Adele's Manager Talks Emmy Nomination, Competing Against Beyonce and James Corden: "You Can't Take This Stuff for Granted"

The record-breaking artist conquered Radio City Music Hall with a well-reviewed performance — her first show in four years — that her manager Jonathan Dickins didn't find that surprising. "She is the ultimate big game player. You put her in situations and she never ever, in my opinion, never ever fails to knock it out of the park."
Courtesy of NBC; Getty Images

Adele's longtime manager Jonathan Dickins says that her NBC special, the one-night-only Adele: Live in New York City at Radio City Music Hall, came together in a quick 24 hours.

And it could wind up being an award-winning sprint too as the one-night-only concert documentary is nominated for four Emmy Awards including outstanding directing for a variety special for helmer Beth McCarthy-Miller; outstanding lighting design/lighting direction; outstanding technical direction, camera work and video control for a limited series, movie or special; and outstanding variety special. The latter nomination Adele shares with Dickins and Saturday Night Live honcho Lorne Michaels. 

Dickins took a few minutes out of a recent 24 hours of his own to chat with The Hollywood Reporter about what the nomination means to him and whether they will turn their sights on the Broadway stage next in an effort for the ever-elusive EGOT. 

Were you surprised by the nominations?

Yeah, you can't take this stuff for granted. You can look at the categories we're competing in and see that the level is super high, so just to be acknowledged is fantastic.

What did Lorne Michaels bring to this experience?

Lorne's track record speaks for itself and what he did bring was a wisdom and a calmness to the situation. People forget that there was a couple of interesting things about this whole documentary, or this whole special which was, firstly, it was her first show in four years and her biggest show in New York ever. And she was very very adamant that we make it a show and film it like a gig. There are no second takes. She didn't want to redo a song. So having the calmness of Lorne with his experience level made it a lot easier for everybody. 

Did you learn anything from how you put together the show that night?

Not really. ... But seeing the reaction in the room was great. Then we knew that she could go into these rooms and these spaces and make them feel intimate, which was absolutely key.

Is that a testament to Adele and her talent?

In all honesty, she is an absolute big game player — unbelievable. So really it’s a testament to her. She is the ultimate big game player. You put her in situations and she never ever, in my opinion, never ever fails to knock it out of the park. That’s incredible to be able to do that, so I think ultimately she carries it and again really we had maybe 24 hours to put that show together.

How does it feel to be nominated in this category alongside people like Beyonce?

Incredible. Beyonce is incredible. The album is incredible, I think the way it was presented, the visual albums, whenever she’s working with people like Khalil Joseph and people that she works with, I mean it’s top notch. Beyonce really does very little wrong in any aspect of her career. And also look, for the other nominations, we’re very very good friends of James Corden, we love James, we love Amy (Schumer). It's a fantastic category, and we’re honored to be included amongst those guys, for sure.

Will you be attending the Emmys?
I have one conflict, I have a friend's wedding but I'd love to come. Unfortunately, Adele is on the road. I can’t get out of my friend’s wedding in France so I’m going to leave that to the NBC crew so hopefully that doesn’t count against us.

Adele has won Grammys and an Oscar. Now with an Emmy nomination and potential win, it begs the question — will you try for the elusive EGOT and do something on the stage to be eligible for a Tony Award?

Maybe. I think that in my opinion there’s absolutely every reason that Adele’s mission can transcend to any medium of the arts, and obviously Broadway you could absolutely do. There’s no plan for it right now but I’d never say never, and we’ll see how we go. One thing at a time. 

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