The Creatives: Jessica Alba, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mindy Kaling, Andy Samberg, Olivia Wilde, Bert Marcus, Andrew Carlberg, Ryan Coogler, Jonas Cuaron, Riva Marker and Beau Willimon.
Bert Marcus, 31
Producer, Bert Marcus Prods.
Most documentaries bored USC grad and former Clear Channel worker Marcus, so he decided to make interesting ones like “Teenage Paparazzo” (acquired by HBO at Sundance 2010), “How to Make Money Selling Drugs” (snatched up by Tribeca Films at Toronto 2012) and, hopefully, his upcoming boxing exploration “Champs” (partly produced by Mike Tyson, who calls Marcus “a fighter”).
Andrew Carlberg, 29
Film/TV/theater producer, Western Skies Prods.
Carlberg’s feature “Some Girls” (written by Neil LaBute), premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival, the first narrative feature to receive a day-and-date theatrical premiere via Vimeo’s on-demand platform. He’s also completed “The Dramatics,” the feature debut of Upright Citizens Brigade and Funny or Die alum Scott Rodgers.
Jessica Alba, 32
Co-founder and president, the Honest Co.
Alba may be a top-earning actress, but she’s more than a pretty face: she co-founded Honest Co. in 2012 with author-activist Christopher Gavigan. In 2012 the start-up raised $27 million in venture capital and now plumbs a niche for customized, eco-friendly, affordable baby products, selling via a monthly subscription service.
Ryan Coogler, 27
Coogler was still a student at USC when East Bay resident Oscar Grant was shot and killed by a BART transit officer at 2:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day in 2009, but the tragedy galvanized the young filmmaker into creating “Fruitvale Station,” which won both the grand jury prize and audience award at Sundance.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 32
Actor, director, producer
Transitioning from child actor to full-fledged movie star is a steep enough mountain to climb, but Gordon-Levitt has done one better by developing into a genuine quadruple-threat by the age of 32. Receiving his first executive producer credit on last year’s “Looper,” in which he also starred, Gordon-Levitt had seen his short films play at Sundance and SXSW before tackling his first feature as writer and director, “Don Jon.”
Mindy Kaling, 34
Creator/exec producer, “The Mindy Project”
The writer and actress created a breakout character with Kelly Kapoor on NBC’s “The Office” that showed off her comic and writing chops. That talent translated to “The Mindy Project,” now in its second season, and a remarkable achievement for a woman in Hollywood who isn’t thin and white.
Jonas Cuaron, 31
It’s unlikely many moviegoers had run across the name of Alfonso Cuaron’s 31-year-old son prior to his screenwriting co-credit on this fall’s smash “Gravity,” but the younger Cuaron is hardly a cinematic newcomer. He first followed his father to Hollywood during the production of “A Little Princess,” and essentially formed a one-man crew (director, writer, producer, d.p., editor and art director) for his 2007 feature debut “Ano una.”
Riva Marker, 35
Head of production and development, Red Crown Prods.
After a career in TV documentaries at companies like Discovery and A&E, Marker shifted into post-production management for over 15 indie films, including 2010’s “The Kids Are All Right” at Plum Pictures with future RCP co-founder Daniela Taplin Lundberg. Now with RCP, she’s devoted to nurturing emerging filmmakers while guiding established names. “A strong leader,” she says, “is somebody who knows how to get things done but isn’t afraid to let other people take the reins.”
Andy Samberg, 35
It takes a rather bold creative mind to coax the world’s biggest pop star into singing a song titled “Dick in a Box” on a network TV show. But it takes an even bolder one to win an Emmy for his troubles. Samberg has defied a number of showbiz rules, breaking into the “SNL” cast through the backdoor, and proving that the long dormant market for comedy albums can still produce hits.
Olivia Wilde, 29
Via her commitment to nonprofit Artists for Peace & Justice, the busy thesp co-founded the first free secondary school in Haiti. APJ works to empower Haitians through education and economic support to build locally sustainable businesses. Her work has placed her in the company of philanthropy leaders Bill Gates, Bill Clinton and George Clooney. “We’re an org made up of artists who fell in love with Haiti,” she says. “We’re optimistic about Haiti’s future, based on the incredible accomplishments of our local team so far.”
Beau Willimon, 35
Showrunner, executive producer, “House of Cards”
Playwright-turned-showrunner Beau Willimon has spearheaded Netflix original series “House of Cards,” serving as both exec producer and head scribe. Willimon’s meteoric rise began in 2008, when his play “Farragut North” opened to positive reviews and was adapted into “The Ides of March.”
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- 10 Assistants to Watch
- TV Executives
- Variety Fetes Jerry Weintraub With Creative Leadership Award
(Profiles by Andrew Barker, Iain Blair, Peter Caranicas, Randee Dawn, Marc Graser, Carole Horst, Maane Khatchatourian, AJ Marechal, Alex Stedman, Allegra Tepper)