Selection begins for Obama administration
The creative community in Hollywood is generally delighted by the Obama victory. But former Clinton supporters have no expectation that the Obama White House will in any way resemble that of the Clinton years. Stars and studio chiefs will not expect sleepover invitations. The glitzy parties will not be re-created.
On the other hand, the proposed appointment of Rahm Emanuel as Obama’s chief of staff (he hasn’t given his formal “yes” yet) is causing some insiders to ask: Will the atmosphere in the White House bear any similarity to the loud-and-lively style of the Endeavor talent agency, run by Rahm’s brother, Ari?
Those who know Ari and Rahm point up the striking similarities between the two, both in appearance and mannerisms. Both are very smart and fiercely motivated; both can also be abrupt and dismissive.
Ari once posted the following on his blog:
“My brother Rahm Emanuel is a superdelegate. I love my brother, and I trust my brother. But I gave up letting my brother dictate my life since he determined whether he got the top or bottom bunk in our bedroom back in Chicago.”
“Rahm is actually louder even than Ari,” said one Endeavor agent. “I’ve heard him yell at Ari and hang up on him. I love it.”
Ari, who, of course, is a role model for the Ari Gold character on “Entourage,” often begins sentences in the middle. Some sentences wander off into the night and end with a hang-up.
“Are you out of your mind?” Ari will often cry. Or he’ll say, “This is the way it is and that’s it.”
“I trust Ari and truly like him, but talking with him is like talking to a character in a David Mamet play,” one client said. “It’s ‘How are you, bubie?’ followed by ‘Go fuck yourself.’ ”
Ari’s vocabulary is famously rude, colleagues point out, and he is prone to fits of yelling. He also can seem angry, then break out laughing in the midst of a tirade.
“He knows the absurdity of the scenes he creates,” one studio chief said.
Ari is also addicted to his BlackBerry. One visitor to his house remembers when Al Gore, a house guest that evening, tried to pry Ari off the phone to say good night. Ari bid him farewell without dropping his call.
“The White House under Rahm will be like no other White House,” an Ari client said. “It’ll be pure showbiz, but not about showbiz at all.”