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Hollywood's 25 Most Powerful Authors

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    Items 11-20
    Dennis Lehane Headshot - P 2012
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    13. Dennis Lehane
    Known For: "Mystic River." Big Number: The six-time New York Times best-selling author just started his own imprint at HarperCollins.

    Clint Eastwood (Mystic River), Martin Scorsese (Shutter Island) and Ben Affleck (Gone, Baby, Gone) have dipped into Lehane’s crimeladen imagination. Still, the 47-year-old married father of two remains largely mystified about his Hollywood appeal. “I think I tell good stories, but I don’t think I reinvented the wheel,” he says. “The only thing I will take credit for is I write characters that actors like to play.”

    And that the Academy loves to recognize, notably Mystic River’s vengeful thug, which earned Sean Penn a best actor Oscar in 2004. Affleck recently optioned Lehane’s Boston-set Prohibitionera gangster novel Live by Night. But Lehane, who spent a season writing for HBO’s The Wire, likes to stay out of the way unless asked. “Respect directors as artists. Don’t be up their ass, and don’t be bugging them and say, ‘Hey, can I come by the set,’ and all of that stupid shit,” he says. “Then they may actually ask you, which is what normally happens with me. I get very much looped in on all of my films on a pretty intense level.”

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