Supporting Roles

Actor Shea Whigham and his younger brother Jack, a Hollywood agent, have got each other’s back.



Brothers Shea (left) and Jack Whigham found careers in Hollywood as actor and talent agent, respectively, eventually teaming up to work together.

Beth Whigham

They’d grown up “so close they were almost like twins,” Beth Whigham says of her sons. Whatever Shea did, younger brother Jack was sure to at least give a try.
When Shea played tennis at Lake Mary High School, Jack took it up. And when Shea, 43, became an actor and took his shot at Hollywood, Jack, 35, fresh out of law school, wondered what sort of work there might be for him in show business. He settled on “agent” and followed Shea west seven years ago.
As Shea’s acting resume grew—indie films (Wristcutters: A Love Story) and TV roles (ER)—Jack learned the ropes at Hollywood’s legendary Creative Artists Agency, CAA.
Eventually, the brothers knew they’d have to have a talk.
“Wouldn’t it be weird to represent your brother?” says Jack, who counts among his clients the new Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield), Batman’s new nemesis (Tom Hardy) and Oscar winner Benicio del Toro. “That working relationship can get weird pretty quickly in this business. But we looked each other in the eye and said, ‘Look, no one’s going to care more about you than me and vice versa. If you don’t eat, I won’t eat. Let’s do this together.’”
Shea and Jack have become a formidable Hollywood one-two punch. Jack represents actors whom he met while Shea was a struggling New York stage actor, guys like Colin Farrell and Michael Shannon. Shea’s career has since taken off, with big, scene-stealing turns in The Lincoln Lawyer and Take Shelter, and a co-starring role on HBO’s critically acclaimed Boardwalk Empire, produced by Martin Scorsese.

Shea credits his younger brother with helping him land a co-starring role on the Martin Scorsese-produced HBO series Boardwalk Empire. Photo: Macall B. Polay/HBO


“Your agent can’t strong-arm Martin Scorsese or Oliver Stone into giving me a role, even if he’s your brother,” Shea says. “But maybe he can get you the meeting. And your actor brother can’t make his agency, CAA, give his brother a job. But I could get him that first interview.”
Shea adds that since Jack became his agent “the game changed for me. There’s no way I would have gotten Boardwalk Empire if it wasn’t for him.”
They learned this teamwork thing from their parents—Beth, a retired media specialist with Seminole County Schools, and Frank Whigham, a Lake Mary attorney and onetime quarterback at Florida State in the early ’70s. Dad’s experience with big-time athletics made him skeptical of his sons’ longshot career choices. When Shea was just starting to gain acting fame and Jack was a nationally ranked tennis star at the University of Florida about 15 years ago, Frank joked to a newspaper reporter that “those two have about as much chance of making it as me becoming president,” Jack recalls, laughing. “But he was right. We had a good blend of my mom’s encouragement with my dad’s reality-based skepticism.”
Both sons talk about their parents’ unwavering support, even when Shea was the “starving artist” and Jack was leaving a top law firm to take “a job in the mail room at CAA, which is where they make everybody start—$8.25 an hour,” Jack says.
“We’re breathing a little easier now,” Beth says of her sons’ success. But anything she and Frank can do to help out, they’re still on the team.

Edit Module
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

 

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Guides & Resources

Orlando's Top Chiropractors of 2014

More than 75 Central Florida chiropractors make our inaugural list.

Fall Getaways

Fall is finally on its way and now is the perfect time to plan your getaway. Check out some of these great deals and special destinations just a short drive from Orlando.

Real Estate's Hot 100

Whether you’re trying to buy or sell real estate, getting the best deal means finding an agent who possesses savvy and know-how and gets results. This list showcases some Central Florida agents who have demonstrated those skills.

Spotlight on Plastic Surgeons 2014

This special advertising section highlights the accomplishments of plastic surgeons, who tell about their commitment to helping people look their best.

Orlando's Best Lawyers of 2014

Get informed with our annual list of more than 400 Orlando-area attorneys, compiled by Best Lawyers in America. The annual selection features lawyers in 78 areas of practice.

Spotlight on Lawyers 2014

Our special advertising section featuring profiles on local lawyers.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

MoreRecent Blog Posts

Parade of Homes: Vote for Your Favorite

It's time to vote for your favorites for the People's Choice Award 2014 Fall Parade of Homes.

More Than a Swimming Hole

A few to-do's for your next trip to Wekiwa Springs.

New Orlando Restaurants Open This Fall

From a rustic restaurant at the Ritz and a cool wine bar on I-Drive to a rooftop steakhouse

Star Billing

Victoria & Albert's, Cask & Larder draw national kudos.