The Hollywood panel at Herb Allen’s Sun Valley annual get-together took place Thursday night and insiders tell me that Brian Grazer charmed, Chinese hot property Lee Wong intrigued, Candice Bergen endeared and Harvey Weinstein … well, he was Harvey.
Several people in attendance said the Weinstein Co. mogul caused eyes to roll and visibly annoyed moderator Charlie Rose by touting his TV division, which is apparently about to be sold.
“Harvey was his usual self-promoting self,” said one person in attendance, who declined to be named. “He dug himself a hole.”
Weinstein told a story about working with Martin Scorsese to cut “Gangs of New York” down from three-and-a-half to two-and-a-half hours. The person in attendance paraphrased Weinstein as saying: “Then I had the idea to put out a 3 ½ hour directors cut. But Marty would never agree to that because then people would say what a genius I was in getting the cut down.”
Apparently a lead balloon in the room. The audience, let’s remember, are not Hollywood novices, but some of the biggest tech and media moguls on the planet.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, in the audience, asked panelists what their biggest flops were, and why.
Bergen, once upon a time “Murphy Brown,” charmed the room by responding: “Oh my God, everything.”
Grazer spoke feelingly about failing at football in his youth — getting cut in a humiliating way from the team — and how that led him to “Friday Night Lights,” the successful movie and then television show.
And he told about getting schooled by the legendary mogul Lew Wasserman when he started out in the business. Wasserman apparently told him, “Kid, you got nothing. But if you take a pencil and paper — separately they have no value, but put them together and they’re worth a lot more. Now get out of my office, kid.”
That was a particularly fun anecdote, since Lew’s grandson Casey Wasserman, CEO of Wasserman Media Group, was in the room.
Sun Valley has been pretty calm so far, but after all it’s been years since this place produced the mega-media deals of the 1980s and 1990s.
The Hollywood moguls still show up — most of them anyway, Rupert Murdoch doesn’t miss it and neither do Weinstein and Katzenberg, for example — but one mogul confessed to me that he goes protectively to watch his back.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story said Casey Wasserman is Lew’s nephew. He is, of course, his grandson. TheWrap regrets the error.