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THR's Women in Entertainment 2012: Power 100

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    8
    Donna Langley
    Co-chairman, Universal Pictures

    Among film executives, Langley, 44, is one of only two women who can boast greenlight authority at a major studio (Amy Pascal is the other). The U.K. native, who runs the studio alongside chairman Adam Fogelson, is having a banner year in terms of worldwide box-office revenue, currently at $2.9 billion, compared with $2.34 billion in 2011. That's despite the underperformance of Battleship ($302.8 million) and thanks to megahits Ted ($501.5 million) and Dr. Seuss' The Lorax ($348.8 million). And Langley showed savvy by reinvigorating old franchises with The Bourne Legacy ($275.8 million) and American Reunion ($234.7 million). But perhaps Langley's splashiest move of the year came when she helped Universal and Focus Features acquire the rights to fellow Brit EL James' Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. As erotic heroine Anastasia Steele might say, "Holy crap!"

    Moment I knew I wanted to work in the business: I was in my early 20s, living in London. I had a sense that in a far-off place, in a distant land, there was a thing called a film business. I got on a plane and flew there to check it out. I was instantly smitten.

    Who gave me my first big break: Mike De Luca, who hired me as an assistant at New Line.

    When I leave work each day, I can't wait to: Get home and see my boys [both under age 3].

    Favorite way to unwind on the weekend: Organic gardening at my home in Ojai. Then we cook things we pick in the garden.

    My indulgence: A weekly manicure/pedicure.

    Most surprising songs on my iPod: Neil Diamond's greatest hits.

    Totally starstruck around: [The late] Steve Jobs. I was mesmerized by every single word he had to say.

    What I'd tell my 22-year-old self about working in Hollywood: "Look beyond the facade and the mystique of the business and recognize it's a real industry with real jobs." Worst advice I've ever gotten "Don't take time to have kids if you want a career."

    Top three shows on my DVR: Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Girls.

    Embarrassed to admit I watch: America's Next Top Model.

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