Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ed Limato, Pfeiffer's Longtime Agent, Leaves ICM

Super agent Ed Limato is leaving ICM and taking several big names with him. I usually don't follow this type of industry news (I read it on Hollywood Elsewhere and Nikki Finke has written about it a lot as well) but I always notice Ed Limato's name when it pops up because he repped my my girl Michelle Pfeiffer for many many years [update: she is now repped by Kevin Huvane]

Whether or not its a fair assessment, and it's probably not given their long history together, I've always assigned Limato the dubious distinction (dishonor) of being the man who urged Michelle to move away from her late 80s / early 90s string of sensational and challenging roles in favor of the mainstream dregs that functioned as her mid 90s cash-in. That switch in tactics also killed her Oscar momentum (*sniffle*) I attributed this shift in her career to a comment he made in a Pfeiffer profile in the early 90s regarding Love Field & The Age of Innocence --I think it was in Movieline --in which he said something uncharitable about them, something like 'nobody wants to see her in another wig doing an accent'

I understand that agents like to make money (don't we all) but that's the sort of thing that makes me crazy. There's more to life than money. I love One Fine Day as much as any Pfeiffer nut but in 50 years times when Michelle and many of us are gone from this world, nobody is going to be programming her mid 90s films for a retrospective. It's going to be heavy with those risks she took from 1988 through 1993. From Married to the Mob through The Age of Innocence ...that's where her legacy lives and breathes (despite flashes of genius both before and since) But alas, agents don't get immortalized if their client proves enduring to film history but they do get rich if their client makes disposable hits.

Similar stuff plays out in other careers all the time. You know for instance that Hugh Jackman's reps were probably not thrilled about his long and exuberant commitment to the Broadway show The Boy From Oz. I mean, he could have made three more Van Helsings during that time period (*shudder*). That would've been a quick way to make bank but the Broadway show was better for his career in the long run.

Still it's probably crazy making and extraordinarily difficult to be a superagent juggling massive careers like Denzel's and Michelle's among many others. And to give credit where it's due: as the legend goes Mr. Limato was supposedly instrumental in hooking her up with Scarface (1983) even before he was officially representing her. He knew a good thing when he saw it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nat, Michelle left Ed and ICM a long time ago(well she left, then went back, but then left for good) she has been with CAA and is repped by super agent Kevin Huvane