Next Gen 2012: Hollywood's Fastest-Rising Stars
The UC Berkeley grad, 30, has had a quite the year, spending 8½ of the past 12 months on movie sets, working on three Legendary productions including Guillermo del Toro's $200 million giant-monsters-vs.-mechas pic Pacific Rim. But it's The Seventh Son, based on the Joseph Delaney children's novel, that is closest to the Beverly Hills native's heart -- it was the first project she brought into the company. (She will receive co-producer credit on the movies.)
INDUSTRY MENTOR: Legendary Entertainment President Jon Jashni. I spent two years on his desk as an assistant. You listen to all the calls and learn a lot. He is always straightforward.
CAREER INSPIRATION: My dad is a doctor at Cedars-Sinai, and occasionally some of his patients would come over for dinner, including [producer] David Gale. I was enthralled by his stories and wanted to be a part of that world. [Zaks began her career with stints at ICM and WMA before starting as assistant to Legendary's president and COO in 2006.]
BEST ADVICE: From Jashni: "Survival is its own form of success. A lot of people drop out of the business, and if you look around, the people who are sticking it out, are the ones making it."
BIGGEST 2012 ACCOMPLISHMENT: We went from getting a 17-page treatment from Travis Beacham to, a year later, getting to stand on a giant set that Guillermo del Toro created. To go from page to reality is a huge moment.
CAN'T-MISS TV: Breaking Bad.
MOVIE FIX: Back to the Future. It's Michael J. Fox at his best. I'm a child of the '80s.
LUNCH SPOT: The Nosh of Beverly Hills. It's been a staple in my life since I was 3.
BEST DAY: When I found out we were making Seventh Son. It's the project I worked hardest on and the first one I was given to oversee.
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