Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency
By James Andrew Miller
Custom House

James Andrew Miller has certainly done his legwork for this book on the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), a powerhouse of Hollywood talent and business nous that grew from “a brave little band of five” who defected from the William Morris Agency in the mid-1970s. By middle age, CAA had grown to include offices around the world, from its headquarters in Los Angeles – although not in the building Michael Ovitz persuaded a reluctant I.M. Pei to design in the late 1980s. Insight into why Ovitz and Ron Meyer became the dominant duo, despite the quintet starting out as equal partners, becomes clear in that interesting section. Everything that goes up must come down, however, even in La La Land, where the artistry served on television and movie screens comes with sides of behind-the-screens intrigue, power struggles and billions of dollars. Miller conducted 500-plus interviews (including stars such as Tom Cruise) from which he extracted bite-sized chunks to be presented verbatim and in chronological order. The story would have been more compelling told the conventional way.