Next Gen 2011: Hollywood's Fastest-Rising Stars
Growing up in a 600-person, no-stoplight town in northwest Iowa, the closest Roeder, 35, came to Hollywood was flipping through his monthly Us magazine. "It was the popcorn capital of the world," he says of Schaller, where his graduating class consisted of 23 people. After his time at DePauw University in Indiana, the pop-culture junkie headed to New York, where he landed a gig in the William Morris mailroom. By 2000, Roeder had picked up again, this time moving to Los Angeles and taking a job as assistant to Zenia Mucha, then heading communications at ABC and now an executive vp at Disney. "I interviewed with her [during] the day and started working for her that night at the ABC press tour," he says of the whirlwind hire. A decade or so later, Roeder has ascended to head of global communications at sister company Disney Studios, where he manages media coverage of global blockbusters such as the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and the upcoming Muppets reboot. Earning a reputation for responding to requests at all hours, Roeder handled the turmoil surrounding budget battles on The Lone Ranger and will work overtime promoting the $250 million spring 2012 action epic John Carter.