You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Nicole Clemens: Career-builder extraordinaire

Women's Impact Report: Reps and Legal

For someone who had no desire to be a Hollywood agent — she thought it was the least exciting field in town — Nicole Clemens has lately made the kind of splash many agents can only dream of.

Clemens, the head of ICM’s motion picture literary department, is the whirlwind force behind a flurry of deals currently in development or production, many of them the result of her trademark penchant for vaulting talent from one field to another. In most cases — did someone say he wanted to direct? — Clemens makes feature helmers out of screenwriters, cinematographers and TV multi-hyphenates.

“In a global environment, everyone has to be willing to expand their repertoire,” says Clemens, who was in development and production before becoming an agent. Clemens’ idea of making things happen is to “allow people to move back and forth” between their strengths.

She did so with Oscar-nominated scribe Jose Rivera (“Motorcycle Diaries”) whose adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s beat classic “On the Road” is being shot by Walter Salles. In January, in a deal struck by Clemens, Rivera will begin directing his first feature, “Celestina,” based on his own play, “Cloud Tectonics.”

Clemens pulled off a similar trick with Jason Winer, who in August picked up an Emmy as exec producer of “Modern Family.” The day he learned of the nomination was also his first day as a film director, when Winer was top dog on the set of the “Arthur” remake.

And she expects to hammer out directing deals soon for two other clients, thrice-Oscar-nominated cinematographer Wally Pfister (“The Dark Knight”) and Kurt Sutter, creator and executive producer on “Sons of Anarchy.”

“The common denominator has to be absolute commitment to being the general,” she says, “to be willing to command this huge army.”

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • Hopper Reserve

    Dennis Hopper's Dying Wish: His Own Strain of Marijuana

    Even as celebrity brands are starting to flood the emerging Cannabis market, Hopper Reserve stands out. The brand was launched by Marin Hopper, Dennis Hopper’s daughter from his marriage to Brooke Hayward. Hopper Reserve is a gram of California indoor-grown flower, two packs of rolling papers, a pair of matches and a trading card either [...]

  • Lowell Smokes Cafe Marijuana

    With Cannabis Lounges, On-Site Consumption, Marijuana-Infused Meals Go Legit

    Can this century’s Roaring ’20s repeat history but with pre-rolled joints instead of whiskey flasks and soccer moms as the new flappers? This month, West Hollywood will see the opening of the nation’s first at least quasi-legal cannabis consumption lounge, officially dubbed Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Café, located at 1211 N. La Brea between Fountain [...]

  • Elizabeth McGovern, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter,

    'Downton Abbey' Movie Sequel? Producers Tease That They Have 'Some Ideas'

    “Downton Abbey” holds the record as the most-nominated international show at the Emmy Awards with 69 nominations and 15 wins — and now, it stands a chance to nab an Oscar. More than three years after the beloved series signed off the air following six critically-acclaimed seasons, “Downton Abbey” is making its big-screen debut. “It [...]

  • Thandie Newton and Regina King70th Primetime

    Emmys 2019: The Ultimate Party Guide

    The 71st annual Emmy Awards may be going hostless this year, but that doesn’t mean the big night will be any less of a celebration. For all the details on the biggest bashes happening this week and throughout the weekend, check out Variety‘s Ultimate Emmys Party Guide below. Tuesday, Sept. 17 Variety’s Showrunners DinnerEveleigh, 7:30 p.m [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content