Hello, He Lied

& Other Truths from the Hollywood Trenches

by Lynda Obst

“Never go to a meeting without a strategy.” “Ride the horse in the direction it’s going.” These are just two of the gems unearthed from the trenches of Hollywood by Lynda Obst, one of the most successful producers in the movie business today. In Hello, He Lied, Obst offers real, practical advice to would-be professionals in any field: “Thou shalt not cry at work,” “thou shalt not appear tough,” “thou shalt return all thy phone calls,” and more. She takes us inside high-pressure meetings with David Geffen, onto the set of Sleepless in Seattle, and into the heated negotiations for The Hot Zone and reveals what she’s learned in more than twenty years in the business:how to swim with the sharks–and not get eaten.

Review excerpts:

Entertainment Weekly, Lisa Schwartzbaum, Sept 13, 1996

{Lynda Obst is}refreshingly untortured about her privileged introduction into the business. Unhappily pried away from her job at The New York Times Magazine when her well-connected husband relocated to Los Angeles, Obst became the office ”development girl” for Peter Guber, then running Casablanca productions. ”The movie business beckoned in a kind of ‘when in Rome’ way, but the actual prospect filled me with dread,” she writes. She got to know Rome well.

Obst tells an interesting story that may serve as a useful primer for hopeful producers, as well as a model for writers of future I-was-a-female-producer-and-lived-to-tell-about-it books.

The Guardian, David Thomson, July 6, 2013

…Hello, He Lied is among the neatest definitions of self-destruct oblivion a culture could dream up, but don’t overlook its irony – that you can’t trust anyone about anything. Least of all Lynda Obst, who has the chutzpah to run a list of the films she produced at the front of this book. She can certainly do titles: Adventures in BabysittingBad GirlsHope FloatsThe Invention of Lying (it is her territory) as well as the big hit, Sleepless in Seattle.

Kirkus Reviews, featured vintage review selection, April 8, 2013

In the late ’70s, Obst left a good job as an editor at the New York Times Magazine to accompany her husband to L.A. This is her articulate memoir about the road to big-time Hollywood success (having started as mogul Peter Guber’s “d,” for development girl, Obst produced Sleepless in Seattle and …One Fine Day with Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney). Obst lifts the discussion into the realm of Zen, physics, metaphysics, psychoanalysis, Kant, and evolutionary science.