazer3 karma

It's a trial & error experience.

Don't aim it near anybody.

Even though you have the temptation of moving off the target, onto a tree, or other objects - try to stay focused on your target.

Mostly, it's about expanding your lung capacity. This is referring to professional military darts. This is not your average "buy it in a toy store" dart gun. You have to get these on online catalogs.

They make great conversation pieces.

nkleszcz4 karma

Hello Brian... thank you for your enormous input on moviegoing in the last few decades.

My wife and I sat down and watched Apollo 13 for the first time in many years, the other night (interestingly enough, 45+ years after the day it initially happened).

My question: can you share a funny anecdote on the making of that film? And how many times did you ride the vomit comet?

BrianGrazer16 karma


I went right to the site, to go on the vomit comet. But upon approach for me, as I was going to get on, I found out that you have to - you're stuck on it for a straight 50 parabulus.

So if I get sick, really sick, at number 3, or 6, or 7 - you're stuck.

Because NASA performs scientific experiments on the back of the jet. So you have to stay on.

So I didn't do it.

OKAY, I have one funny story that no one knows: I went to a launch at Cape Canaveral with Ron, and Tom, and others. And a bunch of girls, probably from a sorority, started knocking at my hotel door thinking I was Tom Hanks.


I looked out, the girls were really cute, but I realized they were looking for Tom Hanks.

I opened the door - first I was really flattered - then they said "Where's Tom Hanks?" and I said "Oh, he's not in this room."

They left.

funnymann34 karma

What is the biggest misconception people have of producers?

BrianGrazer8 karma


That they just drive around the studio lot in a golf cart, picking up girls and smoking cigars.

It's very hard work. And time-intensive work.

prodan12344 karma

Is the script for Season 5 of Arrested Development done?

BrianGrazer5 karma


Would you consider writing it for us?

jonemillard4 karma

Hello Brian,

A Beautiful Mind is one of my favorite films. Do you have any memorable stories that took place during filming?

BrianGrazer6 karma


Russell spent hundreds of hours researching the character. So he was pretty extraordinary, and smart. Jennifer Connelly was amazing, and certainly better than we've ever seen her, she was a big surprise. And when Russell ran across the courtyard, I thought he was going to run me over - I got to set, and that's what he was doing, I thought he was going to run me over.

zechtri4 karma

If you could take out one person (any point in history) with a blowgun, who would it be and how did you get your hands on the flux capacitor?

BrianGrazer8 karma

Look, I did think about shooting with a blow-gun the pool man for my next door neighbor. That's how I got so good at it. I just thought he was a really bad guy. He was always blasting music, and I think he tortured - there was a parrot, the house next door, the man had a bird, and I feel like he was torturing the bird every time he showed up! I'm just telling the truth.

tragic-waste-of-skin4 karma

I've always wondered, what's the difference between a producer and an executive producer ( and other producers in between)?

BrianGrazer9 karma



In the MOVIES, the producer is the primary producorial component. In television, it's the EXECUTIVE producer that's the boss.

So they're the one that adheres to the sustained creative vision and the fiscal responsibility of the project.

govt_cheeze4 karma

What sends your spidey sense into high gear when choosing projects?

BrianGrazer5 karma

Has it been done before?

Is the entry point, or perspective, original?

GhostDigi4 karma

Hi, Mr. Grazer. Thank you for sharing with the world your fantastic story telling ability.

Can you talk about the challenges of shooting “Into The Heart of the Sea”? Was it mainly shot on the ocean or in a studio?

Can I have 5 minutes on the phone to pitch my TV series set against the backdrop of the American whaling industry? It’s 100% another Emmy for you. Thanks!

BrianGrazer3 karma

It was mainly shot in Warner Brothers studio, in one of the biggest water tanks in the world. And then further augmented shooting in the Canary Islands, because there are no storms. But unfortunately, there was a storm!

I wish I could! But I can't!

Redwinevino3 karma

How big is the room you use for all your awards, or does do they need their own building?

Thank you for taking the time to do this AMA

BrianGrazer5 karma


Okay - I have a LOT of awards that I thought I would want to show off to everybody. But I hide them in a secret closet in my office.

I just couldn't find a place to put them. I couldn't find a place to put them in my house without looking "brag-y."

So I hide them in a secret closet.

inkabinka233 karma

What was the pivotal moment that sent you down this path. ?

BrianGrazer5 karma

When Lou Wasserman - the most powerful person in the entertainment business - said to me "Put a pencil to the paper. And it has greater value then it did as separate parts. Now get out."

That meant "Write your own ideas."

I was 24 when he said that to me.

bjosilverlake3 karma

Is there a funny story from the set of "Splash" that you can share? And how blindsided were you when Fidel Castro commented on your hair?

BrianGrazer4 karma

I was TOTALLY blind-sided. Because it was such a serious moment, at the military palace. And he didn't look to us for any questions or acknowledgement for three and a half hours. And then he looked up at me, square in the eyes, and said "how do you do your hair?"

His only question.

I told him! "I use gel and a hair dryer. And it takes under a minute to do."

And yes! I have a funny story from the set of SPLASH! The cast and Ron Howard begged me to act in the movie. So I did. All I had to say was "Taxi."

Put my hand in the air and say "Taxi."

It's a cameo. I cut it out of the movie immediately, it was so terrible. And I remember John Candy whispering to Tom Hanks in front of 100 other extras "He can't even say Taxi!"

Which was funny, and scarring, both.

prodan12343 karma

Thanks for doing an AMA! You are bringing back old shows like 24 and Arrested Development, which is awesome. But most of the actors are attached to TV projects and movies, so it's probably hard to get them for 2-3 months to shoot. Are you optimistic that you can get them all together? Season 4 of Arrested Development just didn't have the same magic as the previous 3.

BrianGrazer3 karma

Yes, I'm optimistic we can get them all together.

theArnoldFans13 karma

You, Arnold and Justified's Boyd Crowder have the same hair. What goes into the process of this hair style?

BrianGrazer4 karma

I use Sebastian haircare high-protein gel, and TIGI's Bed Head. When I surf, it's Bed Head. And anything other than surfing, it's water-soluble gel.

mcmullet3 karma

How did you and Ron Howard meet and what led you to form Imagine?

BrianGrazer8 karma

We met during my curiosity discipline, when I met one person every day.

He was on the Paramount lot, and I saw him as he was, Richie Cunningham, and yelled out the window "HEY RON! LET'S MEET!"

I called his office, on the Paramount lot, and asked if he'd please come and meet me, and he came to my office.

We both expressed out dreams, that involved he being a movie director, and me being a movie producer, two things that we weren't at the time.

Just dreams.

That we made true.

josephgunslinger893 karma

Big fans of your work and a Big Dark Tower fan,now the project goes to Sony,what's on there?can you share something with us about that???

BrianGrazer7 karma

We're looking for the perfect actor to cast. We're working on it.

NoMoreColor3 karma

Did you enjoy the "Made in America" concert? What were your favorite artists/bands that played?

BrianGrazer6 karma

I really enjoyed being part of Jay-Z's vision. I love seeing Run DMC come back together. Skrillex was interesting to me. And Janelle Monae was hot.

wee_man3 karma

What iPhone app can you not live without?

BrianGrazer4 karma


My TED app. I travel a lot, and I download them.

mccunicorn3 karma

Hi Brian!

What did you want to be when you were 5 years old? When did you stop wanting to be that?

Congrats on the book!

BrianGrazer4 karma

I used to read the comic book "Richie Rich" where had gold garbage cans.

That became my dream. That I never achieved.

I wanted the life of Richie Rich. I probably figured that out when I was in high school, when I got cut from high school football, that became my new reality.

JUrciuoli233 karma

Will there be a new season of 24 or 24 movie?

BrianGrazer5 karma

Stay tuned. Much more likely as a series.

theprincessandthepaw3 karma

Would you ever be up to reading a first paragraph of a "manuscript"? Opening character happens to be named Victoria, not yours, mine... Saw you on OWN and looking forward to your read. Hopefully one day you will see mine...

BrianGrazer3 karma

If it's out and published, sure!

RamsesThePigeon3 karma

Hello, Brian!

May I call you Brian?

That's not my question, incidentally. That's what we call a "polite lead-in," designed to put us on friendly footing before I ask for a favor. Of course, I don't actually have a favor to ask of you - unless you can get me a writing job somewhere or other, that is - so we'll just have to pretend that we're old friends.

Anyway: If you were to develop a line of men's underwear that was actually supposed to be worn as a hat, what would your brand name be?

BrianGrazer3 karma

looks perplexed


theArnoldFans13 karma

I saw you in a picture with Arnold Schwarzenegger not long ago...was this for a environmental cause? And if you were to produce a story on Arnold's life, who could you see play the young Arnold?

BrianGrazer3 karma

I want to say it was that thing I did at USC, a conference I did with Jimmy Ivine?

And I don't know.

prodan12342 karma

Variety says that you "hope to begin production" on Arrested Development Season 5 in June 2015. I know you can't comment on rumors, but does the timeline seem reasonable (article is from last year)?

BrianGrazer2 karma

It seems reasonable. But for further detail, contact Mitch Hurwitz, or Netflix.

fede01_82 karma

Have you passed on a movie that ended up being a success? Any regrets?

BrianGrazer2 karma

I know that I did. But I can't remember which one. I selectively take out bad memories, haha!

TheEmpathyGuy1 karma

♥...how are you feeling today, Brian (Spiritually, Mentally, & Physically)?

As a Montessori Methodist, I was a Disciplined, Unorthodox Dreamer! Do you Believe my ability to play pro sports & teach Empathy emanates from my early training in Curiosity? #GarryMarshallSoftballTeam ;-)

BrianGrazer3 karma

I'm feeling great in all 3 categories.

At least today.

I love the book "The Inner Game of Tennis." Because that's about visualizing, then actualizing, your dreams.