Richard Ayoade on The Double: Jesse Eisenberg is like Hoffman or Lemmon

Watch the director sing the praises of his lead actor, as he chats to about his impressive new film


How do you make a convincing film about a man with an identical-looking, but completely different-acting, doppelganger? Director Richard Ayoade says that sort of challenge is what made The Double star Jesse Eisenberg the only actor he wanted for the role.


Ayoade’s follow-up to Submarine sees Eisenberg play a lonely office clerk, working in a dystopian world of uncertain time and place. He’s completely overlooked by his colleagues and the woman he loves (Mia Wasikowska). Then a brash, confident man who looks exactly like him arrives and begins taking over his life – not that anyone else is bothered.

Ayoade, who with co-writer Avi Korine has adapted Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s 1846 novella, told “The idea is a doppelganger existing and no-one noticing. You are replaceable. There’s nothing special to you. Your reaction to that is very funny. Historically, the sort of actors who would be suitable for this would be Dustin Hoffman or Jack Lemmon. I think Jesse is the [current] actor who’s most like them.

“He has an enormous range, but without doing caricatures… he’s able to transform himself attitudinally. When we were editing, even on a still frame, if someone came into the room they’d know exactly which character he was playing.”


See more of our interview with Ayoade below, and read RT’s four-star review of the film here.