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Exclusive Interview: Armando Iannucci and Dev Patel of The Personal History of David Copperfield

Exclusive Interview: Armando Iannucci and Dev Patel of The Personal History of David Copperfield


In THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD, writer/director of Armando Iannucci ("Veep," IN THE LOOP), creates a refreshing new take on the classic Charles Dickens story of an orphan boy who overcomes a series of daunting obstacles on his way to adulthood.

We attended a virtual junket for the movie, during which we chatted with Iannucci as well as Dev Patel, the actor who stars as David Copperfield, and his co-star Hugh Laurie. They spoke about their relationship with the original novel and discussed how the story transformed into a delightful comedy.

"I’ve always found [Dickens] very funny," Iannucci said. "I see him as the precursor to [early movie star Charlie] Chaplin."

The cast agreed. Hugh Laurie, who plays "Mr. Dick," proclaimed his own love for the canonical author, while Dev Patel said, "I’m honored to come on and really shine a light on the humor, and the warmth of those stories. There’s a real energy to it."

It's true that Dickens used comedy as a more significant part of his writing than he usually gets credit for. Iannucci broke down how his version of Copperfield's tale differs from other iterations. His focus, he said, was on "trying to capture the themes, which are all about growing up, trying to work out your place in the world, who you are, and how your how memories of childhood can play tricks on you and inform your view about yourself."

As we were wrapping up, we asked Iannucci his thoughts on seeing movies in the theater. His response was simply, "nothing beats it," and we couldn’t agree more!

Check out our full conversation with the filmmakers behind THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD:


All images courtesy of Searchlight Pictures.

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