Oscars: 'Fences' Producer Scott Rudin Is Competing Against His Former Assistant for Best Picture

'Manchester by the Sea' producer Kevin Walsh, 41, left his job as Rudin's assistant in 2001.
Walter McBride/Getty Images; Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Scott Rudin, Kevin Walsh

Scott Rudin’s assistant alumni roster reads like a who’s who of Hollywood, a list that includes Amy Pascal, Adam Goodman and Beau Flynn. But none has ever landed a best picture Oscar nomination. Until now.

Kevin Walsh, who served as Rudin’s first assistant from 2000-01, is up for the Academy’s top prize for producing Manchester by the Sea. Walsh was recently hanging out with a group of former underlings at the BAFTA Awards when it was noted that he is the first of the next-gen Rudinites to accomplish the feat. “To say that I try every day to follow Scott’s example is an understatement,” Walsh tells THR.

It’s a sweet feat, even if Walsh, now president of production at Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Films, is facing off against Rudin in the best picture race (the latter is up for Fences). Still, Walsh has a ways to go to catch up to his onetime mentor. Rudin can boast eight best picture nominations, including one win for No Country for Old Men.

“Scott Rudin is in a class all by himself,” says Walsh.

A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 24 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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