Roger Birnbaum

Striving to be the best possible version of yourself and helping the people around you do the same enriches your life and comes right back to you.

Roger Birnbaum is the co-chairman and CEO of MGM Studios and is the co-founder, co-chairman, and chief executive officer of Spyglass Entertainment, whose roster of films has won twenty-eight Oscar nominations and three Academy Awards and has amassed over $4.4 billion in worldwide box office sales to date. He has produced more than one hundred films, ranging from The Sixth Sense, Seabiscuit, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Insider, and Invictus to Bruce Almighty, Eight Below, Shanghai Knights, Get Him to the Greek, Twenty- Seven Dresses, and Star Trek. Birnbaum serves as a trustee on the board and as the co–artistic director of the American Film Institute. He is also the father of a beautiful daughter and resides in Los Angeles, California. (www.spyglassentertainment.com, www.mgm.com)

the interview

Roger and I became instant friends at a buffet-style dinner party in Los Angeles when I expressed to him my utter dismay at the disappearance of all the chocolate-dipped macaroons I’d been eyeing all evening. He had arrived at the dessert table in anticipation of the coveted macaroons as well. Bonded by our disappointment, we started talking. This book came up, and he said he had an epiphany story, so of course I wanted to hear it. For days I couldn’t quit thinking about his anecdote and this phrase he used, “the best version of yourself.” It really made me step back and consider: did I even know what the best version of myself was? His interview was conducted in person at his exquisite home in Beverly Hills, California, and his story was just as captivating as it was the first night I heard it, standing over a barren chocolate macaroon platter.