By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
All this may not have mattered if Carrey’s up-and-down career had not frozen. Worse, in May, the media hyped Fox pulling the plug on Used Guys — a Ben Stiller/Jim Carrey movie in the works — because it wasabout to become one of the most costly original comedies ever made. But it was also symptomatic of the way that Hollywood’s stumbling studios were starting to reverse direction on the soaring salaries and percentage of box office revenues that big talent had long commanded. Also made into a big deal was Paramount’s postponement of Carrey’s big-budget Ripley’s Believe It or Not when, in reality, the star sent the film back into development because its script wasn’t “unbelievable” enough.
Then, in early July, Miller and Gold dissolved their 13-year-old management and production company and separated all their business except for Carrey. Eric Gold signed with CAA to represent every movie he produces. More of Miller’s clients jumped to the big agency.
“The fix is in for CAA,” Stevens told his UTA partners after Miller arranged for the agent’s longtime client Judd Apatow to take a meeting at CAA, whose agents boasted to the writer “there’s $400 million out there for you to make movies.” A furious Stevens confronted Miller and Gold: If he were doing such a crappy agenting job for Carrey, then how come his client, Ben Stiller, has never been hotter? The managers responded they felt Stevens favored Stiller over Carrey. The agent told them that was nonsense and contended that the only difference between the two stars was that one had managers and the other didn’t. The acrimony was out in the open: Stevens started ranting on the phone and in e-mails that Miller and Gold were poisoning his relationship with clients.
Maybe the endgame wouldn’t have happened so abruptly last week if Carrey hadn’t been slow to return Stevens’ calls, heightening the agent’s paranoia. It reached a climax when New Line scheduled the first test screening of Carrey’s new thriller, The Number 23. All of Team Carrey was to attend. But then the studio sent word that no agents or managers were invited, sending everyone into a tailspin. Gold, with Carrey in his car, was going anyway. Miller was out of town. So Stevens, stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the freeway en route to the screening, was told by Gold to make a U-turn. Three-way cell-phone conversations ensued as Gold and Carrey in one car and Stevens in another figured out what to do. Gold became angry when he found out that Stevens made a bunch of calls to the studio to lift the ban. That made Carrey agitated as well. Gold felt Stevens was acting manic. But the agent had a reason: His sixth sense was telling him he was about to be fired.
Carrey placed that fatal phone call to Stevens on Wednesday morning. The managers told the town they didn’t know about it until after the fact. Gold, at the Beverly Hills Hotel for a lunch meeting, paced around the grounds clutching his cell phone as he talked on a conference call to Carrey and Miller about what had just gone down. Defending the firing, the managers told Hollywood that, after his phoner with Carrey, Stevens should have tried to save the client by gathering together all of the resources of UTA for one final Hail Mary pitch. In fact, Season 3’s final episode of Entourage showed Ari doing that PowerPoint-and-pleading presentation for Vince and his manager, “E.” It didn’t work for Ari, and Stevens knew it wouldn’t work for him either. In an e-mail sent to Miller and Gold, the agent tore into the managers for sabotaging Carrey’s relationship with him and maneuvering the actor out of UTA. Later, to his colleagues, Stevens explained that a final meeting would have been pointless.
Then he sent a note to the remains of Team Carrey, urging everyone to “live and let live.” Something like that is bound to turn up in Entourage’s Season 4.
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