Long before my friend Brian Koppelman wrote the screenplays for Rounders and Ocean's Thirteen, wrote and directed Solitary Man, and kicked off his podcast, The Moment, he was a kid growing up in Roslyn, Long Island. "Back then," he told me on this week's episode Special Sauce, the idea of food culture never even crossed his mind. "I thought there was actually no connection between those two words where I grew up. Culture was one thing, and food was the shit I was forced to eat."
But a lot's changed since then. Brian talked to me about his undying—and sometimes heretical—love for pizza and how gluttony ties into his upcoming Showtime series, Billions, which he created wtih longtime writing and producing partner, David Levien. Hear about the moment that Wonderama broadened his culinary horizons and how his family came to enter Don Peppe's—Ozone Park, New York's legendary old-school Italian restaurant, "Goodfellas style, through the kitchen."
Catch this week's episode to find out what Koppelman admires about the way chefs work, how he honed his creative voice (hint: it helps to write three pages in longhand every morning), and the time his Vine series if six-second screenwriting lessons unexpectedly went viral. Brian's favorite food might be sushi, but ramen's not far behind: "It is," he explains, a perfectly engineered, "state-of-the-art delivery system for the highest level of food...it's got everything." As for his desert-island fridge? You'll just have to listen to find out.