Brian Koppelman on Making Art, Francis Ford Coppola, Building Momentum, and More (#424)

“A lot of growing up is learning to shift the responsibility from the other to the self.”

Brian Koppelman

Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) is a screenwriter, novelist, director, producer, and host of The Moment podcast. Prior to his hit show Billions, which he co-created and executive produced (and co-wrote on spec), he was best known as the co-writer of Rounders and Ocean’s Thirteen, as well as a producer of The Illusionist and The Lucky Ones. He has also directed films, such as Solitary Man, starring Michael Douglas.

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Please enjoy! 

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

This podcast is brought to you by Helix Sleep and 5-Bullet Friday. More on both below. 

#424: Brian Koppelman on Making Art, Francis Ford Coppola, Building Momentum, and More


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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.


Want to hear Brian Koppelman’s first time on the show? Listen to our conversation in which we explore how he got started, how he handles rejection, his big breaks, creative process, and much more:

#10: Brian Koppelman, co-writer/producer of Rounders, Ocean's Thirteen, The Illusionist, etc.



  • Connect with Brian Koppelman:

Website | Podcast | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Note from the editor: Timestamps will be added shortly.

  • As lifelong learners, Brian and I have tried to help each other maintain momentum, not inertia, in our individual voyages of personal growth. A lot of it has to do with learning to take feedback with a professional — not personal — mindset.
  • Brian admits he doesn’t always take feedback constructively in the moment. Here’s the question you should really ask someone when they solicit your feedback.
  • How does Brian keep from saying something he might later regret to someone offering honest feedback that prompts an emotional response?
  • When given honest feedback that prompts an emotional response, how does Brian keep from saying something he might later regret?
  • We all get stuck at some point. Here’s how Brian got unstuck from one of his own struggles that may be familiar to many of us.
  • Why it’s never a mistake to tell people to be careful with opioids — even if they have no history of addiction.
  • To maintain the positive momentum of his own behavioral change, Brian checks in weekly with a supportive professional. What does this look like?
  • Why Brian is glad he started his weight loss regimen 10 weeks ago rather than in the middle of self-quarantining.
  • What led to Brian making an effort to close the gap between his public and private life, and how does he put this in practice? [:00]
  • What is The Royale, and how can visiting help feed hungry people in New York?
  • Is having a blue verification checkmark on Twitter really all it’s cracked up to be?
  • Brian has always been proactive in using his craft as a vehicle for expanding his circle of friends and his circle of influences. Here’s how we became friends and the free-range serendipity that happened as a result.
  • Brian’s favorite books and movies that showcase the messiness of the artistic process.
  • Brian talks about the monologue he wrote for Vincent D’Onofrio, how it came about, the process surrounding it, and what it supports.
  • When writing, how does Brian compose his first drafts? What does he tend to notice and refine on further drafts?
  • COVID talk and final thoughts.