THR's Women in Entertainment 2011: Power 100
Jacobs, an agency partner, tackled one of the tougher challenges of her career this fall when she helped wrestle the big-budget Disney project The Lone Ranger back from the dead for client Johnny Depp. "It was very challenging, it got done, and it's a real case in point about how the business has changed," she says. "We all have to be a lot more understanding and adept in the shifting market and realize that we're not in 1995. It's a much more compact and difficult business to navigate, and you have to be smart in the deal-making process."
Depp's company Infinitum Nihil also is galloping forward with its first productions: Hugo, The Rum Diary, Lone Ranger and next summer's reteaming with Tim Burton, Dark Shadows.
Jacobs has helped to revive Jennifer Lopez's career with movie roles, a prime spot on American Idol and a handful of TV shows produced by her company Nuyorican Productions snagged over the past three years.
The Chicago native and Boston University graduate (with an honors degree in medieval history) also loves digging into the burgeoning careers of new talent such as Swedish actors Noomi Rapace, whom she put in Ridley Scott's Prometheus, and Joel Kinnaman, a star of AMC's The Killing who just landed one of the leads in Warner Bros.' Arthur & Lancelot. "You always have to balance a client list," says Jacobs, 53, who managed to take her first vacation ever this summer. "You need to have the people who are the revenue generators and you need to have the people that are going to be the revenue generators of the future."
Those would include filmmaker clients Brad Bird (Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol), Mike White (Enlightened), Greg Mottola (More as This Story Develops) and Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity); actors Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams, who had a hit in Midnight in Paris; and Kristen Wiig, whose Bridesmaids was the story of the spring.
A 28-year agency veteran who lives in the Hollywood Hills, Jacobs became close to industry icon Sue Mengers before she died in October. "I look at her as the trailblazer for women," she says. "I do feel an obligation as a woman to not differentiate myself from what the men do, but to be as good, if not better."
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