For those of you who watch and love Entourage (and especially the up-tight, conniving, brash and aggressive character of Ari Gold), you must be wondering – is Ari Gold a carbon copy of Ari Emanuel, the head of the WME Agency and if so, how has he gotten where he is with such a demeanor?
In the show, Gold is renowned for his arrogance, bravado and for having the vernacular of a street pimp mixed with a college grad. He’s a bully but has an unusually likable character that associates say is characteristic of Emanuel as well.
Many believe that the loud-mouthed Gold character portrayed in the show is a caricature of Emanuel, who in his younger days was described as volatile but is said to have mellowed considerably in recent years. Even Emanuel has acknowledged that there are aspects of himself in Gold.
However, what’s beneath the surface of the real-life Ari Gold? Emanuel is the younger brother of Rahm Emanuel, who is the Chief of Staff to President Obama’s administration. Ari Emanuel founded the ‘Endeavour Talent Agency’, which recently merged with powerhouse agency ‘William Morris’. The combined behemoth is now known as the ‘WME Agency’ and is the largest talent agency in the US, apart from CAA. Emanuel represents the likes of Martin Scorsese, Mark Wahlberg (interesting, considering that Wahlberg is executive producer of Entourage) and Matt Damon.
Ari Emanuel recently articulated his vision for the future of entertainment agencies – it could have come straight from Gold’s mouth:
“In order to survive, talent firms are going to have to do more. They must stop being simple deal-makers [and] become “mega-agencies” – vast, multi-faceted companies with marketing departments, events divisions, and new media offshoots which help clients to leverage income from a wider variety of sources.
Agents will also have to take a more pro-active role in the actual creation of films, making them more likely to be called upon to “package” a production: attaching directors, producers, and actors from their own stable to a particular project, before selling it to the studios.”
If Emanuel’s vision does come to fruition, how will his ego cope?