Young and hungry? Yep! The intersection of ambition and intelligence happens here as The Hollywood Reporter names a new crop of 35 top executives, 35 and under.
This story first appeared in the Nov. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
In its 20th incarnation, The Hollywood Reporter's Next Generation list remains the definitive guide for the best and brightest up-and-comers in the business.
The 35 new additions range from top agents, managers and marketers to high-performing film, television and legal executives. The 2013 class joins a distinguished group, which includes heavyweights such as Stacey Snider (class of 1994), Ari Emanuel ('94), Richard Lovett ('94), Donna Langley ('02), Kevin Reilly ('96), Peter Rice ('99) and David Nevins ('96), among many others.
Reported by Matthew Belloni, Rebecca Ford, Marisa Guthrie, Borys Kit, Pamela McClintock, Lacey Rose, Tatiana Siegel and Bryn Elise Sandberg.
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The New Jersey native not only has emerged as a key player in UTA's talent department during his nine-year tenure at the agency but also has developed a specialty in cross-platforming clients. Take top comic Kevin Hart, a longtime Cohen client, whom he has working in stand-up, film (upcoming projects include Universal's Ride Along and Warner Bros.' Grudge Match) and television (BET's Real Husbands of Hollywood and an ABC comedy based on his comedy act).
The Emory grad represents a lengthy list of actors, too, including Corey Stoll, whom he placed on Netflix's House of Cards and FX's The Strain, and Nicholas Hoult, whom Cohen helped land parts in Warm Bodies, Jack the Giant Slayer and the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past and Dark Places. The roster is filled out by actor-comedian Chris D'Elia and Comedy Central comedian Anthony Jeselnik, among others.
FIRST JOB: The summer between my junior and senior year of college, I interned for the guys who created Jim Rome's television show Rome Is Burning on ESPN.
IF I'M NOT WORKING: I'm playing sports. I play in a softball league, a flag football league, and I swim in the morning.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Braveheart
MUST-SEE TV: The League. It's really funny, and there are a lot of parallels between my buddies and the guys on that show.
BOOK ON MY NIGHTSTAND:The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
IN MY BIOPIC, THE ACTOR PLAYING ME WOULD BE: A young Clint Eastwood. Maybe that's just what I want to be: some ol' gunslinger, even though I could never be that.
Collins' talent roster reads like a who's who of NBC's schedule: He has the co-stars of the network's top newcomer, The Blacklist (Megan Boone); its most anticipated midseason entry, About a Boy (David Walton); and its returning hit Chicago Fire (Taylor Kinney).
Other clients include Megan Hilty, Meagan Good and Tony winner Courtney B. Vance. On the film front, the Boston-bred Brown University grad, who is married with three children, put young star Liam James into Sundance darling The Way Way Back.
FIRST JOB: Waiting tables at Chin Chin in Brentwood.
BIG BREAK: Getting hired on Bob Gersh's desk, which was my first job at the agency.
IF I'M NOT WORKING: You'll probably find me feeding, burping or changing diapers. I have three kids under 4.
IF I WEREN'T IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: I'd probably teach. I come from a family of teachers. My dad was a Spanish teacher, and my mom taught visually impaired kids.
IN MY BIOPIC, THE ACTOR PLAYING ME WOULD BE: Chris O'Dowd. He's relatable, funny and real. He's an aspirational version of me.
CLIENT I'D POACH: Chris O'Dowd, but only if I can leverage him into playing me in that movie about my life.
Dunlap tied down the sexiest deal of 2013 when he helped client Dakota Johnson land the coveted role of Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey.
The Chicago native, who has repped Johnson for her entire acting career, is known for his roster of young talent, with such clients as Carrie star Chloe Moretz (who next appears opposite Denzel Washington in 2014's The Equalizer reboot) and Luke Evans (Fast & Furious 6, the next two Hobbit films).
The Trinity College graduate, who with his wife is expecting a daughter early next year, booked Will Poulter in a lead role in the upcoming film The Maze Runner. He also helped sign Alison Brie (Mad Men, Community) and recently began working with Garrett Hedlund.
FIRST JOB: The mailroom at Endeavor.
IF I'M NOT WORKING: You'll probably find me hanging with my wife and my dog, Rocco. I'm kind of a homebody, and I like to watch a lot of Chicago sports. Soon, you'll probably find me buying diapers.
IF I WEREN'T IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: I'd probably be in advertising. I worked at an ad agency in New York for a couple of years before I moved out here.
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: A soapbox, which is something that my wife had made for me by an artist as a joke. It says "Andy's Soapbox" on it because [my wife] says I'm always pontificating.
POWER DRINKS SPOT: Chateau Marmont for a vodka on the rocks.
Since taking over the agency's independent and international film department more than a year ago, Lacy has sold 45 films from such directors as Brian De Palma, Jim Jarmusch, Barry Levinson and David Mamet.
She notched one of the splashiest sales at the Toronto Film Festival in September with John Turturro's Fading Gigolo (Millennium bought U.S. rights to the Woody Allen-Turturro starrer for nearly $3 million). The New York City native and Brown grad has packaged an additional 22 films that are in postproduction, including The Skeleton Twins, starring Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, and Infinitely Polar Bear, with Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana.
Lacy, married and expecting her first child in February, continues to work with indie darlings like the Duplass brothers while discovering such new filmmakers as Hannah Fidell, Charlie McDowell and Clara Mamet.
FIRST JOB: I started out as an intern for documentarian Barbara Kopple's Cabin Creek Films.
PROFESSIONAL INSPIRATION: My mother, Susan Lacy, who created the American Masters series on public television that she has run for the past 27 years until recently announcing that she'll be joining HBO as a filmmaker. I'm in this business because of her.
IF I'M NOT WORKING: You'll probably find me at SoulCycle, Wild Card Boxing Club, prenatal yoga or partaking in a tasting menu at a fantastic restaurant like Sushi Zo.
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: A sketch that my father did the year I was born, when we were living in Italy.
20 YEARS FROM NOW: I can't see myself not being involved in independent and international film unless something drastically changes in the world in the next 20 years -- in which case, I'll go open a Dean & DeLuca.
HUMILIATING PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: The most humiliating moment on the job was having bottles of Evian thrown at me by a Hollywood legend because they weren't Fiji water.
Pargac trades in a different type of dealmaking at CAA. Rather than representing actors and directors in the traditional sense, the University of Pennsylvania graduate, who did a stint in New York finance before joining the Hollywood agency, is focused on establishing new ventures on behalf of CAA and its clients.
Among them: Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video, for which the New Jersey native has guided digital strategy, and former Sony chief Peter Guber and producer-director Mike Tollin, for whom Pargac helped finalize the deal to form Mandalay Sports Media. More high-profile is the work she has done for Ryan Seacrest, including his company's $300 million deal with Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital as well as the formation of cable network AXS TV, a joint venture among Ryan Seacrest Media, AEG and CAA.
FIRST JOB: When I was in high school, I worked at the local toy store. I was really good at upselling the Barbies.
IF I WEREN'T IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: I'd probably be working in private equity. [Post-college, Pargac spent six years in investment banking at Lazard in New York.]
FAVORITE MOVIE: To Kill a Mockingbird. It was one of those movies I saw when I was younger, and even now I can feel the emotion of watching it.
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: My wedding photo. [She was married in Los Angeles in July 2011.]
POWER LUNCH SPOT: Hinoki & the Bird, and not just because it's across the street.
IN MY BIOPIC, THE ACTOR PLAYING ME WOULD BE: Mila Kunis because she's a brunette, and I think she can play smart, absorbed and type A.
In addition to handling two of awards season's buzziest actors -- Fruitvale Station's Michael B. Jordan and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom's Idris Elba -- Sun has helped elevate the career of actor Sullivan Stapleton with projects including Animal Kingdom, Gangster Squad and the upcoming 300: Rise of an Empire.
The William & Mary grad, whose father moved his family to Virginia so he could work for NASA when Sun was young, counts Lance Gross and Sophia Bush as clients and contributes to the teams associated with Robin Williams and Charlize Theron.
IF I WEREN'T IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: I'd be in politics, or I'd be a teacher. My parents were teachers in Taiwan, so it kind of runs in my blood.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Top Gun because I grew up around military bases. My best friend and I always wanted to fly jets, to the point where I applied to be in the Air Force Academy. He actually is in the military flying now.
MUST-SEE TV: Game of Thrones
BOOK ON MY NIGHTSTAND: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It's a philosophy book I read in high school, and I try to revisit it every now and then.
POWER LUNCH SPOT: Dominick's on Beverly. You get to sit outside, and it's not pretentious.
IN MY BIOPIC, THE ACTOR PLAYING ME WOULD BE: I don't know! That guy [Dante Basco] who plays Rufio in Hook?
The St. Louis-area native can be credited for helping craft the varied -- and red-hot -- career of Shailene Woodley, a former ABC Family star who broke out opposite George Clooney in 2011's The Descendants.
More recently, she booked the young actress in the indie hit The Spectacular Now and the potential franchise Divergent. Ziniti, a Boston University grad who teaches yoga during her off hours, made a deal at Sony for the comedy spec El Tigre, which had landed her writer clients Aaron Buchsbaum and Teddy Riley coveted spots on The Black List in 2012 and, later, a TV comedy set up at CBS.
Another Ziniti discovery, Danish writer Stefan Jaworski, has The Last Witness set up at Fox and is rebooting American Psycho at FX.
FIRST JOB: Build-a-Bear Workshop at 16. My first industry job was as a temp at CAA.
CAREER MILESTONE: When [fellow agent] Ryan Bartlett and I booked Shailene in Divergent.
IF I WEREN'T IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: Barbara Walters was my idol growing up, so I'd want to be on a show like 60 Minutes or 20/20.
FAVORITE MOVIE: American Beauty
BOOK ON MY NIGHTSTAND: Stephen King's Doctor Sleep
POWER DRINKS SPOT: The bar at Porta Via in Beverly Hills. I like a whiskey ginger ale.
As A-list writer Steven Zaillian's partner in Film Rites, Basch has a hand in all of the busy production company's film and TV projects.
He set up The Current War at The Weinstein Co. in an aggressive progress-to-production deal (Ben Stiller is circling to direct). Film Rites recently wrapped production on the Roger Ebert documentary that Basch is producing with Zaillian and Martin Scorsese. Other films the Los Angeles native set up in the past two years include the CIA thriller Red Sparrow at Fox in a bidding war (Darren Aronofsky is attached to direct), a remake of The Day Britain Stopped at Fox (Ridley Scott is onboard to helm), The Professor, the Bikini Model and the Suitcase Full of Trouble at Fox Searchlight and the dystopian sci-fi pic Wool at Fox (also in a bidding war).
Basch also produced the sci-fi indie Open Windows, starring Elijah Wood and directed by Spanish helmer Nacho Vigalondo (whom Basch also manages). On the TV front, he doggedly worked to bring HBO's seven-part miniseries Criminal Justice to the screen. (Robert De Niro recently stepped in to fill the role the late James Gandolfini was to play.)
FIRST JOB: As a freshman at Tulane, I reached out to the small handful of alumni working in the industry -- one of whom, Jason Goldberg, had just started a company with Ashton Kutcher and was hiring interns for the summer. My father had a home electronics business, so in response to Jason's boilerplate interview question of what I had to offer, I offered him a plasma TV at cost. Two plasmas later, he hooked me up with PA gigs on both MTV's Punk'd and the Sony movie Guess Who.
BIG BREAK: While I was still in college in New Orleans, I was a location scout on a film Steve Zaillian was directing. He was having a hard time finding an assistant, but after taking him and the crew on a tour, I made him laugh a few times, and he ended up hiring me. I later learned I was hired only because I was the "least strange" of the candidates.
CAREER MILESTONE A partner from WME recently called to say she put a hex upon me and my family. I must have done something right.
IF I WEREN'T IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: I'd be fitter and healthier.
BOOK ON MY NIGHTSTAND: Ernest Becker's The Denial of Death
Heineman helps oversee Joel Silver's Silver Pictures film slate and has been integral in expanding the company into more elevated genre fare.
He is a producer on Liam Neeson's latest thriller, Non-Stop, which opens in 2014, and soon will go into production on Home Invasion, a thriller starring up-and-comers Bella Thorne and Chandler Riggs. Tentpoles continue to be part of the strategy, too.
The New York native, who interned in Miramax Films' music department during his time at Marist College, is executive producing Universal's remake of Weird Science, which will reteam him with the writer of Project X, the hit comedy based on a Heineman idea.
FAVORITE MOVIE: The Shining. Every time I watch it, I see new things.
POWER LUNCH SPOT: Anything on Abbot Kinney.
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: My coffee. I need several cups a day.
IN MY BIOPIC, THE ACTOR PLAYING ME WOULD BE: Mark Ruffalo. He comes across as quiet and reserved, but there's a lot going on under the surface.
HUMILIATING PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: I've been yelled at by Bob Weinstein in a crowded theater filled with Miramax employees. But after the first few times, you get over it.
As part of MGM's lean executive team, Lange is more immersed in every film in the company's slate than a typical studio executive.
As such, she eagerly embraced the challenge of getting a horror classic reboot like Carrie off the ground. The Duke grad, who has her own line of handbags, kicked off her 2013 by nabbing Jojo Moyes' best-seller Me Before You after reading a review in The New York Times. (The book remains on best-seller lists and is being fast-tracked by MGM.)
The California native and onetime CAA assistant will cap off the year by returning to another horror classic in Poltergeist. Cameras recently began rolling in Toronto on the Sam Rockwell-Rosemarie DeWitt starrer.
CAREER MILESTONE: The Vow. It was the movie that I put my blood, sweat and tears into. It also is the most successful film I've worked on, which is a really nice combination.
IF I'M NOT WORKING You'll probably find me at home in Venice, trying to escape from the craziness of L.A., riding my bike, leaving my car at home.
IF I WEREN'T IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: I'd probably own a restaurant or write a novel.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Almost Famous and Who Framed Roger Rabbit
PROJECT I'D POACH: The Hunger Games. We were really in at the ground floor with Hunger Games, and we were in the bidding war. We didn't spend as much as we needed to get it because it was a challenging prospect to release that movie not being R-rated. We didn't get it, and I will live to regret it.
The Laguna Beach native played an instrumental role in making one of the biggest festival titles of 2013: John Carney's Can a Song Save Your Life?, starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Hailee Steinfeld. The Weinstein Co. scooped up U.S. rights to the film at the Toronto Film Festival for $7 million, plus a $20 million marketing commitment.
The Pepperdine graduate, a former child actor whose current job is to arrange and oversee every aspect of a production, counts among her credits Exclusive's The Ides of March, End of Watch and the upcoming horror pic The Quiet Ones.
IF I'M NOT WORKING: You'll probably find me on a beach with a good book and listening to Bob Marley.
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: The poster of Undefeated, the 2011 documentary we made about a high school football team in Memphis. It won the Oscar.
POWER DRINKS SPOT: I used to go to Tom Bergin's. I like a dirty martini, extra dirty.
PROJECT I'D POACH: Blue Jasmine. Cate Blanchett's performance was amazing.
Paiva was the Fox 2000 executive who worked most closely with Ang Lee on his box-office behemoth Life of Pi, which earned $609 million worldwide.
The San Diego native spent four years on the project, helping Lee morph the best-selling novel into his 3D vision (the film also nabbed four Oscars, including a best director statuette for Lee). Earlier this year, she transitioned to another best-seller with the Geoffrey Rush-Emily Watson starrer The Book Thief, expected to be an awards-season contender this year.
Paiva got her start at Fox 2000 as an intern in 2005 in the summer between her junior and senior years at UC Santa Barbara (the label's head, Elizabeth Gabler, also is an alum). As a way of giving back, she now runs the internship program at Fox 2000.
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: A Life of Pi poster signed by Lee that says, "Thank you for your help on this journey."
IF I'M NOT WORKING: You'll probably find me at a local rec center coaching a girls youth basketball team with my sister, who also lives in L.A.
BOOK ON MY NIGHTSTAND: I'm currently rereading Jane Eyre for some inspiration. Aline Brosh McKenna just pitched us a modern telling of that book called Rochester.
PROJECT I'D POACH: Amelia Bedelia. Playtone had rights to it for a little bit, but I believe they've lapsed. I think that it would be a genius vehicle for a really funny female comedian and could be a huge family movie.
Just before the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, Popelka reached a career high when he secured a $50 million revolving credit facility for FilmNation, the leading sales, production and financing company founded five years ago by his boss, Glen Basner.
The New York-based outfit, with offices in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood and Beverly Hills, has an impressive track record handling international sales on high-profile titles, including Looper and The King's Speech. Popelka, who lives on the Upper West Side, oversees all day-to-day operations for the company, which also produces its own films, including this year's indie hit Mud.
The Harvard grad, born in Strani, a tiny Czech village, has a multinational background: His parents fled the Communist-controlled country when he was 3 and eventually made their way to Boston after spending nine months hiding in Austria.
FIRST JOB: An entertainment analyst at McKinsey & Co.
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: A picture of my parents and my brother, who is a doctor in Boston.
IF I'M NOT WORKING: Every year, I go to one country I haven't been to before. This year, it was Colombia. Last year, it was India.
FAVORITE MOVIE: The Godfather
PROJECT I'D POACH: Gravity
When film and TV companies need to raise capital, they largely turn to J.P. Morgan and Sklar's team.
Over the past two years, $6 billion was raised in the film and TV industry. J.P. Morgan was behind $5.5 billion of that. In fact, Sklar's fingerprints can be found on nearly every important finance deal during that period, including helping Legendary raise $425 million in high yield and $650 million in bank debt.
The Calabasas, Calif.-reared exec, a married father of two who holds degrees from the University of Arizona and USC, assisted Lakeshore in raising more than $200 million. Other clients of the J.P. Morgan team include Lionsgate, Participant, DreamWorks and DreamWorks Animation.
BIG BREAK: I randomly bumped into John Miller -- he ran the group that I'm a part of at J.P. Morgan for 30 years and is a legend in this business -- at a movie theater in New York during a blizzard and approached him about a job.
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: Pictures of the family and a real-life-size Ted bear. MRC is a client.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Gladiator, Back to the Future and When Harry Met Sally …
POWER DRINKS SPOT: Hotel Bel-Air or The Brentwood for a vodka on the rocks.
IF I'M NOT WORKING: You'll probably find me at home or at the park playing with the kids.
Paramount recently entrusted Small to oversee the lower-budgeted films for the studio's genre label -- a key post given the growing importance of such fare in the wake of the Paranormal Activity franchise's success (she currently is working on Paranormal spinoff The Marked Ones).
Before assuming that position, Small put her stamp on several projects, including the 2014 release Almanac, another project in the low-budget handheld camera vein that she brought in and is overseeing. (Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes produced.) Additionally, the onetime assistant to Adam Goodman worked on the Brad Pitt-starrer World War Z, The Devil Inside (which was acquired for $1 million and went on to earn more than $100 million worldwide) and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
FIRST JOB: Working on the WB Network series Jack & Bobby.
BIG BREAK: When I was in college [at Washington University in St. Louis], I convinced these two outgoing seniors to hand over the campus television station to me when I was a freshman. The next year, I created the show Missionary Positions, which was about a priest, a rabbi and a minister who gave a lot of sexual relationship advice. The show was featured on NPR, and we actually auctioned it to Lionsgate when I was a sophomore.
CAREER MILESTONE: Getting Almanac made, which was greenlighted within eight months of when I had a general meeting with first-time director Dean Israelite.
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: The Rudyard Kipling poem "If." I have it pinned up on my bulletin board.
PROJECT I'D POACH: The Chronicle sequel
IN MY BIOPIC, THE ACTOR PLAYING ME WOULD BE: Tina Fey
HUMILIATING PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: When I was working on the reality show Fear Factor, I had to show up at the airport every day with a sign and greet the new contestants, who were flying to L.A. to be finalists on the show.
As newly promoted president at Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's Point Grey Pictures, Weaver has served in a producing capacity on 50/50 (as an associate producer) and The Guilt Trip (co-producer). This year, he graduated to full producer on the apocalyptic comedy This Is the End (which has earned $124 million worldwide).
Weaver, a Bronxville, N.Y., native whose younger brother David works at UTA, is a producer on the upcoming Universal comedy Neighbors, starring Zac Efron, Rose Byrne and Rogen, as well as the Sony comedy The Interview, a reteaming of stars James Franco and Rogen, who directs with Goldberg. The Union grad also set up the prom-night comedy Cherries at Good Universe, with Harold & Kumar directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg set to helm.
FIRST JOB: Manager at an Express for Men in the Northridge Mall. (First industry job was in the mailroom at UTA.)
C AREER MILESTONE: When Seth and Evan asked me to be a full producer with them on This Is the End, they hired a singing telegram to give me the news.
IF I'M NOT WORKING: You'll probably find me running. I run a lot so that I can eat with my wife, who is a personal chef.
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: A desk plaque that just says, "James Weaver, Producer," which Seth and Evan gave me.
BOOK ON MY NIGHTSTAND: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
IN MY BIOPIC, THE ACTOR PLAYING ME WOULD BE: James Franco. But he would definitely turn that role down.
Want to star in a Legendary movie? You'll have to talk to Kantor.
Since transitioning from the Sheppard Mullin law firm to Thomas Tull's ministudio in June 2012, the L.A. native and UCLA and Loyola Law School alum is the primary negotiator for Legendary's film projects. She handled all the talent deals for the upcoming Godzilla reboot and its new Michael Mann movie, and she managed the studio's relationship with Jackie Robinson's widow during the 42 shoot.
She also is fluent (and able to argue in) Italian, French, Farsi and Hebrew.
FIRST JOB: Apprenticeship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art specializing in African art.
CAREER MILESTONE: Successfully negotiating all of director Gareth Edwards' No. 1 picks for Godzilla. The deals were closed simultaneously and include Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston.
IF I'M NOT WORKING: You'll probably find me spinning my heart out at SoulCycle, devouring films at the Dome or working my way through [L.A. Times critic] Jonathan Gold's 101 best restaurants.
IF I WEREN'T IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: I'd probably be an art curator (preferably at the Louvre).
FAVORITE MOVIE: Bridesmaids. can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this. Yes I can, 5 and counting.
POWER LUNCH SPOT: Ammo for lunch.
POWER DRINKS SPOT: Dominick's for drinks. My go to? A glass of red; on a tough day, two.
HUMILIATING PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: My cousin Donna was turning 13, and her favorite show is Pretty Little Liars. Let's just say I tracked down Lucy Hale on set.
A young partner at one of Hollywood's most influential talent law firms, the Connecticut native and NYU and Penn Law grad has developed a comedy specialty, signing four of Saturday Night Live's hot new castmembers (Jay Pharoah, Kate McKinnon, Tim Robinson and Brooks Wheelan).
Working alongside mentor Ken Richman, she also handles Tracy Morgan, Will Forte and Rob Corddry. And, as if her life wasn't dominated by her firm already, she married fellow Hansen Jacobson lawyer Dan Fox in October.
FIRST JOB: When I was in middle school, I handed out free crepe samples in the mall food court to people who really just wanted Big Macs.
BIG BREAK: Getting my first job in entertainment, interning for 3 Arts when I was 17.
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: My husband
IF I'M NOT WORKING: You'll probably find me at a comedy show, Cycle House or at my sisters' apartment.
MUST-SEE TV: Game of Thrones (I may or may not have walked down the aisle to the Game of Thrones theme song).
IN MY BIOPIC, THE ACTOR PLAYING ME WOULD BE: Sarah Silverman
Larsen set his sights on the entertainment business at an early age, successfully persuading his parents (his dad is a pharmacist, his mom is a nurse) to uproot the family to Los Angeles before he entered high school.
"We had a deal: When I graduated, they could leave," he says. "Literally the day after, they left." That passion continued with Larsen launching his own management company, Elements Entertainment, at age 23.
Seven years later, the Woodbury University grad sold it to Principato Young, where he has remained as a manager to Divergent star Shailene Woodley as well as The Kings of Summer's Nick Robinson (who just booked a lead in Jurassic Park 4), Disney Channel's Austin & Ally star Ross Lynch, Kickin' It's Olivia Holt and Looper's kid star Pierce Gagnon.
20 YEARS FROM NOW: I hope to be hosting the best Oscar party in town.
FAVORITE MOVIE: The Goonies
POWER LUNCH SPOT: South Beverly Grill because I'm obsessed with their deviled eggs. It's kind of an ongoing joke with the waiters because I truly force people to try them, and then they thank me.
IN MY BIOPIC, THE ACTOR PLAYING ME WOULD BE: Neil Patrick Harris. He's inspired me in his personal life and his professional life.
While still an assistant, Petrigala signed a then-unknown Seth Gordon, whom he deftly transitioned from documentarian to major comedy helmer (Gordon's first three narrative films -- Four Christmases, Horrible Bosses and Identity Thief -- each have earned more than $100 million domestically).
The Ohio native also has helped his in-demand client branch into TV with the new ABC show The Goldbergs (Gordon is an EP and directed the pilot). During his stint as an assistant, Petrigala, an Emerson grad, also signed Nikki Glaser, now co-host of MTV's Nikki & Sara Live.
In the ensuing six years, he has bolstered his roster with such clients as The Spectacular Now director James Ponsoldt, art house helmer Hannah Fidell (A Teacher) and Modern Family producer Megan Ganz.
CAREER MILESTONE: The renegotiating of Melissa Rauch's deal on The Big Bang Theory this summer.
PROFESSIONAL INSPIRATION: Bernie Brillstein, whom I was lucky enough to spend one-on-one time with during my early years at Brillstein, and Cynthia Pett, who taught me the ins and outs of management.
IF I'M NOT WORKING: I'm hanging out with my wife and son or watching the [Cleveland] Cavs, Browns or Indians.
CLIENT I'D POACH: Chris Columbus (who doesn't work with a manager). I was a huge fan of his films growing up, and I have a framed original Gremlins poster in my office.
The New Jersey native began her career in acquisitions at Focus Features in New York before transitioning to a role at director Darren Aronofsky's production company and The Schiff Co. Romano, a graduate of NYU, ultimately landed at Anonymous Content, where she lured star client Idris Elba to join her.
Additionally, her roster includes an impressive breadth of writers (Boardwalk Empire executive story editor David Matthews), directors (The Signal's Will Eubank) and talent (2 Broke Girls co-star Beth Behrs).
FIRST JOB: Receptionist at Good Machine [the film company co-founded by Ted Hope and James Schamus].
IF I WEREN'T IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: I'd probably be an anchor on SportsCenter.
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: A poster for Todd Solondz's movie Happiness -- there's only three of them in the world. Good Machine sold that movie, and they made these cool posters for Cannes. When I was at Focus, it was in James Schamus' office, and the glass broke. They were going to throw it away, so I took it home with me on the subway and then took it across the country with me [when I moved to L.A.].
HUMILIATING PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: When I started as a manager, it was my first Sundance, and I remember there was a client whom we managed, and after the screening, all these agents swarmed him. I said: "That's so weird. He's with this one agent. Why are all these other agents talking to him?" They're like, "Nicole, that's how it is. That's what they do. They try to poach." I was so naive.
With just two years of agency assistant experience, Shahbazian picked up and moved from L.A. to New York in 2006.
In the years since, the University of Virginia graduate with a law degree from Santa Clara University has built a management/production business that includes the hotly anticipated film Divergent, based on a YA novel Shahbazian discovered and placed at Summit. (He has a producer credit.) Among his other high-profile sales: Patrick Lee's Runner to Warner Bros. with Justin Lin directing, and Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone to DreamWorks.
The London-born book-to-film manager, whose wife is pregnant with their second child, also is doing some writing of his own. He's co-authoring a YA novel titled Scan, which is set for May release, and then will follow up in 2015 with a sequel, Burn.
IF I'M NOT WORKING: You'll probably find me planning a trip to the south of France or dreaming about planning a trip to the south of France. I try to go every year.
IF I WEREN'T IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: I'd probably be a GM of a pro football team.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Amadeus
BOOK ON MY NIGHTSTAND: Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: My director's chair from the Divergent set.
Castro has become an expert in one of the most important areas of movie marketing: tapping into the growing Latino audience.
Hispanics go to the cinema more than any other demo, and Universal credits Castro, a first-generation American who grew up in Brooklyn (his parents are from Ecuador), for being a maverick who is helping to deliver the studio its best year in history thanks to Latino-fueled hits including Fast & Furious 6, Mama and Despicable Me 2.
The married Wharton grad got his start in the print business -- with stints at Time Latin America, People en Espanol and Entertainment Weekly -- before segueing into film marketing.
CAREER MILESTONE: We did a Fast 6 press day with Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez in Miami, and we took them to the taping of Telemundo's Premios Billboard Awards. Vin was the first mainstream star to appear on the show.
IF I'M NOT WORKING: You'll probably find me with my wife and dog, whose name is Bennie Blanco. Bennie is the name of John Leguizamo's character in Carlito's Way, and "blanco" means "white" in Spanish.
20 YEARS FROM NOW: I hope I'll be running a marketing department at a studio.
FAVORITE MOVIE: American Gangster
POWER LUNCH SPOT: There's an Argentinian bistro in Toluca Lake called Malbec that has amazing steaks.
Meyer has been described as the Don Draper of the Internet.
A pioneer in the digital space, the New York native co-founded JASH, an original programming portal featuring the work of some of comedy's hottest names, including Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Reggie Watts and Tim & Eric. His goal: to produce high-quality web content at a relatively low cost.
Additionally, the married father of one, who graduated from USC and became an integral early employee at Maker Studios, helped launch and curate YouTube's first-ever comedy week. He also advises the White House on how to use YouTube to its advantage.
FIRST JOB: Intern and then PA on The West Wing.
20 YEARS FROM NOW: I hope I'll still be experimenting. That's the best part about the Internet now -- it's still the Wild Wild West. If you're not having fun right now in the digital space, you're not doing it right.
IF I'M NOT WORKING: Playing with my son. I never thought that I'd be as obsessed with him as I am. We played Avengers for three hours the other night.
IF I WEREN'T IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: I play hockey, so in an ideal world I'd be playing hockey professionally.
BOOK ON MY NIGHTSTAND: Tina Fey's Bossypants
HUMILIATING PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: There were a lot of transsexual hookers who worked the corners at this one production company's office. Because we had a parking lot that was a little off the path, they would always go in the corner and poop. So my second week of working in that office, I had to go out and pick up poop.
If Propper has his way, celebrities one day will have a social impact agent the way they do an agent, manager and lawyer.
Today, his social impact agency, Propper Daley, works with Hollywood stars, including Tobey Maguire, to help shape their philanthropic efforts and advocacy. The New York native, who spent time on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and has degrees from Tufts and Cardozo, is a driving force behind Got Your 6, a coalition of major studios and agencies that works with nonprofit groups to explore veterans' issues.
Among other recent projects: working with LGBT and human rights organizations and talent including Dustin Lance Black and Melissa Etheridge to address the anti-gay laws in Russia.
FIRST JOB: I managed a snack bar at a country club in Westchester, N.Y. Kathie Lee Gifford belonged there, and I used to serve her chicken fingers.
IF I WEREN'T IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: I'd probably be working as an aide on Capitol Hill.
IF I'M NOT WORKING: You'll probably find me eating at a restaurant around town with my boyfriend.
IN MY BIOPIC, THE ACTOR PLAYING ME WOULD BE: Everybody always thought that I looked like Fred Savage growing up, so I guess I'll go with that.
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: We were actively involved in the Obama campaign over the past couple of cycles, so I have a sign from the 2008 convention that says, "We love Michelle," which she signed.
HUMILIATING PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: I worked on a congressional campaign in Louisiana, where we were following around a candidate whom we didn't believe to be answering questions truthfully. So I spent about a week and a half following him around in a chicken outfit and standing behind him at all his press conferences.
The New York-based executive oversees PR strategy for three networks -- A&E, Bio and LMN -- a newly formed in-house studio and a portfolio of shows that range from Emmy bait (Bates Motel) to top-rated reality (Duck Dynasty).
The New York native, who got his start as an assistant at Rubenstein Communications after graduating from SUNY Binghamton, has been particularly strategic with how and where he promotes a show like Duck. Doing so has paid off: The series regularly lures 9 million-plus viewers and has made stars out of the Robertson family. Next, the newly married publicity exec will peddle a rebrand of A&E, which continues to post ratings gains.
CAREER MILESTONE: Helping to break Duck Dynasty out of the pack and turn it into a phenomenon.
IF I WEREN'T IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: I wish I were a musician or a professional athlete, if only I had the ability to be either.
FAVORITE MOVIE: A Few Good Men
BOOK ON MY NIGHTSTAND: The Steve Jobs book [by Walter Isaacson] has been on my iPad for a while, but I haven't made it past the table of contents.
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: A picture of my mother when she was 18, and looked just like me. I found it after she passed away, and it reminds me that she's always around. I also have a giant blow-up Bozo the Clown.
PROJECT I'D POACH: The Walking Dead
IN MY BIOPIC, THE ACTOR PLAYING ME WOULD BE: Scarlett Johansson
Greenberger is the youngest executive producer ever of ABC News' Sunday public-affairs program.
For his third stint at ABC News -- he started as Stephanopoulos' assistant during the latter's first stint on This Week -- he was lured away from a law career by Stephanopoulos, who urged him to return to the program after Greenberger graduated from Stanford Law. "He's whip-smart, [and] he wants to win," says Stephanopoulos.
Since the Ohio native (he did his undergrad at Washington University) has been back, the program has booked a series of high-profile interviews, including Julian Assange at the height of the Edward Snowden crisis and President Obama after his primetime address on Syria. That aggressiveness has paid off. For the third quarter, This Week bested NBC's Meet the Press among total viewers and the 25-to-54 demographic, the first time the ABC program has done so in 16 years.
FIRST JOB: Camp counselor at the Jewish Community Center's day camp in Columbus, Ohio. I was assigned to the 5-year-olds. As I discovered, children at that age are old enough to get into a lot of trouble but not old enough to tie their own shoes. I'm not sure I've ever had a tougher job.
BIG BREAK: After interning at ABC News in college, I was offered a post-graduation job as George Stephanopoulos' assistant.
MUST SEE TV: Scandal. I sometimes wish the real Washington were as exciting as the one in the show; it’d make my job that much more interesting!
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: Whiteboards covering every inch of wall.
IF I WEREN'T IN THE NEWS INDUSTRY: I'd be putting my J.D. to use. Or working as an airline pilot. Earning my private pilot's license is high on my bucket list.
Pepper has helped bring in more than half of the current 100-person staff of 60 Minutes, a group that CBS News chairman and 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager says has "made 60 much stronger journalistically."
When Fager became chairman of CBS News in early 2011, he tasked Pepper, a Queens native, with applying the 60 philosophy -- to make every job, from booker to production assistant, a reporting job, too -- to the rest of the news division. In just over two years, she has hired 30 journalists.
"We've hired lawyers looking for a career change, a former NYPD investigator, print journalists and, most recently, an Iraqi refugee," says the married mother of two, who got her start as a page assigned to CBS Evening News after graduating from the University of Michigan.
IF I WEREN'T IN THE NEWS INDUSTRY: I'd be a lawyer, wishing I were a journalist.
FAVORITE MOVIE: American President
IF I'M NOT WORKING: I'm probably driving my kids around town.
BOOK ON MY NIGHTSTAND: Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
POWER DRINKS SPOT: Stone Rose Bar, because you can't beat the view of Central Park with a nice glass of wine.
Davis is coming up on his decade mark at AMC, where he has played a critical role in the cable network's ascension as a scripted programming force.
The New Jersey-born Tulane grad was particularly hands-on in the early seasons of Emmy magnet Mad Men, just as he has been for the entire run of critical heavyweight Breaking Bad and ratings smash The Walking Dead.
Next, the executive who worked briefly for uber-producer Scott Rudin will turn his attention to AMC's upcoming dramas, Turn and Halt & Catch Fire.
20 YEARS FROM NOW: Hopefully I'll be the president of entertainment at a network.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Star Wars: A New Hope made me want to work in this business, and The Deer Hunter made me want to work in drama.
MUST-SEE TV: Game of Thrones
POWER DRINKS SPOT: Sunset Tower for an old-fashioned to make Don Draper proud.
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: An ax that [director] Michelle MacLaren gave me from Breaking Bad, and I have a zombie bust that Greg Nicotero made up for us at the start of The Walking Dead. They scare the crap out of anyone walking into my office.
Lee got an early education in television production during her multi-year run with producer Mark Gordon.
More recently, the Orange County native with degrees from UCLA and USC did a stint with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, where she was integral in bringing Fox its fall breakout Sleepy Hollow via co-creator Phillip Iscove, before joining Jason Katims' True Jack Productions.
The exec has been heavily involved with NBC's midseason comedy About a Boy -- half-hours have been a priority for Lee and the Parenthood showrunner -- and has three high-profile projects in development.
IF I'M NOT WORKING: I'm practicing hot vinyasa yoga, which I do almost every day, or cooking, baking and trying new restaurants.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Anything Cameron Crowe or Ang Lee, or the Chinese film In the Mood for Love. I love it so much I keep the poster, which I tracked down from Japan, in my office.
MUST-SEE TV: My obsession right now is Orange Is the New Black. It's exemplary of what Jason and I would love to do in the cable space.
IN MY BIOPIC, THE ACTOR PLAYING ME WOULD BE: John Cho. With a wig.
Lena Dunham has affectionately dubbed McCaffrey the "caseworker," and it's a fitting title for the executive who is credited with bringing the Girls star and her Emmy-nominated concept to the premium cable network.
McCaffrey, who got her start as a trainee at UTA before moving to HBO with former entertainment president Sue Naegle in 2008, has remained intimately involved in the critical darling, which launches its third season in January.
The New Jersey-reared NYU grad also is involved with True Blood, the Ryan Murphy pilot Open and development projects with Fruitvale Station writer-director Ryan Coogler, Friday Night Lights writer Ron Fitzgerald and playwright Thomas Bradshaw.
CAREER MILESTONE: Developing Girls.
IF I WEREN'T IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: I'd probably own a ballet studio.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Depends on my mood. Right now, Love Actually, but that's a seasonal choice.
MUST-SEE TV: I've literally seen every single episode of HGTV's House Hunters, and I'm a really big Real Housewives fan.
BOOK ON MY NIGHTSTAND: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
IN MY BIOPIC, THE ACTOR PLAYING ME WOULD BE: Shirley Temple. I was obsessed with her as a kid.
Posch's résumé reads like a comedy hot list.
The Georgia native got her start as Lorne Michaels' assistant at Saturday Night Live, and added stints as a producer on the Rob Riggle indie comedy May the Best Man Win and NBC's Last Call With Carson Daly before segueing into an executive role at MTV. In her year-plus at cable sibling Comedy Central, she has been tasked with overseeing breakout hit Inside Amy Schumer, as well as developing new fare including Amy Poehler's upcoming effort, Broad City.
The University of Georgia grad's relationships in the New York comedy community helped her secure an overall, multiplatform development deal with hot comic Hannibal Buress.
CAREER MILESTONE: Being able to come to Comedy Central and pinpoint a project like Broad City to get it made. When I first got the job [in 2012], Amy Poehler, whom I'd known for years from being at Saturday Night Live, took me out for a drink to congratulate me and she said, "Do you know about Broad City? I really want to bring this to you." We set up the pitch the first week I was here. Nothing was even hung up on the walls yet and Poehler and the girls sat in my office and pitched it. That's when I called Kent [Alterman], my boss, and said, "This is the first thing that I want to buy." And it was.
POWER DRINKS SPOT: Employees Only in the West Village. I like a Ketel One martini, extra dirty with olives.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Rosemary's Baby or The Jerk
PROJECT I'D POACH: Eastbound & Down
Shetty can tout a supervising producer credit on Fox comedy New Girl, with which he has been heavily involved since the pitch stage years earlier.
As the TV comedy exec at Peter Chernin's entertainment company, the Chicago-area native has been hands-on with Fox's short-lived critical darling Ben and Kate as well as development projects with Russell Brand, Horrible Bosses scribes John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein and comedian/writer Keenen Ivory Wayans.
Shetty, a graduate of the University of Illinois, joined Chernin when it launched in 2009 after he put in time as a development executive at NBC and, before that, as Lorne Michaels' assistant.
FIRST JOB: The page program at NBC. When you're not giving horrible tours of 30 Rock, you're competing for these three- or four-month assignments. I was lucky enough to get some really good ones. I was in Bob Wright's office when he was the CEO and, at the same time, I was at SNL on Saturdays. Then I did the Today show over the summer.
MUST-SEE TV: Veep
IN MY BIOPIC, THE ACTOR PLAYING ME WOULD BE: First Charlie Hunnam, then Jamie Dornan. But I really want Matt Bomer.
PROJECT I'D POACH: True Detective [launching in early 2014 on HBO]
Springer's title is misleading.
The Kansas City native, who got her start in the Endeavor mailroom, is hands-on in all facets of the production process at DreamWorks TV. She has helped Steven Spielberg's company set up projects -- scripted, unscripted, comedy and drama -- in both broadcast and cable. Among the more high-profile efforts to get off the ground during her six-year tenure: FX's The Americans, TNT's Falling Skies and CBS' summer juggernaut Under the Dome.
Next, the Kansas State University grad and new mom will prep the Halle Berry-led futuristic thriller Extant for a summer debut on CBS.
BIG BREAK: Landing on Greg Hodes' desk at Endeavor. He had Josh Schwartz [as a client] and it was right when he made it big with The O.C., and he had just brought back Family Guy that year with Seth MacFarlane. It was my grad school for the entertainment industry.
IF I WEREN'T IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: I'd probably be an event planner or a chef.
BOOK ON MY NIGHTSTAND: Difficult Men and What to Expect the First Year. My two worlds.
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: Probably my Bernese mountain dog. She comes to the office with me every day.
HUMILIATING PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: I had a temp on my desk covering for my assistant, who was out of town. She was responding [to an agent] and wrote, "I'm sorry. Because I am covering for Lindsey's assistant, could you tell me: Who is this Rosh Hashanah and why would he or she affect the staffing meeting?" The email went all around the agency in minutes, and from there it went viral. The next day it was on Ellen.
The Houston native got in on the ground floor at Universal Television, much as he had at Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun's company BermanBraun, years earlier.
With an emphasis on comedy development, the USC grad has spent recent months focused on a collection of upcoming Tina Fey projects, two of which have been granted rare series pickups at Fox and NBC, as well as Fox's John Mulaney comedy, among others. His fingerprints are all over Brooklyn Nine-Nine, too, which is garnering critical praise on Fox's schedule. (Nabbing series orders on networks outside of sibling NBC has been a priority for Weil and his boss.)
But it is also his vast cultural knowledge that often impresses people. When the young executive and well-known foodie isn't reading scripts or attending table reads, he likely is devouring a book, film or play.
BIG BREAK: I had been Gail Berman's assistant at Paramount, and a week before BermanBraun started, Gail told me to go to lunch with Lloyd Braun, whom I had met once before. At lunch he told me, "We're going to make you our first executive." I was 23 years old.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Pulp Fiction
MUST-SEE TV: Mad Men
IN MY BIOPIC, THE ACTOR PLAYING ME WOULD BE: Larry David. He gets my curmudgeonly essence.
PROJECT I'D POACH: The Big Bang Theory