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Bright young things? Bring ’em on, as The Hollywood Reporter recognizes the 35 superstars 35 and under who are moving up fast (and having fun) in film, TV, digital, law and news.
GEORGE HELLER, 33
Apostle, Literary Talent Manager
This producer-manager oversees the Los Angeles office of Apostle Entertainment, the production outfit of Denis Leary and Jim Serpico, and boasts a client list that includes veteran TV scribe Victor Levin (most recently of Mad Men) and screenwriter Cliff Dorfman (Entourage). The New Jersey-born Heller also has made his presence known in the political arena, raising money for President Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and he even hosted a breakfast in Beverly Hills for Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
Industry Mentor: My brother [Everest Entertainment’s] Tom Heller, who has producing credits on 127 Hours and Precious.
10 Years Ago: I was at Foursight Entertainment, a company I had started while in college [at USC] with Jeremy Bell and [fellow Next Gen 2012 honoree] Michael Lasker. We’ve worked together since we were 19 years old. C
Can’t-Miss TV: I religiously watch NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams. I never miss it.
Lunch Spot: Akasha in Culver City. I go there so often, I don’t need a reservation, and I know every waiter and every hostess.
Best Day: I sold Iron Jack my first week at Principato Young. Needless to say, selling a spec for $1.25 million in a post-strike climate was a good start. I had studio presidents and chairmen who also bid on the project very angry with me. Any victory comes with resentment.
Worst Day: My assistant ordered me a venti soy hazelnut vanilla chai latte and forgot the extra foam. Said assistant is no longer working here.
JOSH LIEBERMAN, 32
3 Arts, Manager
Lieberman’s portfolio reads like a who’s who of the up-and-coming comedy scene. Among the clients whose careers the Phoenix native (and Arizona State graduate) has helped navigate in recent years: Happy Endings’ Adam Pally, Whitney’s Chris D’Elia and Parks and Recreation producer Harris Wittels.
Industry Mentor: 3 Arts’ Dave Becky.
Big Break: Being hired as Dave’s assistant 8-1/2 years ago. [Lieberman started as an assistant at Imagine, where former TV chief David Nevins recommended him for the 3 Arts gig.]
Best Advice: Just figure it out.
Biggest 2012 Accomplishment: Harris Wittels getting an overall deal at NBC and Moshe Kasher coming out with a book called Kasher in the Rye this March. It’s excellent.
Can’t-Miss TV: Breaking Bad and Homeland.
Movie Fix: American Psycho makes me laugh every time. Is that too creepy?
Online Obsession: Is there anything more important than TMZ?
Lunch Spot: Any place that takes my expense account. Really? South Beverly Grill.
When I’m Not Working: I’m playing a really embarrassing round of golf.
I Wake Up At: 6 a.m.
The First Thing I Do: Listen to comedy podcasts at the gym.
MICHAEL LASKER, 33
After launching his own management company as an undergraduate at USC [Foursight Entertainment, with fellow honoree Heller], the Tulsa, Okla.-born Lasker joined Mosaic in 2008 and counts Portlandia’s Jonathan Krisel, The Office’s Ellie Kemper, Modern Family’s Jason Winer and Bad Teacher’s Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky as clients.
Big Break: Before my junior year in college, I had an internship at production company Beacon Communications, which had just gotten the greenlight to do Universal’s Bring It On. Being 20 years old and going down to San Diego to work on a cheerleading movie was not a bad way to spend the summer.
Biggest 2012 Accomplishment: 1600 Penn being ordered to series at NBC. I represent Jason Winer and [fellow Next Gen 2012 honoree] Jon Lovett with my colleague Christie Smith.We connected Jason with Jon, who had White House experience, and the rest was history.
Movie Fix: Die Hard. The truth is, I’d come home every day after school, and I’d put it in the VCR and watch the last 10 minutes, where he saves his wife. Every day. And A Few Good Men. Upon request, I can do the entire courtroom scene, both Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise’s dialogue.
Online Obsession: Ain’t It Cool News.
I Fall Asleep At: Midnight.
The Last Thing I Do: Read 10 pages of a book and fall asleep. That’s why it takes me four months to finish a book.
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