Hello. I'm a writer, director, and then sometimes I'm in shows.

My latest film is called The Double, in theaters & on demand May 9, here's the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzw0wEcsfxE

And general info: http://www.magpictures.com/thedouble/

Should we start or something? I don't know. Ask me anything.


Thanks very much everyone - I have to go now and have a protein shake with Bradley Cooper and if it's not mixed properly he'll put me in a choke hold. Hope you're all well and remember that if The Double doesn't sell more tickets than Titanic they take away my family and the bottom row of my teeth.

Comments: 2265 • Responses: 85  • Date: 

anonymustanonymust1871 karma


Richard_Ayoade1698 karma

I'd say it would have to be in the first year I was at university because David was in the 3rd year when John and I arrived. So that must have been 1995? Good gravy.

SyNiiCaL1122 karma

Hi Richard! Big fan of your work (so far!). A yearly ritual for me and my father is watching the Big Fat Quiz of the Year, and you're by far our favourite contestant on there. My question is in relation to that show, when the audience, and celebrity counterparts are laughing at a joke you make, how do you maintain such a straight face, without even a smirk. Any secrets?

Richard_Ayoade2658 karma

I think I last laughed in the mid-90s

Richard_Ayoade2598 karma

as in there's something wrong with me

ZombieNinjaPirate873 karma

What was your relationship like with Chris O'dowd on the set of the I.T crowd?

Richard_Ayoade2681 karma

Erotic, intense, salty

pentangleit673 karma

Hey Richard! Great to see you here. As an actor, what's your real life IT skills like?

Richard_Ayoade1236 karma

Thanks - terrible, terrible

benbooooo636 karma

Has Noel Fielding ever dressed you up?

Richard_Ayoade1551 karma

Despite appearances I'm an animate being

Richard_Ayoade1713 karma

But yes, every morning.

UnitedFanDes626 karma

Hi Richard!

How was directing the 'Critical Film Studies' episode of Community? Are you a fan of the show?

One of my favourite episodes, by the way.


P.S The Double was great. Everybody go see it if you have the chance!

Richard_Ayoade756 karma

I am a fan of the show - so it was a real pleasure - I really like Dan Harmon and the cast - it was very interesting to do. Thanks

flyrtildeg479 karma

Hi Richard! Thanks for doing this AMA.

I'm just wondering what it was like growing up "triculturally", with your mother being Norwegian, your father Nigerian, and yourself being raised in Britain. I live in Norway also, and I'd like to know if you have been here before or learned any Norwegian from your mother.

Richard_Ayoade1114 karma

I have been to Norway many many times - my mum lives there now. I was very lucky with my parents - couldn't have wished for anything more. And I love going to Norway. Shall i say Norway again? sure. Norway.

Richard_Ayoade517 karma

And no problem!

Oolonger451 karma

I recently read Stephen Fry's autobiography, and in it he says he felt like being in the Footlights was a disadvantage when he started out, because of 'reverse snobbery.'
As a former Footlights president, do you think having that comedy background gives you an advantage, or does it just mean you have to work harder to prove that you're not just a posh twit with good connections?
Also, I'm looking forward to Luxury Comedy series 2. City Gent is my favourite character!

Richard_Ayoade664 karma

I felt lucky in that you're given the incredible advantage of being able to perform and write for shows that will definitely be put on - mainly because people like Stephen Fry have been in previous Footlights shows - I don't know - I was there at a time when it wasn't very fashionable - but I met lots of people who really helped me - I was also able to unleash some of the most unforgivably turgid material that has ever been conceived.

grantmacv433 karma

Mr Ayoade! massive massive fan, I love Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, and IT Crowd is one of my favourite shows, and I really look forward to seeing The Double. I have 2 questions, the first one is; Was it as funny on set as it was watching when Chris O'Dowd was taking photos of you for the calender on the IT Crowd? and the bands you have directed music videos for, are you a genuine fan? because by chance they happen to be some of my all time favourite bands. If you reply to this it will make my life complete.

Richard_Ayoade543 karma

I've been lucky in that I've always like the bands that I've done music videos for.

grantmacv264 karma

And now I can die happy saying that I spoke to the one and only Richard Ayoade

Richard_Ayoade1050 karma

Don't die!

thesplord409 karma

Do you store things in your hair?

Richard_Ayoade1685 karma


Musimania398 karma

Hi Richard,

Firstly, thanks for doing this AMA! I'm a big fan of Submarine and, although I sadly missed the release of The Double, I look forward to when it's released on disc.

As I loved your appearances with the Mighty Boosh, are you planning on working with either Noel or Julian (or both!) in the future?


Richard_Ayoade488 karma

I'd always work with them - it just depends on what comes up - but I've really enjoyed doing the shows that they wrote.

Richard_Ayoade396 karma

And thanks!

liamquane372 karma

ae there any actors out there you wish to work with?

Richard_Ayoade1017 karma

yes - Rick Moranis! I love him.


If you had to be any character from Game of Thrones, why would you pick Hodor?

Richard_Ayoade909 karma

I have never seen this show.

cavendish88312 karma

Are you the same "R.A. was here" written in Sharpie in the men's toilets at the Eagle Pub in Cambridge? I notice it every time I go there.

Richard_Ayoade903 karma

I would never deface a toilet. They mean too much to me.

Oneinchwalrus309 karma

How do you keep your hair so fabulous?

Richard_Ayoade1158 karma

I use the juice from between airplane seats.

ashleyhphoto298 karma

Hey Richard! Would you ever come to New Zealand/Australia on tour?

Richard_Ayoade1386 karma

I'm going to be the new drummer in Led Zeppelin

DLPE278 karma

Any plans to release the radio show you did with Noel Fielding?

Richard_Ayoade383 karma

Maybe - at some point.

Richard_Ayoade328 karma

I'd like to - it was a good deal of fun to do though - so I'm happy either way.

Funslinger264 karma

Hey, Richard! I really enjoyed your movie, Submarine.

If I came up with a question, it would be contrived. I mostly just want acknowledgment that you've read this and know how big of a fan I am.

Richard_Ayoade330 karma

You're very kind!

MrGurns264 karma


First, finish your milk.

Thank you for your work--both acting and directing. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Richard_Ayoade790 karma

After the show finished, Graham used a special swab to wipe all of our memories clean, and then he released us back into a glade

DeSanti208 karma

How was that?

Richard_Ayoade1056 karma

It was originally frightening, but once we learned to forage and stamp out inter-tribe warfare we made some kind of new life for ourselves. It's a simple life, but honest and true. It's in the tradition of Heidegger without the far-right associations.

Foonsaki259 karma

How's your day going?

Richard_Ayoade777 karma

It's okay. Although I was so tired earlier that I bit through my lip and the blood looked black. I blotted at it with a tissue but that made me feel nauseous. I then read Spring Torrents. I liked it.

seismicor232 karma

Hi, do you believe that you're being typecast after you've played Moss in The IT Crowd?

Richard_Ayoade463 karma

I don't know - I don't really do too much performing - I feel surprised if anyone wants to hire me.

carlosreddevil230 karma

Hi. Hope all's well. If you HAD to direct a re-make of any film, what would it be and why?

Richard_Ayoade681 karma


Richard_Ayoade990 karma

Oh, wait... I'm just being told something

r_antrobus219 karma

What was the last large budget feature film you enjoyed?

Richard_Ayoade602 karma

I liked Her - did that have a big budget?

Kknowsbest208 karma

If they made a movie about your life, who would play you (other than yourself)?

Richard_Ayoade709 karma

It wouldn't matter because no one would watch that movie.

flyrtildeg284 karma

I dunno, I'd watch the hell out of it.

Richard_Ayoade1316 karma

You might think you would, but nothing much has happened to me. It would be more like a screensaver

dancing-greg181 karma

How many hairstyles did you go through before you settled on Moss's unique do?

Richard_Ayoade465 karma


liamquane175 karma

will you be working with Noel Fielding again?

Richard_Ayoade352 karma

Yes! Will briefly be in his new series.

gerryhanes164 karma

What question are you really hoping someone will ask today?

Richard_Ayoade732 karma

Did you know you are entitled to compensation for the ACCIDENT you just had?

BreatheUnderwater164 karma

How deep is the ocean?

Richard_Ayoade473 karma

6 miles, sometimes 7

punkrockblues150 karma

The internet is a fun but scary place, so congratulations on making it this far and for joining the Twitter universe (I refuse to say Twitterverse) as well. Oh, and reddit, of course. I have a few questions, so feel free to exercise your free will and answer as many or as few as you like:

  1. What was your introduction to Dostoyevsky, and what drew you to "The Double" in particular?
  2. Any plans, or at least desire, to direct more television in the US?
  3. Do women's trousers instill the amount of confidence that Douglas Reynholm and Maurice Moss claim?
  4. Have you spoken to Alex Turner since he discovered pomade? I quite enjoy that kid.

Thanks for your time. Dean Learner is my hero, so I suppose vicariously you are too. All the best. - Rachel

Richard_Ayoade207 karma

  1. It was Avi Korine's idea to adapt it so the first thing was reading his script and then I read the novella before I started writing with him
  2. Who knows? Nothing immediate.
  3. No.
  4. Yes.

jiffy_lidia148 karma

Hello Richard Ayoade! :) I hope you are having a wonderful day! Firstly I would like to say that I love your work in both acting and directing. Submarine is my favorite movie,IT Crowd is legendary, Garth Meranghi's Darkplace is amazing, your wittiness on Big Fat Quiz keep me laughing for the whole day and all get me through a bad day :)
Secondly I would like to ask which do you enjoy doing more acting or directing? Also what are your top 5 favorite books? Thank you so much for doing this AMA! :D

Richard_Ayoade232 karma

I think I like directing and writing most In terms of books - that's a hard question - so I'll just write authors I like if that's ok Richard Yates JD Salinger Flannery O'Connor Sherwood Anderson

jiffy_lidia70 karma

thank you! I love you!!

superman16975 karma

we all do

Richard_Ayoade450 karma

I saw Seinfeld live once and someone shouted that out and he said, 'I still think we should see other people'. He's a funny man and you should all love HIM.

patman990147 karma

I read you once practiced law. How did you go about transitioning from that to writing/directing/acting?

Richard_Ayoade632 karma

I was terrible at law

liamquane147 karma

do you have any tips on set control? like controlling crew and actors?

Richard_Ayoade504 karma


arcosapphire147 karma

What is your favorite tea? My wife is very interested in the answer to this for some reason.

Richard_Ayoade286 karma

Assam - which I always want to spell Assaam for some reason

seismicor145 karma

What is more satisfying to you? Acting or directing?

Richard_Ayoade378 karma

I feel I have more aptitude for directing.

elwiley137 karma

In the interview you did with Jesse Eisenberg for Total Film, when they asked about the Batman/Superman movie, did you already know Jesse had been cast in it? Either way, it's funny to watch now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHPJ2fTKLNE for reference

Richard_Ayoade178 karma

I didn't - but I knew that they were interested in him for something

Dsvkb128 karma

Hello, it's great to see you on here! I just had a question about the Boosh. Do you think that there will ever be a new series/the ever talked about movie? Or do you think that ship has already sailed? Thanks for stopping by!

Richard_Ayoade200 karma

There might be - but that would be down to Noel and Julian

r_antrobus126 karma

Are you currently wearing woman's slacks?

Richard_Ayoade454 karma

I'm wearing a cape and speedos

lomoeffect126 karma

Hi Richard! Submarine was quite pronounced in its French New Wave influences throughout the film - where exactly did your inspiration for this come from?

Richard_Ayoade325 karma

It felt that the film should look as though Oliver had directed it, and that the film of his life would have a romantic, wind-swept new wave feel

TheCubanpete120 karma

Does your ear ever actually get hot?

(Mine does :<)

Richard_Ayoade298 karma

If it's left out in the sun

surlyass108 karma

You recently met Paul Thomas Anderson - what was that like? Did he share any Pynchon-related anecdotes? Did you get a sneak preview of Inherent Vice?

Richard_Ayoade169 karma


liamquane100 karma

what would you do or say if you met your own double?

Richard_Ayoade398 karma

Well, if you do, you're meant to die. So I'd probably say, 'Oh dear.'

Richard_Ayoade472 karma

And then apologise.

tdkreturns99 karma

Who is the funniest person in the world?

Richard_Ayoade354 karma

Richard Pryor was.

Kknowsbest97 karma

Where is the strangest place that somebody has recognized you?

Richard_Ayoade307 karma

Inside a nuclear reactor.

r_antrobus95 karma

What did you think about Jesse Eisenberg's casting as Lex Luthor?

Richard_Ayoade166 karma

I think they made a good choice!

liamquane87 karma

do you have any screenwriting advice?

Richard_Ayoade240 karma

Paul Schrader said you need a metaphor and a theme - that's pretty good advice.

ChuckEye84 karma

The trailer for The Double reminded me in tone of Brazil, The City of Lost Children or Delicatessen (or other 80's/90's arthouse dystopia). Were there particular films or directors you looked at when developing the look and feel of the movie?

Richard_Ayoade133 karma

Wierdly I didn't watch any of those before - and have only seen Brazil of those three (as a teenager) We thought more of Ingmar Bergman's The Silence Jacques Tati Kaurismaki The Trial

shivan2179 karma

Were there some concrete philosophical stands or even schools you had on mind when making The Double?

Richard_Ayoade173 karma

Carl Jung's idea of the shadow!

epicmindwarp76 karma

What operating system are you using?

Richard_Ayoade315 karma

The thing is - I don't even know. I don't know how any of this works - I don't even know how this thing we're doing now works - what are YOU all doing? Do YOU know how it works - please tell me! As in is this currently the thing it's meant to be? Thanks in advance for your kind cooperation

patman99073 karma

What's some of your favorite music?

Love all your work, so surprising to see that you're as brilliant behind the camera as in front of it. Looking forward to The Double.

Richard_Ayoade295 karma

Dinosaur Jr Sidney Bechet The Clash Pixies Beatles Sonic Youth

liamquane69 karma

What would you say are your biggest influences?

Richard_Ayoade189 karma

It's hard to say - but directors I really, really like include Orson Welles Ingmar Bergman Fellini Wes, Pt, and Roy Anders(s)on John Ford Preston Sturges Barbara Albert

liamquane67 karma

what is your writing process like? do you plan out methodically or do you jump straight in?

Richard_Ayoade153 karma

Well - it really depends. With an adaptation you have something to work from - you always have your first impression of it and what you think it could be wrt a film - so you would break down the novel - decide what you think might stay in a film etc - and then you start to go through it. But it takes a long time and you might now always go in a linear order. On other things it can be haphazard and jumbled. In general it seems to improve the more you do it - and Graham Linehan said to me that your first draft is always terrible so don't worry about it.

Kinda_Directionless66 karma

Can I just say, your hair is pretty cool, may I ask if you use any particular products to achieve that epic fro...?

Richard_Ayoade423 karma


liamquane65 karma

what part of Moss was chosen by you? (look, tone of voice, walk)

Richard_Ayoade295 karma

The face was essentially brokered by my parents. There was nothing I could really do about that. The walk and voice are mine, I suppose. They now play that performance on day one of Stella Adler.

liamquane55 karma

will you be working with Jesse Eisenberg again?

Richard_Ayoade97 karma

I'd like to!

liamquane53 karma

will you ever be acting in one of your written/directed films?

Richard_Ayoade203 karma

I can't imagine being able to source an actor who was better than me. So if I ever am in one of my films you'll know we ran out of money, or there's a strike on.

Ledzepper47 karma

Do you have any plans to direct an original movie soon?

Richard_Ayoade101 karma

Maybe - it's hard to know whether you'll ever get the chance to make anything again - it really depends on how things go. But I am writing some things now that aren't adaptations. So many of my favourite films are adaptations that it never feels like a question that I'm unduly bothered by.

powerparrot44 karma

Richard do you get to keep the gadgets from Gadget Man? Also what projects to do you have coming up that we should look forward to?


Richard_Ayoade110 karma

No! The bastards won't let me!

Randamonia43 karma

Hey Richard, I was wondering, what did you prefer being on most, The IT Crowd or The Mighty Boosh?

Edit: Also, what was more fun making? I would also like to know if you will be considering doing something like Bunny and The Bull again (my favourite movie)?

Richard_Ayoade77 karma

I liked both! The Boosh is much more of an improvisational show, so that's enjoyable - because they're both so good at doing that it's great to be near it. My friend Paul Kind directed Bunny and the Bull - I'll tell him - he'll be very pleased!

thesplord41 karma

Have you seen 'Naked Lunch' and what do you think of David Cronenberg in general?

Huge fan by the way, thanks for doing this!

Richard_Ayoade98 karma

I haven't seen it but I like Cronenberg - he actually gave me some very useful advice before shooting the Double so I feel very grateful to him.

anonymustanonymust37 karma


Richard_Ayoade83 karma

I did, but I was a truly poor stand up - no character, no perspective, no originality. An unarguable disaster.

liamquane37 karma

Hi Mr. Ayoado huge fan (obviously) Can I ask; do you have any directorial advice? thanks :~)

Richard_Ayoade92 karma

I'd say read the Hitchcock Truffaut book if you haven't already

Richard_Ayoade86 karma

Thanks very much - try not to get too nervous and defensive and keep in mind what you think the whole thing is about

prettygin37 karma

Hi Richard! I'm a big fan of yours and love watching any show with you in it. Will you be in series 2 of Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy?

Richard_Ayoade57 karma


DLPE25 karma

What hobbies do you enjoy during your downtime?

Richard_Ayoade79 karma

I do a lot of breakdancing.

ironicgoldfish23 karma

how do you like your cups of tea.. seriously

Richard_Ayoade42 karma

with lemon - it has to be above boiling point

shivan2123 karma

What's your favorite tv show?

Richard_Ayoade76 karma


I like Twin Peaks and Grand Designs. Too close to call.

AquaConvolution14 karma

If you could have one super power during the zombie apocalypse what would you have?

Richard_Ayoade54 karma


coffeesforclosers14 karma

What was it like to work with Dr.Fox?

Richard_Ayoade51 karma

The DJ?

dancing-greg13 karma

You've worked with many big names in comedy: Chris Morris, Graham Linehan, Noel Fielding, John Oliver, David Mitchell, Chris O'Dowd. Who has been your favourite to work with?

Richard_Ayoade24 karma

I like all of them!

r_antrobus7 karma

Do you like chocolate milk?

Richard_Ayoade32 karma

I prefer Strawberry. But I fear my flavoured milk days are consigned to my reckless youth. Now I'm in america I only eat compressed Kale.

ronson19117 karma

What is Ben Stiller like?

Richard_Ayoade8 karma


willdrown4 karma

Hi, Richard! Big fan of "Submarine" here, haven't seen "The Double" yet, but planning on watching it soon.

My question is: you've made two book adaptations so far, bringing to each something of your own. What are some other movie adaptations that you enjoy? And what books would you ideally like to adapt into movies?

Richard_Ayoade5 karma

Thanks - I don't have any immediate plans to adapt something else - in terms of adaptations Zazie Dans Le Metro Most Kubrick films Most Hitchcock films I thought The Graduate was a pretty great adaptation.

PandoraBlackBox3 karma

Hello Richard, Thanks gor the ama session

.who s the double!? Oo

The best advice u ve ever been given and by whom?


Richard_Ayoade11 karma

The best advice i read was Polanski saying, 'Stand where you want to see the scene from and that's where you put the camera.'