As head of the youth division at Innovative Artists, agent Abby Bluestone has a reputation for being with her clients for the long haul.
In recent years, she has helped guide young actors Amanda Seyfried (from “Mean Girls” to “Mamma Mia!”) and Luke Eberl (from “Planet of the Apes” to his directing debut, “Choose Connor”) into successful grown-up careers. As it happens, many of her clients are steady-working adults, such as Mary McDonnell and Jessica Walter, and she aims to steer her teen thesps toward similar longevity.
“They know they can count on me,” says Bluestone, who was briefly an actress herself, appearing in “Little Darlings” alongside Tatum O’Neal. “It’s very important for the people I work with to feel nurtured and loved, and I try to do that for them.”
With success comes competition, and among agents the big firms have a reputation for swooping in and poaching kid clients the instant they hit it big.
“Look, I’ve lost my share of people like anyone else, but the thing is that when they’re with me, they know I think they’re the most important thing in the world, and you’re not going to find that everywhere,” she says.
When signing young talent, Bluestone most often bases her decisions on the feelings she gets during a personal meeting.
“There’s no formula for this,” she says. “I don’t really look at tapes that much, to be honest. I just go with my gut, and that works for me.”
Bluestone hopes they never leave the nest, adapting to her clients’ evolving needs. Chris Warren Jr. graduated from “Love & Basketball” to the “High School Musical” series; Peyton List went from a “Sex and the City” cameo to playing the new girl on “Mad Men”; and “As Good as It Gets'” Jesse James most recently appeared in “Jumper” — still just the beginning for each, she believes.
Recent breakthrough: “Amanda Seyfried is pretty much the best story out there. She’s a beautiful person inside and out. Her career is only going to expand.”
Role model: “I didn’t really have one.”
What’s next: “Shiloh Fernandez will be in ‘The United States of Tara’ soon. He’s a young Joaquin Phoenix.”