On paper, "The Watch" sounds like a no brainer of potential awesomeness. Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade ♥ play mild-mannered suburban dudes who have to fight off an alien invasion—what could go wrong? Well, pretty much everything and simply put, it wasn't good. And last year's "This Is The End" (also featuring Jonah Hill) took that similar concept to much wilder, funnier places. And indeed, "The Watch" pretty much tanked at the box office, barely making back its budget. So what was it like making? Well, with his inventive and unique "The Double" in theaters, Ayoade has referred to being involved in "The Watch" rather...clinically...
"I like all the actors in it, and I like [director] Akiva [Schaffer]—for me, when I'm in something, my job is just to serve the director and do what they want," Ayoade continued. "It's kind of like giving a tissue sample. You have no idea what will be done with it. That's the experience for me of being in something that I'm not involved in the writing or directing of. You kind of go, 'You seem happy, okay!'"
Making The Watch Was "Like Giving A Tissue Sample"
We all like to moan about our jobs, but if you think your office is bad, British director Richard Ayoade’s latest film, The Double, should help you put things into perspective.
Ayoade, who is also a comedian, actor, and writer, directed and co-wrote the film, which premieres in the U.S. May 9. He was drawn to the project because of the story’s unique take on the doppelgänger theme. "There is something very interesting about the main premise--that someone can be so unworthy of note that an exact replica of them could appear and no one would either notice or point it out to them. That seemed to me very funny,” he says.
The Double, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, is Ayoade’s second feature as a director, following the critically acclaimed Submarine in 2010. Here, he gives Co.Create some of his insights on filmmaking, the creative process and the humiliations of office life.
6 Lessons in Filmmaking from The Double Director Richard Ayoade
Most people on this side of the pond might recognize veteran English comedian Richard Ayoade as the oddball techie Moss on the Britcom The IT Crowd, or as the odd man out from the 2012 A-list sci-fi comedy The Watch (he was the gentleman who was not Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn or Jonah Hill). He's established himself as a novel comic presence onscreen, gravitating toward characters that feel several beats off from the norm and don't mesh with their environments.
Behind the camera, however, Ayoade has become a specialist in the art of syncing. His debut feature, Submarine (2010), took Wes Anderson's visual quirks and used them to make a coming-of-age film that could not have felt more provincially British. The Community episode he directed — a double-helix homage/parody of both Pulp Fiction and My Dinner With Andre — felt completely unique while sticking to the show's in-house style. (Some have called it the "21st century's greatest TV episode.") And with his latest film, The Double, Ayoade loosely filters Fyodor Dostoevsky's story of a clerk (Jesse Eisenberg) whose life is overtaken by his more confident doppelgänger (also Jesse Eisenberg) through a Kafkaesque dystopia of tyrannical bureaucracy and perpetual nighttime.
On The Double: Richard Ayoade Meets His Match
Members: Name 6 reasons why you stan for King Richard. Optional, of course.