Byline: Sabrina Qutb
BEVERLY HILLS — Sitting in the office of Mandy Films, Amanda Goldberg reluctantly admits that her father, Leonard Goldberg, did indeed name the company after her. But, she’s quick to clarify that she never actually went by “Mandy.”
“I think he thought it would be a good way to torture me if I ever came to work for him,” she says with a laugh. It’s the laugh of a good sport, and at the age of 26, with a recent associate producer credit on “Charlie’s Angels,” she knows she has no real cause for complaint.
In spite of her father’s tremendous success producing films like “War Games” and “Sleeping with the Enemy,” and TV shows like “Fantasy Island” and the original “Charlie’s Angels,” Amanda insists that working at Mandy Films was the last thing she thought she’d end up doing.
“I grew up in the business and I always wanted to be totally separate from my father,” she says. “I didn’t want to be in his shadow. I wanted to do fashion.”
After three years in Todd Oldham’s studio, she began to feel disenchanted with her choice. “I just didn’t think I could do fashion for the rest of my life. It’s so inaccessible to most people.”
Talking with Oldham about his interest in film helped Goldberg realize what she had to do. “Todd wanted to direct films, and it was hearing him talk about why that made me realize just how powerful film really is.”
Her father was producing “Double Jeopardy” at the time and put Amanda right to work. Resentment among the ranks and doubts about her abilities were inevitable, but she says they surfaced in subtle ways. “I think I’ve definitely had to work a little harder on the personal relationships in the business because of it.”
Working on “Charlie’s Angels” was a passion for her, not just because her father was one of the creators, but because she grew up watching the show. “I had all the dolls and all their clothes and even the luggage to put it in,” she says. “The story goes that when I met Jaclyn Smith I cried and cried, because I realized for the first time that my favorite doll was actually a real person.”
About the new Angels, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu, Goldberg says, “One of the reasons they’re so popular is that they just happen to be really open, really sweet, affectionate people. Drew was constantly hugging the director, the prop guy…they’re touchy-feely people. Nothing insincere about it.”
Goldberg refuses to buy the notion that the Angels’ status as fashion objects or sex symbols does anything to undermine their “girl power,” as she calls it. In fact, she thinks it’s just the opposite: “I wouldn’t say they use their sexuality explicitly, but sometimes there’s some fun in using sex for power as a woman.”