Dialogue: Doug Allen


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It's been just over a year since Doug Allen took up his post as national executive director and chief negotiator of SAG, following a stint as assistant executive director of the National Football League Players Assn. As Allen prepares for negotiations with the AMPTP, The Hollywood Reporter's Stephen Galloway spoke to the one-time Buffalo Bills linebacker about his new life.

The Hollywood Reporter: You almost went to work for the WGA instead. Did the time you spent with WGA leaders impact your current job?
Doug Allen: That was very helpful to me in understanding the issues that confront this industry. But I am happy it worked out as it did. I am in the right place, and (WGA West executive director) David Young is in the right place.

THR: What kind of research have you done into the studios' and networks' profitability?
Allen: I don't want to get into the particulars, except to say we have internal resources as well as external resources and have taken advantage of them.

THR: On a personal note, do you miss football?
Allen: No. I was passionate about the business and about the relationship of the talent to the business, but I wasn't somebody who would have been a football coach or personnel director. I liked playing, but I didn't want to spend the rest of my life on the sidelines. I wanted to be involved in the broader business issues.

THR: How different is it working with actors than football players?
Allen: One major difference is, the average age of my membership isn't 26 anymore. I have board members who are older than I am. That is a new experience for me.

THR: What have you been doing since you moved from Washington to Los Angeles?
Allen: I haven't had a lot of free time. And that has been by choice: I really like what I do.

THR: What do you do to relax?
Allen: I have been a fan of movies my whole life. My favorite movie is (1959's) "Anatomy of a Murder." I also like to read -- I just finished Tom Brokaw's book about the 1960s ("Boom!: Voices of the Sixties") and the autobiography of Frank Capra. I used to drive stock cars, but I wrecked one and found out what happens: You have to pay for it. That slowed me down a little. I have been saving my money ever since.