July 23, 2017

“It’s just speculation at the moment,” Laura Dern told the Los Angeles Times last month, describing talk that she has become a prospect for the presidency of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when new officers are elected on August 8. But it’s a hot summer afternoon, and all the serious people are at Comic-Con. So what the heck? Let’s peer at the leaves in our iced green tea and speculate, just a little.

If indeed she were to become the Academy’s 36th president, succeeding the termed-out Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Dern—a 50-year old actress-producer with screen-actor parents and more than a hundred film, television and video credits—would become the youngest person to hold that office in recent memory. The same, of course, is true of Rory Kennedy, a 48-year-old documentarian who is also mentioned as a possible contender. But a third prospect, casting director David Rubin, appears to be slightly older than was Gregory Peck when he became president at the age of 51 in 1967 (unless Rubin was only 14 or 15 when he worked as a casting assistant on Ragtime, released in 1981).

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