Dean Zanuck

Photograph courtesy Zanuck Family

I like different surf spots for different reasons. Malibu’s great, but it’s crowded. Westward Beach, just south of Zuma, is great for sheer adrenaline. I’ve been to them all. I grew up on Pacific Coast Highway in the house that my grandfather had lived in and where my dad was born. As a kid I’d go right out the back door, between tower 4 and tower 6. I thought those waves were incredible, but it wasn’t about how big they were. It was about getting in the water. That was what gave you that good feeling, no matter what the conditions were: paddling out. We’d always go really early to beat the crowds. We were often the first ones in the water, well before the sun came up, often just using the moonlight to get out there. That first dive in—ducking under the water—always gets you going. » Zanuck, 38, produced this year’s indie hit Get Low. His grandfather, Darryl F. Zanuck, cofounded 20th Century Fox. His father is producer Richard Zanuck.