To fans of hit comedy The IT Crowd, Richard Ayoade will probably always be known as super-geek Moss, but his second film The Double sees him carving out a name as a talented director.
Richard Ayoade is definitely not one to blow his own trumpet. Despite a jam-packed CV, the comedian, actor, writer, TV presenter and director starts our interview by describing himself in simple terms, as "an underwhelming man in his 30s".
Perhaps he is just identifying with the protagonist in his new film The Double - a surreal reworking of Dostoevsky's novella of the same name. Ayoade however, has done plenty to get noticed. He shunned a career in law (after studying at Cambridge) to grace our TV screens in cult comedies such as The IT Crowd, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace and The Mighty Boosh. He is also a regular on comedy panel shows such as Channel 4's 8 Out of 10 Cats, an experience he likens to "being in a controlled fire".
Richard Ayoade on directing his surreal second film
Richard Ayoade – the actor and director whose credits include numerous music videos for Arctic Monkeys plus cult film Submarine – says it was "a thrill" to cast Dinosaur Jr frontman J. Mascis in The Double, his latest movie.
Speaking about the musician, Ayoade says: "I knew he could act because he was in [1992 movie] Gas Food Lodging, and he has this great persona that he has and it just felt right. He's my favourite musician so, yeah, it was a complete thrill having him in it."
Richard Ayoade: it was 'a thrill' casting Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis in new movie (video interview)
"The premise seemed unique to me: this character who’s so lowly and invisible. That the double appears and no one notices seems to me to be a really remarkable way to take that story. You feel that if you had something as high-concept as that happen, everyone would react to it and it would spiral out of control. But it’s more that he’s just squeezed out and disappears. That seemed like a brilliant nightmare. It feels so funny, right and sad at the same time.
"I feel he’s a little like Jack Lemmon, Dustin Hoffman or James Stewart. When I think of their roles, I don’t think of enormous physical transformations but they play very different parts. Because these characters had to be very different but look the same, he seemed really right. He’s funny without being a comic actor. He was perfect."
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Nonbelievers will be escorted off the premises.