For decades, film and TV producer Brian Grazer has scheduled a weekly “curiosity conversation” with an accomplished stranger. From scientists to spies, and adventurers to business leaders, Grazer has met with anyone willing to answer his questions for a few hours. These informal discussions sparked the creative inspiration behind many of Grazer’s movies and TV shows. In this video interview, Grazer extols the many benefits of satiating curiosity by meeting extraordinary people and learning what makes them extraordinary. Grazer’s latest book is titled A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life.
Brian Grazer: The way it's worked into my life, curiosity, and making movies and television shows, it's enabled me to be a better curator of what's an original idea. I think our first reflex is to go to the Internet as opposed to seeking out new people to meet because that's really disrupting your comfort zone. I mean every time I do this, it's challenging. That isn't going to be your natural reflex. Your natural reflex is going to go Google a subject, Google the person, get IMDB and that is how it's going to work. But what you want to do is you want to try to figure out how extraordinary people become extraordinary.
Do I think kids normally just go to the Internet and just stop there? Probably. Because you are getting out of your comfort zone meeting a new person, if you treat it as an act of generosity that you are wanting to share part of your life with somebody, it will reduce your anxiety. When you reach out to somebody, you go beyond just asking a question; you might give them a piece of information. Like when I met some famous designers like Vivian Westwood, I come to Vivian Westwood immediately with an olive branch. I immediately say to Vivian Westwood, "What do you think of this new soundtrack?" or, "What do you think of this piece of music?" Because look, designing goes hand in hand with music. I mean you know music is going to have some compatibility to fashion. Ultimately what I'm trying to do is find a way to intersect with how their psyche actually works. Sowhat I'm trying to do is understand very quickly what is it that they are going through emotionally. Because emotionally what they're going through is going to relate to what they do and achieve professionally. And what's deeper than that is what do they think is their purpose in life? What is valuable to them? I mean what has meaning in their life? So I mean it's probably the deep truth of what we're trying to understand within our solar system as human beings and even as we try to get outside of our solar system — what is this all about?