You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gigliotti & Poster: The Weinsteins’ dynamic duo

Women's Impact Report 2011: Donna Gigliotti & Meryl Poster

When one free-associates about Harvey and Bob Weinstein, the word estrogen doesn’t typically come to mind. Yet the Weinstein Co. owes much of the credit for its recent re-ascension to the joint female powerhouse of Donna Gigliotti and Meryl Poster. The duo — who run the Weinsteins’ film and TV operations, respectively — are known to provide the yin to the mercurial brothers’ yang.

“That is hilarious,” says Gigliotti of the suggestion. “Between Meryl and me, who is Bob and who is Harvey?”

The Oscar-winning “Shakespeare in Love” producer, who joined the company one year ago with a so-called Robert Evans deal that allows her to produce some films while overseeing the Weinsteins’ entire slate, quips that the highlight of the past year was simply “we got to make some good movies!”

The Sarah Jessica Parker starrer “I Don’t Know How She Does It” marked Gigliotti’s first project after reteaming with the Weinsteins, with whom she enjoys a long history (she also produced their 2008 Oscar-nommed pic “The Reader”). She followed that up with the London-shot drama “My Week With Marilyn,” which stars Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe; the crime thriller “Cogan’s Trade,” toplined by Brad Pitt and James Gandolfini; and Paul Thomas Anderson’s next directing effort, “The Master.”

“I love rolling up my sleeves and actually producing the films,” she says while en route to the Philadelphia set of David O. Russell’s “The Silver Linings Playbook,” which stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. “I like being in the location van. I like the tech scout. I like being on the set.”

It’s no surprise that the one-time Miramax exec VP wound up back in the Weinstein family. Her cinematic sensibilities, which were largely influenced during her first film job as an assistant to Martin Scorsese on “Raging Bull,” mesh well with Harvey’s.

“(I like) to work with directors who have a real vision — i.e. James Gray, David Russell — and the way I see my role is to support, nurture and encourage that vision,” notes Gigliotti, whose next undertakings include the Quentin Tarantino-helmed Leonardo DiCaprio starrer “Django Unchained” and David Frankel’s “One Chance.”

“Actually, I think it’s one of the great things about Harvey. He may argue with directors and there’s a certain amount of push and pull in bringing the films to fruition, but when all is said and done, like me, he’s supportive of artists with true vision.”

While Gigliotti keeps the film side running smoothly, Poster is busy growing the Weinsteins’ fledgling TV business. In January, the former Miramax production prexy joined the company and has barely taken a breath, overseeing VH1’s “Mob Wives” and “Project Runway” spin-offs “Project Runway: Masters” and “Project Runway: Accessories” as well as 15 series in various stages of development including small-screen adaptations of the best-seller “The Nanny Diaries” and the mafia-themed tome “The Mad Ones.”

“Harvey made me an offer I couldn’t refuse,” recalls Poster, who spent 16 years making movies with the brothers before a five-year stint at NBC Universal. “I jumped right in without any formalities.”

The new perch gives Poster an opportunity to work with old friends from the fashion world like Isaac Mizrahi and Molly Sims, both of whom she brought onto “Project Runway,” as well as “favorite” TV producers Ryan Seacrest, Adam Sher and Ben Silverman.

For the showbiz veteran, handling TV duties for the Weinsteins isn’t that different from overseeing their film operations. “My love and skill for working with talent come into similar play in TV as they did when I ran features for Miramax,” she says.


Donna Gigliotti
Title: President of production, the Weinstein Co.
Role model: “My Aunt Sally. She’d tell you the truth as she saw it and didn’t take guff from anyone.”
Career mantra: “If you’re bored, go do something else. Be bold, and mighty wings will carry you.”
Leisure pursuits: “I love the theater and the opera, which is one reason I live in New York.”
Political passion: “I hope I live long enough to see true reform of health care in the United States.”

Meryl Poster
Title: President of Television, the Weinstein Co.
Role model: “I miss Sydney Pollack. He was super smart, self-deprecating, eager to teach and to learn.”
Career mantra: “Always tell the truth. At first it’s painful, but the results are what matter.”
Leisure pursuits: “My great joy is spending all the time I can with my daughter Ava and my son Jed.”
Philanthropic passion: The American Freedom Foundation

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • London Film Festival Posts 6% Rise

    London Film Festival Posts 6% Rise in Attendance for 2019 Edition

    The BFI London Film Festival reported a 6% rise in attendance for its 2019 edition, which wrapped on Sunday with the international premiere of Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman.” “The Irishman” gala premiere, which was attended by Scorsese and cast Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel, was streamed via satellite from the Odeon Luxe [...]


    Alpha Violet Takes World Rights for Christos Nikou’s ‘Apples’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Paris-based sales agent Alpha Violet has acquired world rights for “Apples,” the feature directorial debut of Greek filmmaker Christos Nikou. The company and the director will present a teaser of the offbeat dramedy this week at the Mercato Internazionale Audiovisivo (MIA) in Rome. “Apples” is the story of Aris, a solitary man in his late [...]

  • Advanced Imaging Society Honors 10 Women

    AIS Honors 10 Women in Tech

    Celebrating 10 years of achievement in entertainment technology, the Advanced Imaging Society today named 10 female industry innovators who will receive the organization’s 2019 Distinguished Leadership Awards at the its 10th annual Entertainment Technology Awards ceremony on October 28 in Beverly Hills. The individuals were selected by an awards committee for being significant “entertainment industry [...]

  • Nicolas Cage Hainan International Film Festival

    China's Hainan Film Festival Launches Golden Coconut Competition

    The deep-pocketed, government-run Hainan Island International Film Festival has launched a new competition section for its second iteration, set to take place from December 1-8. This year, ten ‘Golden Coconut Awards’ will be given out across three categories of films: feature-length, feature documentaries, and fictional shorts. Prizes will be presented for best picture, best director, [...]

  • Panda

    France's Troisième Œil Teams With China's CICC on Richard Dale's 'Panda Kingdom' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Troisième Œil Productions is teaming with Chinese partners to make its first international co-production with the premium documentary “Panda Kingdom,” and has brought BAFTA-winning director Richard Dale on board to helm it. The outfits China Aviation Pictures and CICC are co-producing the documentary with Troisième Œil Productions. The docu feature will explore the captive breeding [...]

  • Andhadhun receives AACTA nomination

    Indian and Chinese Titles Dominate AACTA Asian Award Nominations

    Three Indian and three mainland Chinese films are among the nine feature movies shortlisted for the Best Asian Film Award by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts. The Indian selections are box office hit “Andhadhun,” “Super Deluxe, and “Gully Boy,” which premiered in February at the Berlin festival. The Chinese trio includes “Shadow,” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content