How Brian Grazer And Ron Howard Went From 'Unemployed' Guys To Major Movie Execs (VIDEO)

04/17/2015 04:50 pm ET

Brian Grazer and Ron Howard may have one of the most successful friendship-partnerships in the entire entertainment business. Together the producer-and-director duo have produced beloved films and television shows such as "A Beautiful Mind," "The Da Vinci Code," "Arrested Development" and "Empire" -- and, as Grazer tells it, everything started with a little curiosity.

Long before Grazer and Howard teamed up, Grazer worked at Paramount Studios and had set a definitive, ongoing goal for himself: meet one new person every day. Driven by his personal curiosity and professional ambition, Grazer approached this goal as a discipline, never failing in his mission to make a new acquaintance.

One afternoon in 1979, Grazer was in his office at Paramount wondering who he would talk to that day. He looked out his window and saw Howard, who he recognized from portraying the likable Richie Cunningham character from the sitcom "Happy Days."

"I looked out the window, and I said, 'I'm going to meet Ron Howard,'" Grazer tells Oprah in the above video from "Super Soul Sunday." "And then I call him up -- he's really shy -- and then I meet with him."

In their meeting, Grazer, who aspired to be a major film producer, found out that Howard had an unfulfilled dream of his own. "He said, 'I want to be a movie director,'" Grazer recalls. "But there was, like, no evidence he could be a real movie director."

At the time, Howard's experience in the entertainment industry had been limited to working in front of the camera, yet Grazer sensed that the actor's overall essence and untapped abilities were truly something special.

"He had this aura around him," Grazer says. "When he walked into my office, it was almost like the sun was behind him. And he had this aura of goodness. I really felt like this was something of value and that I needed... He was just another curiosity. I said, 'Come meet with me, please,' and he did. He didn't want to, but he did."

The two became fast friends and formed their now-prolific company, Imagine Entertainment, in 1986.

"We were two basically unemployed guys that wanted to be something other than what we were," Grazer says. "We just sort of joined up because we believed in each other. We believed we each had something that we couldn't quite state to one another that had value."

"Super Soul Sunday" airs Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on OWN. You can also stream the program live at that time on Oprah.com/supersoulsunday or Facebook.com/supersoulsunday.

Quotes From Super Soul Sunday
Suggest a correction