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22 October 2014

Watch: Richard Ayoade cheerfully shows how insincere his promo interview with C4 News is

"Don't thank me, I've done nothing for you."

By media mole

Actor and director Richard Ayoade has a decent career record so far – from appearing in TV shows like Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and The IT Crowd, to directing critically-acclaimed indie flicks Submarine and The Double – and he’s now developing a bit of a reputation as a comic intellectual. His interview on Channel 4 News last night is a case in point.

He was meant to be interviewed by host Krishnan Guru-Murthy about his new book, Ayoade on Ayoade, but immediately he has to point out that the title of the book is misleading – it’s “a comic book about film, really, it’s not meant to be a deconstruction of the idea of interviews.” He has to point out that it’s not about himself, “any more than the moose story by Woody Allen is about his grappling with wildlife”.

Ayoade then takes complete control of the interview, turning the questions back on Guru-Murthy, pointing out that promotional interviews are a massive waste of time that he tolerates as much as he does his commute into work, and that the whole thing is an elaborate construction designed to get around the rules that mean someone can’t directly promote or advertise something on a news show (via a diversion about Norway):

Ayoade: You see, what was interesting I thought about your interview with Tarantino, apart from the notorious nature of the bit where he said ‘I’m shutting you down’, was the bit where he said ‘this is an ad for my movie’.

Guru-Murthy: Exactly.

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Ayoade: That was the interesting bit. The elephant in the room. You tried to get him to talk about violence, which he wasn’t going to do, but he was outraged that he couldn’t promote his film. That I think was very interesting, and was interesting about the essential lie of the interview situation.

What’s especially fun about this is that, by doing this, he knows he’s created more of a buzz for his book than if he’d done the interview straight – and he’s probably not happy about it.