We all love seeing agents portrayed on screen. Whether it be representing Hollywood stars to athletes, we draw some, if not all of our assumptions of an agent’s life from these roles.
With this in mind, I’ve come up with a list of the Top 6 Agents who both represent Athletes and Entertainers. The list is based majorly on how close the Agent reflects true life.
You’re probably asking why 6, well I thought 10 was too many and 5 wasn’t enough!
6. Jerry Dabelstein (Dailan Evans) – Mark Loves Sharon (TV)
Plot: The show takes a behind the scenes look at the life of Mark Wary, an Australian sportsman as he navigates through his career, culminating in his marriage to his girlfriend Sharon. Mark is a bit of a bad-boy, being involved in one indiscretion after another, leaving the job of his Agent Jerry, quite a difficult task.
Agent lessons?: Despite the show receiving lukewarm reviews, the character of Jerry was written and portrayed quite well. Jerry was characteristic of a struggling Agent, with Mark being his only client. He wasn’t flashy and didn’t live in a mansion. He was always at Mark’s side at every press conference after his mishaps. Mark would be lost without him, and this is shown when Mark drops Jerry.
Favorite Quote: “You here that? That is the sound of Mark Wary not in trouble. Beautiful sound, usually only heard when he’s fast asleep…*Alarm rings*”
Watch full episodes here
5. Rick Peck (Matthew McConaughey) – Tropic Thunder (Film)
Plot: A bunch of actors filming a war film are sent deep into the jungle to create a more realistic film, only to discover they are involved in a real war themselves. Rick Peck is the Agent of the film’s star Tugg Speedman, who won’t stop harping on about his Tivo. .
Agent lessons?: Rick Peck’s offices are stylish and sleek, and he is portrayed as a fast talking win at all costs Agent. Rick’s alliances are tested throughout the film, as he is offered a large sum to forget about his client. a highlight of this portrayal is the commitment and integrity shown towards his client.
Quotes: “Now let me get this straight. You want me to let my client of 15 years, one of my best friends, die in the jungle alone, for some money and a G5?”
4. Darren Lamb (Stephen Merchant) – Extras (TV)
Plot: Andy Millman is an extra who finally gets his big break when a TV show he wrote gets picked up by the BBC. Darren lamb plays his incompetent Agent.
Agent Lessons?: Darren Lamb is the perfect example of a terrible, inept Agent. He is constantly bagging Andy, and is more concerned on fattening his bank balance and his other clients. Darren has a very small office, and most of the time it seems Andy knows more about getting roles than he does.
Favorite Quotes: “Will he still get paid even if his performance is crap?”
3. Arliss Michaels (Robert Wuhl) – Ari$$ (TV)
Plot: Arliss Michaels is a Super Agent. He represents a large stable of clients across a wide range of sports. The show features plenty of guest stars, mainly in the sporting arena. Arliss narrates over the show, offering tips and advice of how to succeed as an Agent.
Agent Lessons?: Arliss Michaels was a bit over the top, but never the less much can be taken from the character. The ‘tips’ that he gave were at least in the ballpark of what an Agent is expected to do. The way that the Arli$$ series played out was that you learned what to do at the same time he did. A highlight of the show was the variety of situations in which Arli$$ saw himself. From NFL contracts to NCAA recruiting, a lot of ground is covered.
Favorite Quote: “My name is Arliss Michaels. I represent athletes. These are my stories.”
2. Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) – Entourage (TV)
Plot: Vincent Chase is one of the brightest talents in Hollywood. From indie films to blockbusters, he navigates through this wild ride with his three best friends- Drama, Turtle and E. Ari Gold is his unscrupulous Agent, who often considers himself as one of the gang. The show features many actors playing themselves.
Agent Lessons?: Ari Gold is a self proclaimed ‘Super Agent’ and a true example of how hard work pays off. He started from the ground up, and over a decade has become one of the leading Agents in Hollywood. He has a large house, fast cars and a beautiful wife. Although the show does take things to the extreme of indulgence, the character of Ari is based loosely on Ari Emanuel, who like his character broke away from a major agency to start his own. [Source] Ironically, Ari Emanuel once represented Jeremy Piven.
A dilemma that faces Ari Gold through the series is self interest. Often he’ll play studios against each other in order to get more money for his client. While this sounds good in theory, most of the time it is against the wishes of his clients. Lesson learned? Listen to your clients wants and needs, because if you won’t someone else will.
1. Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) – Jerry Maguire (Film)
Plot: Jerry Maguire is a hotshot Agent who decides to grow a conscience. By releasing a game plan for how he wants the business to be run, he is let go. He enlists the help of an assistant and after a frantic chase to take his clients with him, he is left with one, Rod Tidwell, an NFL player looking for a new contract.
Agent Lessons?: It’s the film that almost everyone gets perceptions about the industry from. Based on one of the finest and most successful (if not most successful) Agent in the world, Leigh Steinberg, Jerry Maguire explores some interesting topics. The path of leaving an Agency to form your own is one many respected and driven Agents take, and as it shows in this film, it’s not as easy as you may think it would be.
Although the film has very romantic overtones, a theme that needs to be explored is the sense of loneliness that Jerry Maguire has. He is effectively married to his job, as he leaves his fiancee early in the film. This highlights the notion that being an Agent is a 24/7 job.
Favorite Quote: “I will not rest until I have you holding a Coke, wearing your own shoe, playing a Sega game featuring you, while singing your own song in a commercial starring you, broadcast during the Superbowl, in a game that you are winning.”
So in conclusion, while a lot of the Agents’ lives you see portrayed on screen are jazzed up and glamorized, this from of media is a great way to research methods of how to be a successful Sports Agent.
One reply on “Silver Screen Agents: What can you learn?”
I have to disagree. I would put Ari at #1. He is just such a great character, and Tom Cruise puts on too much of a goody two shoes image with his change of heart.