In Armando Iannucci’s The Extraordinary Life with David Copperfield Hugh Laurie is the bizarre Mr. Dick. We talked to him about the character and many other things in a virtual chat.
In the vast and varied multitude of creatures that populate the novel-river of Charles Dickens “David Copperfield”, who immediately arouses the sympathy and curiosity of the reader, in addition to making a great tenderness, is Mr. Dick, which is actually called Richard babley.
Mr. Dick, although lovable, it has a few wheels out of place, which doesn’t seem to matter that much to Betsey Trotwood, the aunt of David Copperfield, who in fact took him to live with her. Man is often overwhelmed by anguish and claims to have the “troubles” of Carlo I.
Mr. Dick, of course, also appears in the film Armando Iannucci The Extraordinary Life of David Copperfield and is kind to David Copperfield (Dev Patel), which helps him get rid of his obsessions by entrusting them, in the form of words, to a kite. To play the character is Hugh Laurie aka it Doctor House, which we encountered via zoom. We were in Italy in front of the computer and he, still in front of the computer, in Great Britain, in a splendid room with typically English furnishings (from furniture to fabrics) in which a beautiful piano stood out.
Hugh Laurie su Charles Dickens
As a good British, Hugh Laurie knows and worships Charles Dickens from time immemorial. According to him, the writer has something that makes him unique: “In my opinion Charles Dickens he was not only a novelist, but also a journalist and an explorer. He has made social and even geographical explorations. No writer had ever done this before. Jane Austen, for example, if he told of six characters sitting in a drawing room playing cards, he did not describe the person preparing the food or the name of the groom who brushed the horses. Dickens, on the contrary, he really managed to broaden horizons, a bit like Armando Iannucci, which in my opinion is the Dickens moderno. He too manages to create an extremely broad context, and if he had made an adaptation of Dostoevsky, I would have liked to have been part of it, indeed I hope that his next work can be just a transposition from Dostoevsky. Armando is able to enter, to dive into the stories and characters like no other.
David Copperfield is a film for everyone, possibly to be seen in theaters
The Extraordinary Life of David Copperfield it is not a film for the little ones. Children will find fun and amazing adventures there. Adults, on the other hand, will reflect on its universal themes: solidarity, friendship, the imbalance between social classes, poverty. Whether it’s a family movie or not, The Extraordinary Life of David Copperfield it is still within everyone’s reach, which is what Hugh Laurie finds sacrosanct: “I think that one of the saddest and most deplorable things in modern cinema, and this is especially true for studios and not for screenwriters and directors, is the habit of targeting a very specific, small audience, for example kids from 18 to 22 years old or women between 30 and 45. I find it extremely disastrous and I think it is instead the responsibility of the cinema to tell stories that can be as universal as possible, and in which everyone can identify. it can be very enlightening, but I find it scandalous to allocate the film to an extremely small audience rather than to the entire community of theaters “.
Speaking of salt, it must be admitted, with great sadness and honesty, that in these times of Covid-19 very few people attend them. Laurie he was sorry: “I really miss the collective experience, the fact that a film is shown in a cinema where you can feel the reaction of the audience. I think the cinema should stop blowing up helicopters, I have nothing against helicopters that blow up, in fact I can’t get enough of things that explode, but I think we need to renew, change, and I believe that in the future there will be more space for smaller things, those made more carefully “.
Hugh Laurie su Mr. Dick
There are several reasons why Hugh Laurie agreed to act in it The Extraordinary Life of David Copperfield. The first is directed by Armando Iannucci, the second is Tilda Swinton and the third the character of Mr. Dick. Of the Swinton the actor said: “With Tilda we’ve known each other since we were in high school, we worked together in a student production 40 years ago … oh my, I didn’t think I’d ever get to talk about a work experience 40 years ago. Obviously acting with her was a great pleasure. “
Speaking instead of Mr. Dick, Laurie said: “For my character I feel a great deal of affection, he is a man who lives in a condition that today could be defined in modern terms as a form of schizophrenia, which is already a considerable burden to carry today, let alone in 1840. All ‘ time you went straight to jail. Adapting the novel, Armando e Samuel Blackwell they kept the tenderness of my character. There is nothing malevolent about him, he is just a bit confused, weird individual, with whom it is sometimes a bit difficult to go around London. I’m still very fond of him and especially his hair “.
The anxiety of Mr. Dick and Hugh Laurie
We said that Mr. Dick is often prey to an anxiety, state of mind that for Hugh Laurie it is not only negative: “I also think that anxiety is a positive thing, which helps you to carry on your work and to be up to the task that has been assigned to you. I think it is healthy and normal, the important thing is to not allow her to stop you, to prevent you from doing things, because the things you regret in life are not the ones done but the ones not done. If I had to give advice to myself as a child, I would tell him just this: don’t let the anxiety paralyzes you, use it, do not allow it to prevent you from entering the world you have decided to enter “.
The Extraordinary Life of David Copperfield arrives in theaters on October 16 distributed by Lucky Red.