EXCLUSIVE: Longtime WME agent-turned-manager Brian DePersia has signed his first three clients under his new Cognition banner: Mahershala Ali, Caitriona Balfe and Tobias Menzies.
All three were clients he repped at WME, and they will continue to be shared by that agency. Deadline revealed February 1 that DePersia was ending a WME run that started in 2000, and saw him become a partner in 2016. His move to management is an amicable one and he is starting his new business with formidable talent and more coming.
Two-time Academy Award winner Ali recently starred in and produced Swan Song for Apple and next stars opposite Julia Roberts in Sam Esmail’s Leave the World Behind for Netflix, as well as the iconic title role in Blade for Marvel. He is also set to star in The Plot, an adaptation of the Jean Korelitz bestseller for a limited series at Hulu / Onyx. Ali continues to be repped by WME and Sloane Offer.
Balfe was recently nominated for SAG, Critics Choice and BAFTA awards for her work in the Kenneth Branagh-directed Belfast. Balfe, who last starred in Ford V Ferrari alongside Christian Bale and Matt Damon, continues to star as the lead in the Starz series Outlanderwith Season 6 premiering March 6. Balfe continues to be repped by WME, Emptage Hallett, and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.
Menzies won the Emmy in 2021 for his performance as Prince Phillip in the Netflix series The Crownand he soon begins shooting the lead role in Apple’s limited series Manhunt, which chronicles Secretary of War Edwin Stanton’s hunt for John Wilkes Booth after Lincoln’s assassination. Menzies continues to be repped by WME and Conway Van Gelder Grant.