You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Patti Felker: Legal eagle in harmony with talent’s family

Youth Impact Report 2012: Primo Percenters

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.

Return to the Youth Impact Report 2012 >>

More Voices

  • Hollywood Has Come Far With Diversity

    An Insider's Look at Hollywood's Diversity Efforts and How Far It Still Needs to Go

    I am a white man working in Hollywood. I grew up in Beverlywood, an all-white, predominantly Jewish, Los Angeles neighborhood sandwiched between 20th Century Fox Studios and MGM, where my elementary school had only one black student. I am compelled to write about diversity in Hollywood because “diversity” — in front of and behind the camera [...]

  • Venice Film Festival A Star is

    How Venice, Toronto and Telluride Festivals Stole Cannes' Luster (Column)

    In all the years I’ve been attending film festivals, I have never seen a lineup that looked as good on paper as Venice’s did this fall, boasting new films by Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”), Damien Chazelle (“First Man”), Paul Greengrass (“22 July”), Mike Leigh (“Peterloo”) and the Coen brothers (“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”) in competition, [...]

  • Black Women in Medicine BTS

    Hollywood Needs to Include People With Disabilities on Both Sides of the Camera (Guest Column)

    In five years, nothing has changed. Despite open calls for greater diversity and inclusion, recent research shows that there was little change in the number of characters with disabilities in popular films in 2017. A study conducted by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism found that [...]

  • Seven Seconds

    Fighting the Racial Bias at the Core of Hollywood’s Cop Shows (Guest Column)

    If fiction is the lie that tells a deeper truth, the TV crime genre has been, for the most part, the lie that simply tells a lie. As a storyteller (Veena) and an advocate for racial justice (Rashad), we collaborated for the past two-and-a-half years in an attempt to reimagine the roles of cops, victims, [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein Trial

    Column: Documentarian Barry Avrich Ponders Whether Harvey Weinstein Will Be Convicted

    Will Harvey Weinstein go to jail? That’s perhaps the most debated topic in Hollywood. It’s a question that makes me miss my friend Dominick Dunne, the controversial Vanity Fair columnist who would have already succeeded in interview-ing the chambermaids at Harvey’s sex-addiction clinic. Dunne once prophetically told me there would be a massive reckoning in Hollywood. He [...]

  • Janet Mock Pose

    'Pose' Writer Janet Mock on Making History With Trans Storytelling (Guest Column)

    I first met Ryan Murphy on location in Hollywood in July. The set was a nightclub, filled with background actors staged as glistening go-go dancers, shirtless revelers, and twirling drag queens. They were all basking under the glow of a spinning disco ball — a fitting setting for my first Hollywood job interview. I was [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content