Stephen Garrett Q&A: ‘The Night Manager’ producer
Stephen Garrett, executive producer of “The Night Manager,” readily admits during our recent webcam chat (watch above) that his British heritage made him decidedly skeptical about how well this limited series would do with Emmy nominations. “We have a tendency to expect disaster and failure,” he explains. “If we hoped for any, we might’ve gone for half-a-handful. So twelve was breathtaking.”
He numbers among them as this acclaimed adaptation of the John le Carre novel contends for Best Limited Series. The AMC production stars Tom Hiddleston as Jonathan Pine, the night manager of a Cairo hotel who is recruited to infiltrate the inner circle of a dangerous arms dealer (Hugh Laurie). Both Hiddleston and Laurie were also nominated, as were costar Olivia Coleman, director Susanne Bier and screenwriter David Farr.
Garrett, a veteran of both film (“Eastern Promises”) and TV (“MI-5”), was approached by the author’s sons to produce this adaptation. It was Garrett who hired Bier, the Oscar-winning Danish director of “In a Better World,” to helm all six episodes. “Two things you might say about le Carre is he’s very male and very British, and so the idea of having someone who is very not-male and very not-British seemed appealing,” he says.
With it’s epic scale and scope, “The Night Manager” was a tough production to mount. “There’s no point pretending it’s not terrifying,” he reveals, “because it’s kind of a military operation.” He adds, “It’s essentially a six-hour movie, so the way you shoot it, the way you structure it, the way you tell the story, is no different from the way you’d approach a movie.”