Parental Guidance: “…two powerhouses that have never worked together before.”

Atlanta Journal
Director of Billy CrystalBette MidlerMarisa Tomei movie loves Atlanta
8:30 am November 1, 2011, by Jennifer Brett

“I absolutely love it. I’m not going to lie. I’m loving Atlanta,” said Andy Fickman, director of “Parental Guidance,” which has been filming in and around his new favorite town.

The project, starring Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott and others, is filming at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center this week. We visited the set last week, when it was filming in Piedmont Park.

It seems Fickman runs a tight but fun ship. The movie, about a couple (Crystal and Midler) who are taking care of their three grandchildren while trying to reconcile with their estranged daughter (Tomei), features several young actors. Fickman demanded take after take after take, but frequently took care to praise 6-year-old Kyle Harrison Breitkopf’s performance.

“Good job, Kyle! You got it, Kyle!” we could hear Fickman saying to the adorable young actor.

“Being a dad, you sort of start with a sense of what would you want your kid to go through,” Fickman said of the family friendly set of the family friendly film.

As the father of a 14-year-old, Fickman definitely wants to make a movie the entire family can enjoy. (It’s due out next November, perfect timing for a post-Thanksgiving 2012 outing).

“We touch on a lot of issues,” Fickman said. “Anytime we put a family together who have been apart for a while, issues crop up.”

He’s enjoying working with Crystal and Midler ”“ who believe it or not have not made a movie together before.

“As a director, my job is to produce a vision,” Fickman said. “It’s really about the people you get to play with every day. These are two powerhouses that have never worked together before.”

Fickman, whose other films include “She’s the Man” and “The Game Plan” is keeping a busy work schedule but making the most of his downtime. His fiancee is from Roswell so he’s been OTP, but has had a good time checking out Bone’s, Chop’s and the Buckhead Diner while in town. He also took in the Alliance Theatre’s production of “Into the Woods.”

“Whenever you’re in a city you hope to meld with the city,” Fickman said. “The city has really opened itself up to make this an easy shoot.”

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