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Next Gen 2011: Hollywood's Fastest-Rising Stars

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    Film
    Lauren Abrahams
    Joe Pugliese
    Lauren Abrahams
    Director of Production, Columbia Pictures

    Even though she grew up in Malibu surrounded by film talk and loving movies -- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was a particular favorite -- Abrahams, 31, never really considered that there were careers to be had in the entertainment industry beyond obvious paths like acting or directing. That all changed, though, after she graduated from Wesleyan in 2003 and scored an internship with production-management firm Benderspink. After just a year, Abrahams found employment as an assistant at Michael De Luca's production company, which brought her to the Sony lot in Culver City, where she has thrived ever since. Two years later, in 2006, she found a new gig as an assistant to Matt Tolmach, then co-president of Columbia Pictures, and within another two years she was promoted to her current position. In her experience, the movie business is a meritocracy. "It doesn't always have to be about nepotism or education," she says. "The people who succeed have common sense and know how to tell a commercial story." Abrahams has demonstrated that knack by shepherding such high-profile projects as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and the Total Recall remake. "Working with the director and editor has been my favorite part of the process," says Abrahams, who, when not focused on upcoming releases, is planning her July 28 wedding to writer-director David Posamentier.

    PHOTOS: THR's Next Gen Class of 2011

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