×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Keshishian: Managing hopes and dreams

Women's Impact Report 2011: Aleen Keshishian

Aleen Keshishian knows a thing or two about nurturing careers. The Brillstein Entertainment partner-manager has repped Natalie Portman dating back to before “The Professional” (1994). Early on, Keshishian put Portman in a room with her then-client Darren Aronofsky after the young actress expressed an interest in making a dance movie. Ten years later, she watched Portman’s dream come true when she won an Oscar for “Black Swan.”

Keshishian also helped turn Paul Rudd into a leading man in films like “Our Idiot Brother,” directed by her client Jesse Peretz and co-starring another client Emily Mortimer, who beat out several bigger names for a coveted lead role in Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming, as-yet-untitled HBO series about a cable news network.

She helped get Laura Linney the lead in Showtime’s “The Big C” after a stint on Broadway, which led to Linney landing an Emmy nom and winning a Golden Globe. Likewise, her client Mark Ruffalo landed his first Oscar nod for his work in “The Kids Are All Right,” which led to a starring role as the Hulk in next summer’s superhero extravaganza “The Avengers.”

Not only has her client Zoe Saldana been making a name for herself as an action star after “Colombiana,” but another, Jennifer Aniston’s, doing back-to-back comedies including “Just Go With It,” “Horrible Bosses” and David Wain’s upcoming “Wanderlust,” which co-stars Rudd.

Keshishian’s goal is to change people’s perceptions of her clients by having them exhibit range in their work, which is why she encouraged Portman to host “Saturday Night Live” and ushered Gwyneth Paltrow into an Emmy-winning guest stint on Fox’s “Glee” after her well-received turn as a singer in “Country Strong.” And yet for all her efforts, Keshishian, like most of her peers, prefers to keep the focus on her clients, whose accomplishments are indicative of the hard work she does behind the scenes.

To her, it’s about getting a great piece of material and shepherding it from beginning to end. Keshishian describes herself as an old-fashioned manager who fosters her clients’ passion projects while helping them balance their careers.

SNAPSHOT
Job title: Partner-manager, Brillstein Entertainment Partners
Role models: Sam Cohn, Cecile Keshishian, Alexander Ovechkin
Career mantra: “Don’t take no for an answer”
Leisure pursuits: Extreme Beer Pong, Nude Luge
Philanthropic passions: FINCA (Foundation for International Community Assistance), which aims to create employment, raise family incomes and reduce poverty worldwide.

More Scene

  • James Marsden attends the 2019 MOCA

    New Abortion Ban Laws Take Center Stage at MOCA Gala

    Forty years ago in Los Angeles, the decision to invest millions in a museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art — not to mention its formerly desolate downtown location, where the vibe was more apocalyptic than artsy — was a risky proposition. But now that the city’s cultural heart has shifted south of Hollywood, it seems [...]

  • Robert De Niro Calls for Impeachment,

    Robert De Niro Calls for Impeachment, Imprisonment for Trump, Says Maybe Al Pacino Should Lead Instead

    Robert De Niro honored Al Pacino, his longtime friend and four-time collaborator (with Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film “The Irishman” marking their latest pairing), at the American Icon Awards, and then called for a different type of tribute for President Donald Trump — “impeachment and imprisonment.” “You didn’t think you were going to completely get away without [...]

  • Millie Bobby Brown on Her Feature

    Millie Bobby Brown Calls Her Film Debut in 'Godzilla' 'Kind of Unreal'

    Millie Bobby Brown is no stranger to stardom thanks to “Stranger Things,” but she still can’t believe she’s making her feature film debut in the monster reboot “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” “It’s kind of unreal,” Brown told Variety at the premiere. “I’m like, ‘What is happening right now?’ It’s so bizarre and unreal, and [...]

  • CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 19: Robert

    Robert Pattinson Helps HFPA Donate $500,000 to Refugee Organization at Cannes Event

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Association proved in Cannes Sunday night that the Golden Globes aren’t the only festive bash it can pull off each year. At the glamorous Nikki Beach party held in association with Participant Media, the HFPA donated $500,000 to international aid organization Help Refugees. Co-hosts Robert Pattinson and Helen Mirren along with Quentin [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content