June 7, 2011
Growing up, Larry spent his summers in Miami working as a sailing instructor on catamarans … which I think is some kind of a sailboat. Or else people should be asking for their money back. He’s very much a Miami guy — at least old Miami, before the Cubans came and turned it into the sexy, Latin metropolis it’s become. He likes the laid-back life, the warm Atlantic Ocean, and wearing shorts to work. In fact, he wore shorts to meet me for our interview.
After Larry graduated from college, someone told him about Club Med. “They were excited I had a sailing background. They said, ‘Would you mind being dressed like a banana and being chased through the restaurant by a guy dressed like a monkey?’ And I was, like, ‘That sounds fun. I’ll do it.’ ” He spent 4 years there, a lot of it in their Cancun resort.
He taught sailing and provided entertainment at night. “I bought into it, loved it. I went to the beach every day. I got brown, buff. As a 23-year-old dude, it was exciting for me to get as close to [becoming] a rock star as I was going to get.”
After a while, he realized he had no life skills. It was an invaluable experience, but he wanted to move on. He had a friend in a one-year film program in Orlando and decided to apply. “Not a lot of theory. Just handed us a camera and said, ‘Go make a movie.’ ” He was older than most of the kids and took it more seriously. He became the valedictorian. “The kids wanted to be DPs [directors of photography] and directors, and I knew how hard it was. I took a pragmatic approach and said it’s more realistic to become an AD [assistant director].” After three years of applying to the Directors Guild of America program in Los Angeles, he was accepted and moved across the country to join the program. “I’ve never had to send out a resume since. In that 400 days [of the program], I met the people who still hire me to this day.”
Larry didn’t have a long-term girlfriend until he was in his 30s. With all the divorce in his family, he decided not to settle down until he was ready. “Everything I’ve done has been selfish, and I guess in a way I’m ready to not be selfish anymore and put that behind me and have kids. I feel I was born to be a dad.”
He tells me, “I’ve never had a bad first date. Never had one where this is a train wreck, this is all wrong. Even if I can tell it’s someone I’m not going to have a second date with.” When I ask what his ideal girl is, he says, “I want to find somebody who knows what they’re all about, knows what they’re doing … that’s attractive to me. Someone who has her own thing going on and is on a path.”
At 39, Larry’s the kind of guy who’s appreciative of what he has. “The last two years, I’ve had the opportunity to work on movies I never would have dreamed of working on. I get to see every shot. I feel blessed that I get to do that.”