Michael Lynne Helped Make New Line "the Coolest Place to Work in Hollywood"

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Michael Lynne

Producer Mary Parent remembers the exec — who brought 'Austin Powers' and 'The Lord of the Rings' to the big screen — after his March 24 death.

I was a little scared of Michael at first. New Line was such a casual place, and he was always wearing a suit and tie. He was this successful law­yer, and he seemed more buttoned-up, the adult in the room.

Both he and Bob [Shaye, who also ran New Line at the time] were larger-than-life figures to me. I started in 1995 as a creative executive, pretty much at the bottom, but it was my first real job in the business. And it was the coolest place to work in Hollywood, such an interesting place to be young and figuring out what you wanted to do with your career. You had to work really hard because New Line was nobody's first stop — you had to learn to hunt and fish on your own — but mostly it felt like a family.

Bob was a little easier to joke around with, but Michael loosened up once you got to know him. I remember we were at a company retreat and I was telling him about some project I was excited about, and Michael said, "At the end of the day, all you've got is your point of view." That always stuck with me.

Michael Lynne died March 24 at age 77.

This story first appeared in the March 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.