THR's Women in Entertainment 2012: Power 100
Under Utley, 57, and fellow co-president Steve Gilula's tutelage, the specialty label is having another good year, led by worldwide hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The film, galvanizing older moviegoers everywhere, has earned nearly $135 million worldwide after costing a modest $10 million to produce. On the awards side, Searchlight is pinning its hopes on Hitchcock, starring Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren; The Sessions, with Helen Hunt and John Hawkes; and writer-director Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Moment I knew I wanted to work in the business: I got put on the Warner Bros. account when I was working at Grey Advertising in New York. I loved the pace and level of creativity.
Who gave me my first big break: A woman named Carolyn Carter from my hometown helped me get my first job on Madison Avenue when I was really struggling. I didn't know Carolyn. My mom met her mom at a needlepoint store.
Toughest decisions I had to make this year: Were about restructuring within the company. It is always heartbreaking whenever anyone loses their job.
When I leave work each day, I can't wait to: See my 16-year-old daughter, Mia. She is a senior in high school, and this is my last year with her at home.
Favorite way to unwind on the weekend: Working out. I love to move around after being cooped up in an office all week.
My indulgence: Wine. I love it at the end of a long day.
Can't get through my workday without: Checking in with my husband just to hear his voice.
Most surprising songs on my iPod: Teenybopper stuff. My kids say I have the taste of a 12-year-old.
Proudest moments this year: We got two best picture and two best director Oscar nominations for The Descendants and The Tree of Life.
Totally starstruck around: George Clooney. I was with him a lot on Descendants, and it never wore off.
Best advice I've ever gotten: From my father: "Talent will win out in the end. You might have to suffer a terrible boss or a conniving colleague, but if you put your head down and do your best, it will end up OK."
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