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Greg Berlanti wants to pay it forward. After signing a four-year contract extension that will keep him at Warner Bros. TV through 2024 — and surrendering backend points on his 14 series currently on air — the prolific producer is hoping to use his power at the studio to help launch the careers of others.
“I have to say that’s always been one of the most, if not the most, rewarding parts of my job,” Berlanti told The Hollywood Reporter at the 2018 TrevorLIVE gala in New York on Monday night. “I want to help young artists in general — actors, writers, directors.”
He continued: “It really keeps you remembering how great it was at the beginning of your own career and staying connected to that enthusiastic part, and then being able to impart some of the wisdom of the things I’ve learned through the years doing it.”
As THR reported last week, Berlanti — who executive produces The CW’s Arrow, Riverdale and Supergirl, among others — inked a deal to stay put at Warner Bros. TV, despite interest from Netflix and other entertainment giants. “This is a whopper payday,” one source close to the deal told THR of the pact, which is worth $400 million in all-cash guarantees and described as the “biggest writer-producer deal in the history of TV.”
Aside from fostering new talent at Warner Bros. TV under his new deal, Berlanti’s long-term goals include spending more time with his husband, soccer player Roggie Rogers, and their 2-year-old son, Caleb.
“The most rewarding thing for me in the last couple of years has been being able to add more of a life to my life, having a family and things like that. If I have any grand plans, it’s more about that stuff because you’re trying to survive day-to-day when you have a 2-year-old,” Berlanti explained. “That takes up a lot more of my brain space right now.”
While Berlanti is sticking with Warner Bros. TV, his film pact will remain at Fox, for whom he directed Love, Simon, the first-ever feature about a gay, teenage romance from a major movie studio. Berlanti was celebrated for his groundbreaking pic at Monday night’s event, where he received the Trevor Project’s Hero Award for increasing visibility and understanding of the LGBTQ community through film and television.
Of the honor, Berlanti told THR, “It’s very humbling. I like to see it as an opportunity just to say thank you to the individuals who are really working with Trevor every day and helping save lives. I think that’s the real overwhelming feeling.”
The Trevor Project was founded in 1998, and it has since become the nation’s largest nonprofit crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization focused on ending suicide among LGBTQ youth. According to Berlanti, LGBTQ kids need support now more than ever under the administration of President Donald Trump, who has made several efforts to roll back gay and transgender protections, including his signed ban for transgender people to serve in the U.S. military.
“It’s a pretty dark time. During times like this, everybody has to do their part to rise to the occasion and be there in ways big and small for other individuals. And there are a lot of marginalized individuals,” said Berlanti. “I had hope that [Love Simon] would touch LGBTQ youth. It’s been really rewarding in that way to do something you are artistically really excited about, but also to feel like you’re helping people and helping people feel connected.”
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