Although he has been reluctant to comment on it up to now, he is referring to what amounts to an open secret within the hermetic film community: In January of this year, Golin was diagnosed with bone cancer, one of the most corrosive and resilient of all cancers. Yet after eight months of intensive treatment, including a grueling, intensely painful surgery, he seems to have put the worst of it behind him.
“I was diagnosed in January, and I had chemo and radiation through June,” says Golin. “Then I had surgery in August -- they actually removed my shoulder blade and replaced it with titanium. When they do that, they cut a lot and take out a lot of bone and whatnot. I‘ll never be able to raise my arm over my head -- I can almost raise it straight, but not quite. Then I had to have two more rounds of chemo, and now I’m done. Everything with the surgery went according to plan, so they‘re optimistic. But who knows? I’ve learned a lot about everything having to do with this, and I wouldn‘t wish it on my worst enemy. But everybody’s been really sweet. That‘s the thing about Hollywood. When you’re doing well, everybody‘s a bunch of assholes, and when you’re doing shitty, everybody‘s really nice.”
In assessing a life lived in the trenches, Golin cites as role models inveterate lifers such as David Brown and Saul Zaentz, or his friends Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner at Working Title, or Ed Pressman, “who is really the grandfather of it all. He’s probably not that much older than I am, but he‘s somebody you really have to admire. He’s done it for a long time.
”The biggest thing that any producer has is tenacity,“ Golin says. ”Because literally, every day, there‘s a thousand people telling you why it isn’t happening, there‘s a thousand bad words. Call an agent, they don’t get it -- they don‘t like the script, they’re not giving it to their client, their client doesn‘t like it, the client lost it, it went to the wrong address, every goddamn thing. You have to keep at it. I think if you really, really want to be a producer, you just have to hang in there. You can never quit. Once you fixate on that, you’re ahead of every other idiot in Hollywood. David Brown is 78 years old, and he‘s still doing it. That’s genius. That‘s what I want to do. There’s no retirement. They‘ll put you out to pasture eventually; nobody will take your phone calls, because all your friends will be dead, or you’ll be dead. But this is what you do.“