When it comes to her clients, entertainment attorney Patti Felker doesn’t care whether they’re adults, adolescents or children. All that really matters to the power lawyer is inking the best possible deal.
In addition to negotiating contracts for Jeremy Renner and overall deals at Warner Bros. for Greg Berlanti, Felker has recently put pacts together for 24-year-old Zac Efron as well as such up-and-comers as 15-year-old Asa Butterfield, 17-year-old Callan McAuliffe, 19-year-old Bridgit Mendler and 23-year-old Corbin Bleu.
Felker credits “the rising success of movies based on young adult books” for making what was once a challenging bargaining marketplace for young talent into one that pays, for the most part, in accordance with a child thesp’s market value.
“Especially since ‘Harry Potter’ there is and will be an emergence of young actors who will carry movies. We see the casting of these actors and the fees they are commanding becoming commensurate with their adult counterparts,” says the legal partner at Felker Toczek Gellman Suddleson.
Felker says these days one of the trickiest components of handling youth talent is establishing that “the family unit is harmonious.”
“When you decide to represent a minor, you don’t just have to satisfy one client, you have to satisfy several clients because there are parents involved. So I’m really careful. I meet the whole family.”
Felker, who has represented Brendan Fraser since he was 17, says she is particularly excited for her younger clients.
“There are more vehicles for them to appear in, which helps them maintain a career that carries them through adulthood.”
Impact: Negotiated the “Hugo” and “Ender’s Game” deals for client Asa Butterfield, among others.
Next: Client Callan McAuliffe will play a young Jay Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby.”
Causes: Inner-City Arts, Pups for Peace and Heifer Project Intl.