It’s All Good

What a pleasure to speak with Todd Garner, Producer on Black Sky, about his new movie and about Richard Armitage, whom he says is “thoughtful and smart.” This should come as little surprise to fans since Richard has received praise from quite a few professionals during his career. Mostly due to his zeal to ensure the story is paramount and his character a perfect complement. His habit of writing character biographies has become almost legendary among fans and has prompted some to ask if he is a writer in the making. Garner thinks he is already there, “He’s an amazing actor but also a terrific writer even though he wouldn’t say that. He has come up with great moments not only for himself and others but for the movie. In fact we just finished shooting a moment he came up with that might be in the trailer.”

Black Sky is the story of a group of people in the midst of the worst tornado in recorded U.S. history. Richard plays a teacher caught up in finding his teenage son in the storm, and his preparation for the role could not be more perfect:

The moment when [the character biography] comes alive is when that research turns into the character, and that character goes out into the big wide world and collides with other characters (often the facets created in the biography are designed to cause chaos when this happens, like planting a few explosions inside the character).
Richard Armitage, Vulpes Libris interview.

Although Garner could not reveal much about the plot, it will be fascinating to see with which characters Richard collides whether people or the elements. And his reaction to Richard’s work on set seems to confirm that whatever the collisions, they are impressive, “He brings a great realism and weight to the movie that we wanted when we were casting. There is so much going on technically and with the story. It’s chaotic as it’s supposed to be since it’s a disaster movie. But it’s great to have an actor who in the midst of all of the chaos has complete control and still makes incredibly smart and surprising choices in his acting.” As for Richard’s speech, he will play an American from Oklahoma, and according to Todd, “He’s nailing the accent.”

Garner has also been impressed with Richard’s fans, “They seem very thoughtful, great and just cool. And it’s been fun. It’s a new experience for me since most of the people I’ve interacted with are comedians and fans of comedians.” He certainly didn’t seem to be the least bothered by fans coming to the set and explained, “Every movie with a star who’s beloved and with the internet making location shooting so well known, whether a Nicholas Cage movie, or a Tom Cruise movie, or a Kevin James movie, has fans who come to the set, and actors are for the most part grateful. Richard certainly feels that way and is happy to oblige. He’s a wonderful person who is very real and very giving and charming and hasn’t been put off by this at all. And everyone has been very respectful.” With the cast and crew working very hard on this movie, the only thing expected of the fans is to continue that respect, and I feel confident we will.

Regarding new pictures, Todd asks that we be patient with him and those working on the publicity for the movie who are trying to be thoughtful and intelligent about it. But it will probably be about two weeks when we get another photo. Considering how engaged he’s been so far, there should be no worries.

Todd Garner has served as producer on several well known movies such as Anger Management and Thirteen Going on 30. His next movie Here Comes the Boom starring Kevin James is due for release early October.

Photos courtesy of Todd Garner

68 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Me + Richard Armitage.

  2. Looking forward to seeing RA with an American accent!

  3. This is fantastic! Thank you so much! “Nailing the accent” …Just the words I wanted to hear…

  4. Thanks so much and I will also be reblogging. Reaffirms so much we have read and perceived about him. I love reading about him as writer as well as actor, too. Oh, I am so PROUD of him. I really, really am. Thank you to Todd also for doing this.

  5. Reblogged this on the armitage effect and commented:
    Here’s Frenzy’s interview with Todd Garner re Black Sky and RA. A must-read!!

  6. Thank you so much! Fantastic interview!

  7. Reblogged this on Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Country Life and commented:
    A blogging friend of mine had the privilege to interview Todd Garner in association with the new “tornado”movie “Black Sky” that’s being flimed in Michigan. In exciting developments via Twitter a couple of days ago, Mr. Garner made arrangements with Frenz for an interview. This is all timely as I have an interview with another producer involved with another movie in the works. I did the interview a couple of weeks ago and am writing the piece in between new babies and picking squah. My, my what a glamorous life I do lead!

  8. Thanks a million Frenz. It certainly is “All good”! Couldn’t be better in fact. I was completely awed by all the many wonderful things Todd had to say, not just about Richard the actor but about the man himself. When he made the statement that Richard is “a terrific writer” all I could say was “WOW”!! For a producer to say that is so exciting. It didn’t surprise me when he remarked, “he wouldn’t say that”! No surprise there!

    I can hardly wait to see the trailer! I wonder if Todd will at some point reveal just what that “moment” was? I just got shivers down my spine when he said, “He’s nailing the accent”! Too exciting for words!

  9. Every bit of news is making me want to watch this disaster film (not one of my usual genres) — and since Todd Garner seems intelligent and friendly, I might even watch Here Comes the Boom. Amazing how connections work. Thanks frenz. I’m glad you’re writing.

  10. Fabulous! Thanks for this, RAFrenzy. I love hearing how Richard is enhancing the movie with his writing talent and ideas.

  11. Fab interview – but did he give any clues about when we might see the trailer?

  12. Awesome scoop Frenz! Richard may be nailing the American accent, but you certainly nailed this interview!

  13. Thank you Frenz and Todd for a fabulous interview! It’s always such a thrill to read about Richard the man, the actor and now the writer.
    Like Angie, I am so proud of him.

  14. Good interview. Thanks for getting the reaffirmation too. Brilliant.

  15. That’s a wonderful report, RAFrenzy! It is indeed all good–I’m so glad you’ve shared all these fantastic insights with us. Love to hear Richard is nailing the accent. I can tell that he’s earned Todd’s respect as a hard worker and a creative, intelligent person. It’s wonderful to know that he’s a terrific writer and has come up with some great ideas for the movie–although that’s not all that surprising since he’s always had such thoughtful and interesting comments to share in interviews.

  16. Thanks so much for sharing this terrific interview. It just confirms everything we already know about Richard. :)

  17. I was hoping to hear how this movie was only an idea a year ago! And how RA ended up being cast? LOL part deux perhaps? Can’t wait to hear what co-stars will say in press junkets about this colaboration!

  18. Thank you for this little insight… and THANK YOU, TODD for being so awesome to us fans!

  19. It’s simply wonderful to hear so many great things being said about Richard by Todd Garner. Am so proud of our Richard. Well done for securing the interview with TG, Frenz.

  20. Reblogged this on Well, There You Go … and commented:
    RAFrenzy interviews Todd Garner, producer of Black Sky. Lots of good stuff in here. :)

  21. Fantastic interview, it’s so nice to hear others affirming everything we have know over the years in regards to Richards’s professionalism.
    Kudos also to the fans that have managed to meet Richard on set and contacting themselves in a respectful manner.

    Now all we have to do is wait, but we are used to that! Congratulations Frenz, job well done.

  22. Well done, Frenz!!

  23. *the journalist curtsies Jane Austen style to the up-and-coming journalist, who did an astounding job*

    You do a girl proud, Frenz.

    :-D

  24. Awesome post! It’s great to hear such good things about this man we love so much :)
    Wish i could be one of those lucky fans visiting the set *sigh*

  25. !!!!!!! :)))
    <3

  26. Thank You Frenzy :)

  27. Love this…what a great scoop to bag an interview with Todd! Fantastic :)

  28. Thank you , Frenz, for this! I’m soooo happy that Richard is nailing the accent! Yea!!

  29. Thanks Frenz. Glad he’s “nailing the accent”. Looking forward to Black Sky.

  30. How sad that he is covering up his beautiful British accent.

    I also take issue with the title, “Black Sky”. Anyone who lives where there are tornadoes knows that the sky turns green before a tornado hits!

  31. I love his British accent most of all, but I love his flexibility as well.

    True that the sky turns green before a tornado, but the tornado is often black. I think that’s what they mean. I grew up in tornado country and have lived through quite a few of them and they were almost always black.

  32. I love that the man is never afraid to take on a challenge,including nailing an American accent (we know he’s had some problems in that area in the past). And we’ve three films full of Thorin’s beautiful British accent (and singing!) to which we can look forward. And more to come, I am sure. :D

    And from my own experiences ditto on tornadoes generally being black.
    “Black Sky” gives me the image of Mother Nature having something ominous and threatening in store . . . which seems to fit with the theme of the film.

  33. Am I the only one who won’t believe that he is “nailing the accent” before his American fans have seen the movie and can confirm it? Would the producer really say anything else?

  34. Of course the producer is not going to say anything else. That’s why I didn’t spend a lot of time on that issue. The writer part is what’s interesting.

  35. At least it was to me. I actually have more info, but I will put it in a later post.

  36. That he developed backstories for his characters always fascinated me, so I’m looking forward to hearing more about his writing.

  37. What’s significant about Garner’s statement is it’s the first time a producer or director has just flat out said that. Others have only hinted at it that I’m aware.

  38. The Writer part is really interesting to me, because I have always been intrigued with his practice of creating character bios and would love to know more about this process.. The fact I am myself a writer plays a role, too, I suppose, in my curiosity. :D

    As for the accent, I still think he might have picked up some pointers from Lee Pace, who hails from that region. Lee does a convincing Brit accent–maybe it will be vice-versa. ;)

  39. We’ve had this discussion before. :D With his British accent as foundation, he’ll come more near nailing Southern than New York or whatever the hell that was on the Dos Passos reading. That was around the time of Spooks 8, so I’ve wondered if he was taking lessons from theone who will not be named. LOL!

  40. As for the writer thang, I’ve been saying for years that he’s a writer! It’s so obvious. He will end up behind the camera. Take that to the bank.

  41. I listned to the Words & Music again recently and it sounded like some kind of odd New York/Boston hybrid, so yeah–he may have gotten lessons from the WRONG person. ;)

    However, I was told that GOR herself has been able to master a generic Mid-Atlantic accent for Episodes so you see, there is hope for EVERYONE. :D A southern-ish accent will be much easier than what he tackled for that poetry reading IMHO.

    I believe he’s going to become a director one day–and screenwriter? He has so much talent and versatility and the drive to do it, I believe.

  42. All the great directors are writers. Yeah, that’s what I see coming. I watched Clint Eastwood last night and thought, hmm, oh, RA could do as much as a director and so much more, and I like Clint as a director pretty well!

  43. Well done,Frenz! Thank you very much!.:*
    Richard plays and assimilates knowledge,will soon be a director and screenwriter, perhaps pedagogue ,too.:)

  44. I was thinking of Clint, too, when that subjject arose. He’s come a long way and I agree, RA could surely exceed him. I think the great thing about a strong, detailed actor such as RA becoming a director is he would bring an understanding of and appreciation for his actors to the table. He’s been in their shoes.

  45. Great piece – well done you. His techinique towards character building has always held my interest and I believe this is something that he has channelled towards his RIII project. We have seen how well this works for RA and it’s great to see how others are receiving the end product. TG is accommodating in giving us all an insight into his movie and his cast, I hope the movie works for him and all those associated with it. Thank you so much for sharing.

  46. Reblogged this on I Want to be a Pin Up and commented:
    Frenz has come through for us BIG TIME!
    Please read (and feel read to re-read a thousand times) this interesting interview with Todd Garner, producer on Black Sky.
    Honestly, I could hear how lovely, talented, and charming Richard is all day long ;)
    This interview comes at a great time as I’ve got PS back, and will spend most of today working on a Richard Armitage project :)
    Hopefully it’ll be ready to post for Silly Sunday!

  47. Thanks Frenzy, this is a wonderful read, esp the part about RA’s writing and coming up with his own ideas. Funniest thing is, now I’m really looking forward to see a “tornado movie” !!!!! LOL

  48. I’m so amazed by what you’re capable of ! I’d never have the guts to make a quarter of what you do. Thanks for sharing this with us ! I love to have an insight on how it is to work on set with Richard. I remember Lucy Griffiths saying in one interview how helpful he’d been with her because he always tried to get the best of her. He would make a terrific director !

  49. I think Richard’s insight and sensitivity and generosity as an actor would serve him well in turn as a director. I believe actors would be clamoring to work for someone like him.

  50. […] Frenz interviews Todd Garner regarding Richard Armitage and Black Sky. […]

  51. Go, Frenz! I loved reading this. :)
    And a big THANKS to Mr. Garner for being down-to-earth enough to talk to a blogger and be so kind to us RA fans.

  52. Thanks Frenz. What a fab surprise to find this. I’m looking forward more and more to this film, and all these words of praise for Richard are a treat to read.

    He writes as well ? ! Renaissance Man or what.

  53. Thank you so much for this wonderful interview! I’m sure I will read it many times. It would be wonderful if Richard could be a writer-actor, or even a director of a movie.

    I love this man more and more every day and am so proud of him.

  54. Reblogged this on y que iba yo a contar and commented:
    Nuestra querida Frenzy ha hablado con el productor de la película que Richard Armitage está rodando ahora mismo. Aunque el post está en inglés se traducirá si pinchais en la bandera de España de la derecha.
    Avisadme si da problemas. Disfrutad

  55. Thanks, Frenz. You da woman. Clearly. And thanks also for the link to the Vulpes Libris interview. I had never seen that one before. So much more cerebral than most of the TV and print interviews I’ve seen (not that I thought Richard wasn’t smart–just the opposite–but many interviewers haven’t given him full rein in that direction). Made me wonder if I’m missing any more of Richard’s interviews in the blogosphere? Please advise when you have a second. And thanks again.

  56. […] TOP POSTS It's All Good […]

  57. Thanks for posting this. A lot has been made of Richard’s character diaries, and sometimes it seem as if posters think they were his original idea, but in fact I think they are a common technique in drama schools, at least in the US. What’s interesting to me is that Richard still does them even though he’s experienced actor. I interpret it as one more example of what a compliant, thorough student he is. Actualy, I think he sometimes goes a little over the top on that score. All the work he put into the Hans Kreuger character…sorry, I didn’t see the payoff there in the performance (and I did track down and read the biography he said he read about the German spy).

    I’ve wondered if he still wants to be a director, after being involved in The Hobbit, but of course, that’s one extreme of the spectrumn in terms of scope and logistics. Certainly he seems to think things through and in ways that are unexpected, at least to me. For instance in one interview, I think it was about his audiobooks, he mentioned how he thinks about what the sound track should be when he’s working on a movie scene. He said it as if, of course, everyone thinks this way, but, no, Richard, not everyone does. I hope he does get to write (even though he says he’s not a writer) and direct. It would give his fans more insight into him than his acting does, since what we see in his acting depends on writers, directors, and editors. Looking forward to your next post about Richard and writing.

  58. Character biographies are definitely taught in drama school, but I doubt most actors in the U.S. keep them during their professional lives and mainly because I don’t see many actors tending toward the literary. That IMO is the significance. But I do think such actors as Kevin Spacey and Edward Norton and several others who are method actors as well probably keep these. I’m just hard pressed to think Zac Efron keeps a character biography. LOL! And of course I could be dead wrong.

    I want to address your comment about Heinz Kruger, but it would be getting at what I’m addressing in my next post on Black Sky.

  59. It’s great ! Thanks a lot for sharing this with us RAFrenzy. :-)

  60. If I haven’t said it to any of you yet, please know it was my pleasure. A real blast.

  61. This is great! I have no doubt he will one day write or direct. Maybe when he feels his acting career is stalling which is not happening right now for sure :)

  62. Frenz, you have manoeuvred yourself into the eye of the storm, by getting this interview with the director! LOL! Well done!

  63. […] lucky blogger, RAFrenzy, has interviewed Todd Garner, producer of Richard’s new movie, Black  Sky. He talks about […]

  64. And it seems we may do this again in the future as well as some other interviews that might interest you. :D

  65. […] 1. RAFrenzy’s interview with Todd Garner: producer of Black Sky, Todd Garner, has given some fascinating insights into Richard’s involvement in the tornado movie currently filming in Michigan. Richard has contributed much more than acting in the lead role: “He’s an amazing actor but also a terrific writer even though he wouldn’t say that. He has come up with great moments not only for himself and others but for the movie. In fact we just finished shooting a moment he came up with that might be in the trailer.” Read the whole interview on Frenz’s blog. […]

  66. Well, so much has changed since last August! Do you suppose this film will ever be released? I can’t image the bad luck that it is set in Oklahoma. Just curious on your thoughts. We probably will never see RA as an Oklahoma school teacher.

  67. […] the dwarves, Thorin Oakenshield, in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy. In comments made to RAFrenzy.com, Todd Garner commented about the 42-year-old’s writing […]

  68. […] matter of course, and we had not heard him produce the correct accent before. Producer Todd Garner assured fans even during filming that Richard Armitage was “nailing” the Oklahoma accent. (We forgive you for lying, Todd, or maybe you just didn’t know what an Oklahoman accent […]


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