Whether it's finding that next big star or landing your already A-list client an Oscar-winning role, the work of a Hollywood agent never ends. Nobody knows this better than International Creative Management’s (ICM) Adam Schweitzer, who started as an assistant at the company a year out of the University of Wisconsin and worked his way up the ranks to become its co-head of motion picture talent (with a short stint at a management company in between). “To be a good agent, you have to be a salesman and be strategic in figuring out how to get the job for your client,” says Schweitzer.
In 2009, at the ripe age of 32, Schweitzer was named one of The Hollywood Reporter’s Top 35 Entertainment Executives Under Age 35, no doubt thanks in part to a client roster that includes Al Pacino, Edie Falco, Ray Romano and Julia Stiles.
But it’s one of Schweitzer’s newest clients, Christoph Waltz, who has drawn the most attention as of late. Even before Waltz won this year’s Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (among many other awards) for playing a Nazi in Inglourious Basterds, Schweitzer knew he wanted to represent whoever got that particular part. “I read the script and saw the star-making potential of that role,” he says. After Austrian-born Waltz snagged it, Schweitzer was the first US agent to pursue him. Waltz signed with ICM in April 2009.
For Schweitzer the most rewarding part of his job is discovering new talent like Waltz—but a shoutout here and there doesn’t hurt either. “[Agents] don’t get to win any awards, so to get thanked by your client at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, BAFTA and SAG Awards is pretty unbelievable.” So is having the intuition to find a client who wins all of those.