THR's Women in Entertainment 2011: Power 100
Pett-Dante can get frustrated sometimes. Throughout the years, she's helped steer her clients, including Brad Pitt, Courteney Cox and Charlie Hunnam, toward projects that are rewarding both professionally and financially. But these days, she sees an entertainment industry that can be paralyzed by an overabundance of caution, leading to some heartbreak for her clients. A project might seem ready to go. Everyone is excited. The lawyers are negotiating the fine print on contracts. "And at the last second, poof, it all goes away," she says.
For example, her eyes started tearing up when it looked like one of Pitt's dream projects, Moneyball, was about to fall apart. The first script came in, and she says, "Everybody went, 'Wait, what? There's no need for Brad to be in this movie.' " Working with studio executives to find a new director and order rewrites, the movie was eventually made and came out in September to acclaim.
The same patient drive toward success paid off on behalf of Hunnam: After nearly a decade of TV work, including a breakthrough role on Sons of Anarchy, the actor is set to star in his first major film, Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim.
Pett-Dante, 49, has also helped Garrett Hedlund line up a star turn in a live-action remake of Akira and put Aaron Johnson aboard Oliver Stone's next film.
Some days are better than others for Pett-Dante, she admits, but the star manager can always take comfort at home. There, she's confronted by the many goats, sheeps, pigs, dogs and cows she rescues and hosts on her Malibu property. "Nothing makes me laugh harder when I walk up the hill, go up the stairs and have a 900-pound cow named Earl who was about to be slaughtered mooing when he sees me," she says.
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