“Vindictive? Are you kidding me?” I have just asked Michael Ovitz about his treatment of enemies during the 20 years he spent as Hollywood’s super-agent. Creative Artists Agency, the all-conquering talent group he co-founded, had the biggest roster of A-list clients, representing everyone from Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise to Barbra Streisand and Madonna. It also had immense power: the old Tinseltown phrase “you’ll never eat lunch in this town again” could have been written for those who crossed it. “It was absolutely vindictive,” he concedes. How did he justify it? “My job was to make the trains run on time.” We are in Hamasaku, a swanky sushi restaurant he owns on the west side of Los Angeles. A devotee of Japanese food, he used to frequent another LA spot called Matsuhisa, and grew so fond of it that he introduced Robert De Niro (a CAA client, naturally) to its owner: the star and the chef then launched the Nobu restaurant chain together, opening sites in Manhattan’s Tribeca an...

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