Andrew Lauren may be the eldest son of billionaire designer Ralph Lauren, but he isn't following in his father's fashion footsteps.
Instead, the 44-year-old movie producer is betting on all-star indie films, such as 2005's "The Squid and the Whale," on which he served as executive producer.
Some are even calling it "Summer's Best Romance."
After the script bounced around for five years, Lauren eventually decided to invest millions in the film to make it come to life.
"Shunned by film financiers, Lauren was forced to foot the nearly $3 million budget by himself," according to The Hollywood Reporter."But the indie producer was game. After all, he has quietly built a reputation for backing scripts deemed commercially unviable."
It didn't hurt that Scott Neustadter, who wrote the screenplay, was Lauren's former intern.
"It seems like everyone was afraid to touch it," Lauren tells THR of the film that opened Aug. 2. "It dealt with issues that were controversial. But to me it touched on them in a very gentle and very authentic way. It was about real kids, not about Hollywood-ized kids."
But just because he comes from a billionaire family doesn't mean that Lauren is simply bankrolling projects.
"I don't consider myself a bank, so I don't like those types of projects where all they want to see is your pen," he says. "I'm very selective. I don't make a lot of movies. But I make films that I'm proud of, that I can look at, look on my shelf and say, 'Wow, I made that. That was pretty good.'"
As for his financial tactic on "Spectacular Now," Lauren says "I felt like the risk of taking less money up front would potentially give us a better reward in the back."
And it looks like it will pay off.
The film opened last week to a stellar $50,000 per-screen average in just four theaters, already grossing over half a million dollars.