United Talent Agency rep David Guillod had many reasons to go green: A sense of social responsibility, the urgings of his girlfriend and his young daughter, and a renewed environmental awareness brought on by “An Inconvenient Truth.” But ultimately, it was a trip to the dealership that did it.
“The lease on my Mercedes was up,” Guillod relates, “and I was of course going to buy another Mercedes. Then I started doing a little research, and everyone was going, ‘hybrid, hybrid.’ I thought, ‘I’m not going to buy a hybrid.’ But I rented one to see what it was like, and I fell in love with it.”
For the agent, whose client roster includes Don Cheadle and Rachel McAdams, the simple act of buying a Prius sparked an environmental passion.. (He’s since upgraded to a hybrid Lexus 400h, of course.)
“The car was a big turning point for me, and I started to look to see what else I could do,” he says. “Once you start diving in, you get a little addicted to the process.”
As a logical next step, Guillod is presently building a green house in Encino, using sustainable building materials and solar power.
It hasn’t been an easy task, however.
“You would think that to use recyclable lumber and environmental products would be less expensive — it’s not,” he reports. “Things that would take five days now take 10. And it’s tough to neither compromise my taste nor my desire to be environmentally conscious. I don’t want people to drive up to the house and say, ‘wow, that’s ugly. Why is there a windmill in your front yard?’ ”
Although he points out that solar power is not without perks: “I can sell my electricity back to the city, and that’s cool.”
Guillod also speaks proudly of the ever-evolving green initiatives at UTA. And as for the skeptics who claim the talent agencies are merely engaged in a game of eco one-upmanship, well, what’s wrong with that?
“That’s just the way it works — Hollywood’s weird,” he says. ” ‘They’re doing this down the street, so we’re going to do it better here.’ I hope that takes place.”