Film maker Candida Brady has reacted to fans’ requests and prodding for more material on Urban and the Shed Crew and made good on her promise to release an interview with Richard Armitage.
This looks as if it may have been filmed on the occasion of the premiere of Urban in Leeds last November. It is always lovely to listen to Richard speak, but in this case I really enjoyed hearing his thoughts on a few things that make this film very special – the fact that it is a story based on RL people, and that many of the main characters are children
and a dog. What stood out to me in this interview snippet, is RA’s emphasis on empathy. That’s right people. It’s so obvious, it needs to be printed bold here.
Here, on the issue of playing a RL character, RA describes the difficulty of capturing the life story and personality of the character respectfully and truthfully, a process of preparation that demands empathy, a characteristic that he seems to have in abundance. Maybe that is why he also detects it in his colleagues – he singles out his young co-star Fraser Kelly’s capacity for empathy and emphasises that he was impressed that a young boy of Fraser’s age was so empathic.
The word seems to be a favourite of Mr A’s; he has mentioned it often, both in relation to his work, but also in reference to interpersonal communication (i.e. when he discussed cyberbullying and fan communication). As one of the lucky ones who have been able to watch Urban when it premiered in Leeds, I can say that the word truthfully encapsulates what the film is about – one man’s empathy with the plight of a horde of street kids, and one kid’s dire life in particular. It is a fitting emphasis, as the film hopefully evokes empathy in the viewers, which ultimately could make a difference for the many neglected children still living in our societies all over the world. Therefore it is a great pity that this film has not found an outlet yet. Speaking as an empathic person, not a fan of the lead actor, I can say that it is not only *worth* being shown, but that it really *should* be shown. As long as there are kids living this way, empathic film makers like Candida Brady and empathic actors like Armitage and Kelly, making empathic films like Urban, are *needed*.
If you have found a bit of empathy – and some spare change in your pocket – you may want to support Action for Children. Here’s a link to Richard’s fundraising page on justgiving.com.
You can read my review of the film here.