Richard Ellef Ayoade is an English comedian, actor, writer, TV presenter and director, best known for his roles as Dean Learner in Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and Maurice Moss in The IT Crowd. He is also a team captain on panel show Was It Something I Said?. He also presents …
Date Of Birth
June 12, 1977
Place Of Birth
Whipps Cross, London, United Kingdom
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Actor, Comedian, Television Director, Screenwriter
St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, University of Cambridge, St Joseph’s College, Ipswich
British Academy Television Award for Best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme, British Independent Film Award for Best Screenplay, International Emmy Award for Comedy
BAFTA Award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer, British Independent Film Award Douglas Hickox Award (Directorial Debut)
The Boxtrolls, The Double, Submarine, Bunny and the Bull, Festival, AD/BC: A Rock Opera, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Tommy Tiernan: Crooked Man, Arctic Monkeys At The Apollo, Hello Friend
The IT Crowd, Travel Man, Gadget Man, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, Nathan Barley, Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, Man to Man with Dean Learner, Snuff Box, Time Trumpet, The Crystal Maze
High pitched voice
Thick rimmed glasses
[explaining the message of The Double (2013)] Darth Vader is within all of us. And I remember that every time I shower.
I suppose I sort of like effects that have some organic elements rather than ones that are entirely generated by a computer. Just because, no matter how complex the algorithm is, it’s still an algorithm.
I was directing before I started doing ‘The IT Crowd.’ It wasn’t something that led on after acting I guess. I was sort of doing this stuff before acting.
I actually prefer night shoots to days. I prefer being up. It’s easier for me. I’m more of a night person.
I don’t really know what my personality is anyway. I don’t really have one.
I’m just terrible. At talking. With words.
I’m not good at watching myself.
I’m not sure I’d hire myself in anything. I certainly couldn’t be an actor. That would be terrible. For everyone.
Louis Malle is maybe one of my favourite directors, but I love Tarantino.
My parents didn’t go to university and weren’t brought up in England. They hadn’t heard of any other universities other than ‘Cambridge’ or ‘Oxford.’
No. I really don’t think I’m cool. I’m not.
A lot of comedies are based on the reaction shot. You have one person doing something stupid and one person is generally the straight man, and the laughs generally come on the reaction of the straight man to the funny thing the other person has done.
As in, I think ‘Badlands’ is one of the funniest films of all time: ‘Every day I wish I was carried off to a magical land, but that never happened’ is one of the funniest lines in any film.
I find performing very difficult. It’s difficult to be a good actor. I get very nervous, even though it sounds disingenuous, because you could legitimately go, ‘Well, why do it?’
I like Roy Orbison’s video for ‘I Drove All Night’ because it’s so literal. It is just a man driving throughout the night. I like that silliness. To be in a video is a ridiculous thing. It’s almost impossible to do it without any humour.
I’ve only ever really been in shows of friends, so I don’t know exactly what happened. I think I’m incredibly cheap to hire. That can buy some traction. I’m as cheap as it’s possible for an actor to be legally.
The act of seeing any film generally is you knowing more than the characters, even if it’s the classic Hitchcock shot of two people talking and a bomb being under the table. Part of the pleasure of it is seeing where people go wrong, and the irony of situations.
Close friends with the lead singer of the Arctic Monkeys, Alex Turner. He has directed 3 of their music videos. Alex did the soundtrack music for Ayoade’s film, Submarine.