Out in theaters this Friday is The Double, director Richard Ayoade's darkly funny follow-up to the smart coming-of-age movie, Submarine. Both movies are highly ambitious, but it's The Double that really showcases Ayoade as a director who's the real deal. After all, it's not easy to tackle Dostoevsky and place Jesse Eisenberg in two roles, a lame loser, Simon, and an overly confident guy, James, in an overwhelming doppelganger showdown where the winner takes all. In addition to Ayoade proving his directing chops, Eisenberg once again shows that he's one of the best actors of his generation. I recently chatted with Ayoade at the Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood, where he not only talked about the challenges of his own movie, but talked about why Eisenberg is the right guy to tackle a villain like Lex Luthor in director Zack Snyder's [Batman vs. Superman](movie:711870). Take a look:
I saw an interview with you and Jesse Eisenberg where Batman Vs. Superman was discussed. You guys both must've known that he was Lex Luthor at that point, right?
Richard Ayoade: No, I didn't know. We probably knew it was being talked about, but I don't think we knew then. We talked about it in some way.
What do you think he'll bring to the role?
Richard Ayoade: I think he is just a very good actor. There are some people who are just suited to it. There eyes are expressive or their physiognomy works, you know. They are able to be readable. There are some people who aren't readable. He's a very rare case of someone whose intelligence doesn't get in the way of their being readable. In fact, it seems to add to it. You often have - with very intelligent people - they're highly defensive and you can't read them because they don't like being read and they come across as shitty. He's able to be very vulnerable, open, and he's not vain. I think that's partially why he doesn't watch himself. I think sometimes it can be reported as this kind of affectation or something, but I really think it's because he doesn't want to think about himself in a vain way. It would stop him from being readable as a performer. He works about as hard as anyone I've seen. He has come to me, thinking and asking questions. He has a kind of writer's brain for analysis, but can switch it off for the performance. He's really an amazing actor. Really good.
Love that one of my favorites on The IT Crowd is stanning for his cast member. Again, [The Double](movie:1107752) hits theaters this Friday. It's fantastic. Go see it.