Frost/Nixon May 01 2009
Early in Frost/Nixon, we meet Irving Lazar, who negotiates on behalf of Richard Nixon with David Frost. He didn't get that much screen time, but Lazar struck me as an interesting character1 so I looked him up on Wikipedia after the movie. Michael Korda, himself a publishing bigwig, wrote a profile of Lazar for the New Yorker in 1993. Korda was befriended by Lazar early on in his career and went on to do many deals with the legendary agent.
Early on, Lazar hit upon three rules that have stood him in good stead for over fifty years. The first was that he could always reach anyone, anywhere, any time. His secret weapon is the world's largest address book, full of the private, unlisted numbers of people whom nobody else can reach. Who else can pick up the phone and call Mrs. Norton Simon, Jack Nicholson, Barry Diller, Larry McMurtry, Arthur Schlesinger, Richard Nixon, Cher, Gregory Peck, or Henry Kissinger, and get through immediately? The second rule was always to go directly to the top. Lazar doesn't deal with underlings. The last rule was to insist on a quick answer. Even now, if I tell Irving that I want to think something over or discuss it with someone else he will snap, "Never mind, I can see you're not interested, I'll talk to Phyllis Grann."
 My first impression was, this guy seems a bit like Truman Capote to me. Well, duh: the actor playing him, Toby Jones, also portrayed Capote in Infamous. ↩