Hollywood came out Wednesday evening to toast The Hollywood Reporter's Next Generation class of 2012.
The list was published online and in print in the Nov. 16 issue of THR, on newsstands now.
The party, designed to celebrate the entertainment industry’s 35 fasting-rising stars 35 and under, drew a mix of top execs (USA’s Jeff Wachtel, MTV’s David Janollari), high-powered agents (ICM’s Chris Silbermann, CAA’s Richard Lovett, Gersh’s Bob Gersh) and celebrities (Chicago Fire’s Taylor Kinney, Molly Shannon and the Happy Endings cast).
“It’s really cool because it showcases everyone in the industry,” said Next Gen honoree Dakota Johnson, who stars on Fox’s freshman comedy Ben and Kate. “It's not just young Hollywood … it’s directors and agents and everyone that makes this all work.”
Added Bachelorette director – and fellow honoree -- Leslye Headland of being included on the list, now in its 19th year: “It was a big, big thrill, and a little surreal, too,” she said, noting that she has been following THR’s Next Gen list since she began her Hollywood career as an assistant to Harvey Weinstein. “If you’ve been reading and watching it for a while -- to be actually a part of it now is sort of incredible.”
The evening, held at the untitled event space at 7213 Sunset Blvd. with Samsung and A&E as sponsors, kicked off a touch before 7 p.m., with a class photo of this year’s collection of agents, managers, lawyers, digital, film and TV execs.
Lynne Segall, publisher of The Hollywood Reporter, and Janice Min, The Hollywood Reporter’s editorial director, spoke about the Next Gen list’s 19-year history and announced the 35 members of the Class of 2012.
As the night wore on, the new additions mingled with former Next Gen honorees including Fox's Charlie Andrews, NBC's Brandon Riegg, CAA's Tom Young, Principato Young's Tucker Voorhees, UTA's Josh Hornstock and Jenny Maryasis, among many others.
Joining them was Enlightened creator Mike White, President Obama speechwriter-turned-1600 Penn co-creator (and Next Gen honoree) Jon Lovett and the cast of ABC’s Happy Endings, who came directly from set to support showrunner and honoree David Caspe. “They’re very nice to come and get a free drink,” he joked of having stars Adam Pally, Elisha Cuthbert, Damon Wayans Jr., Casey Wilson and Eliza Coupe there.
As for his inclusion, he, like many on this year’s list, had spent much of the day on the receiving end of congratulatory phone calls and emails: “People are very excited, which makes me a little embarrassed, but I’m very happy.”