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‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’ Star Andrew Garfield on His ‘Spiritual’ Devotion to Jonathan Larson’s Legacy

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Andrew Garfield describes winding up as the star of the film “Tick, Tick… Boom!” as a “very strange, magical cosmic experience.” Not only working with director Lin-Manuel Miranda, whom he had “a big kind of artistic crush on,” but developing an emotional kinship with the person he portrays, the late playwright Jonathan Larson.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut centers on the story of “Rent” playwright Larson, during his time as an aspiring composer in New York City who toils over whether he traveled down the wrong career path. It’s also Garfield’s debut in a film musical, and he shows off his singing chops.

Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast recently spoke with Garfield about “Tick, Tick… Boom!,” working with Miranda, and much more. They began by discussing how Garfield first got involved with the project. Listen to the episode below!

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“When I heard that [Miranda] wanted to talk to me about something, I immediately just thought, whatever it is, I know it’s going to be deep, emotional, heartfelt, funny, joyful, meaningful,” Garfield says. “I know, it’s gonna run the gamut of great story. So it was an immediate no-brainer for me. And then add to that, he introduced me to Jon Larson through his work, a deeper dive beyond ‘Rent’ and into who he was as a human being. And then it was this kind of very cosmic strange thing where he was introducing me to what felt like a long lost brother, whom I’d never met before. Here was this kind of beautiful kinship that I was able to start creating with the spirit of Jon Larson.

“And then from that came this overwhelming desire to give John another life,” Garfield says of Larson, who died at 35 on the eve of the first off-Broadway preview of “Rent.” “It became this kind of spiritual devotional experience where every morning, I would wake up and I would devote myself at the altar of Jon Larson, and therefore the altar of art and the altar of carrying on with one’s creative calling.”

Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast is hosted by Clayton Davis, Michael Schneider, Jazz Tangcay and Jenelle Riley and is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in movies. Michael Schneider is the producer and Drew Griffith edits. Each week, “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every week.

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Netflix, Sky Team on Natural History Series ‘Predators’

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Predators

Netflix and Sky are co-producing for the first time on natural history series “Predators,” a six-parter that will follow six predators across changing landscapes. The series will premiere on Sky Nature in the U.K., Germany and Italy in winter 2022.

Other Sky factual commissions include “Gabon” (working title) that explores the story of a scientist from Manchester who became the Environment Minister of Central African country Gabon after forming an unlikely friendship with President Ali Bongo, which will bow on Sky Documentaries later this year, while “Death on The Beach,” which examines young travellers who have died under mysterious circumstances on the remote backpacking Thai island Koh Tao, will be on Sky Crime in March.

Elsewhere, following the Nov. 2021 launches in the U.K. and Ireland, Sky and NBCUniversal are continuing the rollout of Peacock internationally on Sky across Germany and Austria. From Jan. 25, at no additional cost, Sky Q and Sky Ticket customers in Germany and Sky X customers in Austria, will get access to Peacock programming, including current originals series “Saved by the Bell,” “Rutherford Falls” and “Girls5eva” and upcoming series “The Girl in the Woods,” “MacGruber,” “Bel-Air,” “Joe vs Carole” and “The Resort.”

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Peacock will continue to roll out across Sky platforms in Switzerland and Italy in the coming months.

Meanwhile, soccer anti-discrimination organization Kick It Out will be partnering with the England and Wales Cricket Board to identify and address issues of equality, diversity and inclusion within cricket. The partnership supported by £100,000 ($134,895) donation from Sky, alongside an additional £100,000 which has been match funded by the cricket board. English cricket has been plagued with recent racism allegations and is implementing a 12-point action plan to address the issue.

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Adam Kersh and Chris Evans Launch Fusion Management, Clients Include Sean Baker, Cooper Raiff, Amy Seimetz (EXCLUSIVE)

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Chris Evans

Chris Evans and Adam Kersh have launched Fusion Management, an artist-driven management company that will focus on actors, filmmakers and creators.

Their initial management roster features a number of notable clients with a particular focus on indie multi-hyphenates and auteurs. The list includes Sean Baker, who earned raves for “Red Rocket”; filmmaker and actor Amy Seimetz, the co-creator of “The Girlfriend Experience” on Starz and the star of “No Sudden Move”; Cooper Raiff, a writer, director, producer and actor whose film “Cha Cha Real Smooth” premiered at Sundance this week to critical acclaim; and Kelly O’Sullivan, the writer and star of the award-winning “Saint Frances.”

Evans, formerly a manager at One Entertainment, and Kersh, co-founder of Brigade Marketing, bring more than two decades of combined experience within the entertainment industry. The two want Fusion to be a landing ground for both established creators and emerging talent both in front of and behind the camera.

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“Over the course of my career I’ve learned that talent want to partner with representation who possess the cultural competence to understand the full range of their experiences,” Evans said. “I’m excited to start a new chapter at Fusion where I can not only continue cultivating talented artists with distinct voices, but also become a mainstay in a business that lacks Black faces both behind the camera and in the boardroom.”

“Helping launch filmmakers and actors as a publicist over the last 10 years has been one of the most satisfying aspects of my career to date,” Kersh said. “I’m really looking forward to taking this to the next level as a manager. Chris and I take pride in a client roster of people who think originally and we are here to support their creative exploration, from emerging talent to more established artists.”

Additional management clients includes: multihyphenate Kentucker Audley (“Strawberry Mansion”) and Marco Calvani (“Borgia,” “A Better Half”); stage and screen actors Namir Smallwood (Broadway’s “Pass Over” and the upcoming film “Rounding”), Adam Gabay (HBO’s “Our Boys”) and Mitchell Winter (“Mr. Robot”); and writer-directors Clint Bentley (“Jockey”), Albert Birney (“Strawberry Mansion”), Greg Kwedar (“Transpecos”), Dan Sickles (“DINA”), Tyler Taromina (“Ham on Rye”), Alex Thompson (“Saint Frances”), and Stephanie Wang-Breal (“Blowin’ Up”).

After starting his career in documentaries, Evans carved out a niche for himself as a young manager with an eye for indie talent at One Entertainment. He also volunteers his time fundraising for democratic candidates, and amplifying Black and LGBT causes. He is an alumnus of Marymount Manhattan College where he studied Communications and Theater. In 2020, he served as a campaign surrogate for Kamala Harris’ presidential run.

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Kersh is known for his relentless work as a publicist on arthouse and independent films, working to raise attention for the likes of “The Florida Project,” “Compliance” and “It Follows.” After working in the PR department of Lionsgate for several years, Kersh co-founded Brigade Marketing, one of the leading entertainment publicity and digital marketing firms. He began his career working for the Writers Guild Foundation. He has also been an associate producer on several films including “The Eyes of My Mother,” “Swallow” and “Strawberry Mansion.”

Key Fusion staff includes Emma Myers, director of special projects. She will oversee a strategic advisory arm of the company including services to private and corporate entertainment media clients. The company retains a select number of longtime personal PR clients including Ann Dowd, Mark and Jay Duplass and Dax Shepard.

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