Richard Ayoade: "Making films is exhilarating – and terrifying"



The premise of Fyodor Dostoevsky's 1846 novella The Double is simple but ingenious: a man lives an entirely unremarkable existence until one day his exact doppelganger shows up. This incongruous situation fast becomes insufferable for two reasons: first, the new guy is slick where he is stammering, popular where he's forgettable, Day-Glo to his beige; and, second, because no one else notices any likeness at all between the pair of them.

Richard Ayoade, the comic actor and serious director, wanted to make a film of The Double because it is offbeat and very funny, traits that he shares with the source material. But you can't help wondering if the alter-ego set-up appealed to him, too. In person, the 36-year-old Ayoade is known for being deferential and self-deprecating. He uttered an all-time great line in interviews (which he tends to assiduously avoid) when he told the New York Times: "I'm not a fan of me and I can't become one."

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So adorable. And getting more excited for The Double.