November 6, 2008
Rahm Emanuel’s brother, Ari Emanuel, is a Hollywood superagent
Up until Rahm Emanuel was offered the Chief of Staff position in Barack Obama's cabinet, his younger brother Ari, the cantankerous Hollywood talent agent, was considerably better known. Most famously -- or perhaps infamously -- Ari Emanuel is said to be the inspiration for the abrasive, determined Ari Gold character on HBO's Entourage, played by Jeremy Piven. |
"With Ari, it's all about the bottom line," said writer Aaron Sorkin, creator of the television drama "The West Wing," whom Ari Emanuel represents.
"In a business deal, he's going to try to kill for you, and its just going to be about putting as much money in your pocket as he can, until you tell him that there's something else that's important to you."
The fictional Ari Gold's renegade style is, at least, based on fact: In March 1995, Emanuel and three other International Creative Management agents were caught plotting to start their own agency. When an assistant was discovered removing company files, ICM Chairman Jeff Berg promptly fired Emanuel. In what could have ruined any promising career, Emanuel went on to create his own boutique agency, Endeavor, now considered of the most powerful in Hollywood, with an estimated $100 million in revenue each year.
But those close to the real-life agent say he is not just a TV stereotype.
"While Ari does speak fast and is in no way cowardly when he's talking to you, he's not a cardboard cut out -- he's massively smart and genuinely a good guy," said Sorkin. "That's why clients don't leave him. You're not going to find anybody who used to be a client of Ari's."
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