words by Kat Thompson
photography by Bobby Kim
I can tell Lynn Harris is a powerful woman from the way she commands the room. Even as she’s sitting idly, petting her 12-year-old dog, Hank, there is something in her posture and her alert eyes that show she is someone to be respected and admired. And it makes sense—she’s the former Executive Vice President of Production for Warner Brothers and is the founder (alongside husband Matti Leshem) of Weimaraner Republic Pictures, a company they named aptly after the breed of their dog (they produced this past summer’s shark thriller, The Shallows). Lynn alone has under her belt a collection of your favorite movies that she’s worked on, spanning across all genres (Se7en, The Notebook, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Gravity, to name a few). But aside from being an impressive producer and a boss in the realm of Hollywood, she’s also incredibly proud to be a stepmom and an advocate for women in the industry. “I care about equality for women and reproductive rights and choice and getting the word out about those things that are important and giving women the opportunity in my field… You just do whatever you can on a day-to-day basis.” Meet Lynn Harris.
What is your name, age, and title?
I’m Lynn Harris, I’m 50, and I’m a film and television producer.
What about you surprises people the most?
That I’m sort of a nerd and a goofball.
Why do you think that surprises people?
I think I look very serious and scary.
What do you think is the most challenging or infuriating thing about working in your industry?
People’s challenging relationship with the truth.
Do you think being a woman in your role has a lot of disadvantages?
I think it comes with both advantages and disadvantages. I think you just have to be aware of the roadblocks and go over or around or through them.
What is your go-to cure for a bad day?
That’s a really good question! My go-to cure for a bad day is probably a snuggle with Hank… it’s always really nice. He’s such a good boy.
What empowers you the most?
I feel empowered when I feel well informed and educated about something so to the extent that I can continue to learn and grow. I feel like that makes me stronger.
How do you want to make the world a better place?
How do I want to make the world a better place? Mmmm… I really believe that my way of making the world a better place is incremental. So I think it’s just about doing whatever I can every day to move forward with positivity and to try to, you know, walk the walk. To the extent that I care about equality for women and reproductive rights and choice and getting the word out about those things that are important and giving women the opportunity in my field and being supportive of other women in my field. You just do whatever you can on a day-to-day basis.
What do you think is the one perfect word to describe you?
Tall? [laughs]. What is the one perfect word to describe me? That’s a really tough question. I might have to think about that for awhile.
What is your deathrow meal?
My deathrow meal?! Awesome! I’m a vegetarian, so I might actually have a steak from Dan Tana’s. I feel like I eat my deathrow meal every day because I eat really well. I don’t deprive myself of things. I also don’t really want—I’d have a gorgeous bottle of wine and a terrific piece of fish. I don’t feel terribly food deprived. Like a summer meal in Tuscany, or a great meal in Venice. Great bottle of wine, great seafood, time with my husband, and good friends. That would be my death row meal.
What do you think is the most important lesson that you’ve learned in your lifetime so far?
That a change in perspective can really change your attitude about something. If you sort of breathe and take a beat before you act, it could be the most valuable thing that you do.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My stepchildren. Being a stepparent is the thing I’m most proud of.
Why is that?
Because I think to the extent that you can really support and be nurturing to other people, particularly children, in a certain part of their life. I think it’s the most satisfying thing that you can do.
I think that’s all that I have… oh wait, except we have to circle back to your one perfect word!
The perfect word that describes me? This is weird because I’m really not a person who believes in horoscopes at all but I’d have to say Gemini because it gives an example of a dichotomy and I think there are sort of disparate, two different sides of me. There’s the very serious, kind of work drilldown person and then there’s the sort of goofy, dumb side of me.
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