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

Richard Ayoade shot to fame as Moss in The It Crowd but it was Submarine, his debut behind the camera, that won him critical acclaim. As his new film, The Double, is released, he talks about pride, performing and giving up his pop dreams

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.

The Double, it's said, is meant as an allegory: the straight man is Dostoevsky in real life, shy and often awkward; the arriviste is the author 2.0, the person he sometimes wished he was, who is quick-witted and irresistible to women.
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