Brian Dobbins is executive producer of the TV show Black-ish and a talent and literary manager at Principato-Young Entertainment. Before participating in a discussion on diversity in Hollywood, he explained in the Zócalo green room why his fondest childhood memory is of the 13 weeks he spent in a body cast—and shared his hidden talent for backflips.
What’s the strangest thing in your refrigerator at the moment?
[Laughs.] I don’t really have anything right now. Ginger beer, maybe? That’s not really strange.
What’s your fondest childhood memory?
The 13 weeks I was in a body cast. I broke my femur when I was 12 years old, and I was in traction in the hospital for five weeks, then I was in a body cast for 13 weeks. So I was by myself quite a bit. My grandmother sent somebody to look after me for the day. I was not in school. And I think I learned a lot about who I was, even at that age. It’s sort of—I don’t want to call it bittersweet, but there was an interesting byproduct from having this kind of severe physical injury. I think I grew a lot emotionally.
When did you last get a traffic ticket, and why?
[Knocks on wood.] It must’ve been 1994. I was speeding on Rose Avenue in Venice.
Who is your favorite character on Black-ish?
Oh, you can’t ask me that. I represent two of the leads, so …
What’s your worst habit?
Drifting off in conversation.
You were an English major at UCLA. What was your least favorite book that you had to read for class?
What’s your hidden talent?
I’m a great driver. [Knocks on wood again.] I can also do a backflip.
What reality TV show would you be on?
What’s your favorite plant or flower?
What book have you re-read the most?
That’s a good question. There are a few that I always go back to. The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss.