You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jeffrey Katzenberg Remembers Being Mentored by Lew Wasserman

Jeffrey Katzenberg knows about being mentored — his mentor was the legendary agent Lew Wasserman.

“Lew was the one who took me by the hand and said, ‘This is the one we all need to be behind,’” Katzenberg remembers. “To have him as a mentor in this only makes it that much more important for me to be here.”

Here was the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s NextGen summer party for young Hollywood talent both in front of and behind the camera, held on Thursday at the Paramount lot in Hollywood.

MPTF is our family,” Katzenberg said. “It’s my family. I’ve grown up in this town and so blessed by it, and this is a chance to give back to the industry that’s given me everything.”

MPTF provides financial support and other resources for members of the entertainment industry in need. The organization operates the Wasserman Campus, a residential retirement community in Woodland Hills.

Hosted by “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” star Clark Gregg and “Community’s” Yvette Nicole Brown, the NextGen event included the premiere of a Funny or Die PSA featuring Chris Pratt talking about couch surfing and relying on the kindness of others during his early days in Hollywood, after being discovered by Rae Dawn Chong while he was working as a waiter in Maui.

Jeffrey Katzenberg and Yvette Nicole Brown MPTF's Annual NextGen Summer Party, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 16 Aug 2018

Following a performance by “Nashville” actress Clare Bowen and her husband Brandon Robert Young, Brown asked the crowd to quiet down, even walking to the bar to corral everyone to the stage.

“I want to talk to you about something very important,” Brown said. “It’s called service. Everybody know what service is? It’s the opportunity to pay your tithe for being on the earth.”

“Who here is blessed in some way?” she asked. “I see a lot of nice dresses and fresh haircuts and beautiful shoes and bags. Everybody is doing well in here. MPTF is the kind of organization that steps in when you’re not doing well.”

Gregg told Variety that he and his wife Jennifer Grey sought MPTF’s help when his mother-in-law, actress-turned-real-estate-broker Jo Wilder, decided to move to a retirement community. “Jen and I had an amazing experience with them,” he said. “They stepped up and provided all kinds of support in an area we knew nothing about. We went from kind of being really frustrated and lost in about three days to getting so much support and so many ideas, and with someone who could really deal directly with Jen’s mom and help her figure out what she wanted.”

Clark Gregg MPTF's Annual NextGen Summer Party, Inside, Los Angeles, USA - 16 Aug 2018

Brown urged guests to walk over to the Delta table and enter a raffle for $100 for a chance to win two first-class tickets to Amsterdam.

She also suggested attending a tour of the Wasserman Campus taking place on Sept 29.

“It is full of wonderful people who years ago did everything that you’re doing now,” Brown said. “I think sometimes we forget that the wealth of older people is that they have lived a life that is rich, and guess what? They’ve been to places you’re trying to get to. They’re kind enough to share what they know. … Whatever you want to do in the industry, there is somebody there who has walked that path.”

More Scene

  • Billy Eichner Power of Pride Variety

    Billy Eichner on Taylor Swift's 'Calm Down' Backlash

    When Taylor Swift released her “You Need to Calm Down” music video, it seemed like every member of the LGBTQ in Hollywood was included — except for Billy Eichner. “I’m still not gay enough for Taylor Swift — or too gay — I don’t know what it is,” Eichner joked at Variety’s Power of Pride [...]

  • Bebe Rexha

    Mumford and Sons, Sting, Ciara, Bebe Rexha Light Up Cannes Lions

    There was no shortage of excellent music at the 2019 edition of Cannes Lion. The international gathering of creatives drew top music brands – among them: Spotify, Live Nation, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM/Pandora, VEVO and Universal Music Group – and a slew of well-known acts to stages across the Croissette, to villas above the city and onto [...]

  • Patrick Wilson

    Patrick Wilson, Mckenna Grace on Scary Stories From 'Annabelle Comes Home' Set

    Tales of spooky occurrences on the sets of horror movies like “The Exorcist” and “Poltergeist” have circulated for years, and it looks like “The Conjuring” franchise is following in their footsteps in that regard. The cast of “Annabelle Comes Home” shared their unnerving stories from set at the film’s premiere on Thursday night at the Regency [...]

  • Donald Trump Chucky Childs Play

    'Child's Play' Stars on New Chucky's 'Creepy' Resemblance to Donald Trump

    At Wednesday night’s world premiere of the “Child’s Play” remake, it was obvious that evil doll Chucky — the star of seven films over three decades — had a little work done. And now he bears a striking resemblance to Donald Trump. “Oh, you caught that?” Aubrey Plaza asked Variety on the black carpet outside [...]

  • Cara Delevingne attends The Trevor Project's

    Cara Delevingne Recalls Producers Saying That Being Queer Will Hurt Her Career

    Hollywood may be celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month with displays of the rainbow flag and lots of talk about supporting diversity and inclusion, but Cara Delevingne says there’s still work to be done. “Behind closed doors, we are still being told, as I have, by powerful Hollywood producers that we can’t make it if we’re queer,” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content