Just 35, Richard Ayoade has had an impressive run of incredibly successful and well received cult comedies, catching the eye in both The Mighty Boosh and The IT Crowd. The Londoner is deservedly viewed as a highly talented man of many skills, be it as a comedian, writer or director.
Ayoade has directed music videos for the likes of the Arctic Monkeys, Super Furry Animals, Vampire Weekend, Kasabian and the Last Shadow Puppets. He’s also headed behind the camera to direct an episode of the incredible hit US comedy, Community.
Ayoade’s 2010 film, Submarine, earned the actor-cum-auteur rave reviews, turning heads with its intelligence, humour and overall quality. Presented and produced by Ben Stiller, the charming film marked the young Londoner’s big screen directorial debut, telling the coming-of-age story of a 15 year old Swansea boy named Oliver Tate in love with a mischievous girl called Joanna.
Adapted from Joe Dunthorne’s 2008 novel of the same name, Submarine played at the cinema to very strong reviews, with the legendary Roger Ebert awarding it 3 out of 4 stars. The film’s soundtrack was also very good. Submarine put Ayoade on the map; or, at least, made him all the more visible.
The multi-talented auteur recently teamed up with Ben Stiller again, starring alongside the Zoolander funny-man in The Watch.
Ayoade caught up with Vulture to discuss his career, life and upcoming projects. In a succinct but revealing interview, Ayoade discusses studying at Cambridge University.
“When I was at university, they had a club that does comedy that I became involved in. I was in a very privileged position in that they got to put on shows because a number of great comedians came from there, like John Cleese and Stephen Fry,” he says.
“I just had an opportunity as a result of that. It was never brilliantly disposed at all. I’m so not a funny person. I’m as funny as I’ve ever been, which is not funny.”
Ayoade also talks about working with Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill on The Watch.
“They’re all kind of great. How hard [Stiller] works is impressive. But what I think is particularly impressive about him is, if you count the films that he’s been in and directed, how funny everyone else is in them, as well. Many actors don’t want anyone else to be funny other than them.”
The Brit also discusses his background, jokingly saying:
“I tend to stick to Norwegian-Nigerians. I don’t go outside that group.”
// Read the full interview at Vulture.