- Title: Dev Patel hopes diverse 'David Copperfield' casting "sends a message"
- Date: 2nd October 2019
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (OCTOBER 2, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** ACTOR DEV PATEL WALKING ON RED CARPET AND STOPPING TO GREET CHILD ACTOR RANVEER JAISWAL, WHO PLAYS 47-YEAR-OLD DAVID COPPERFIELD IN THE MOVIE, AND OTHER GUESTS AND WALKING OVER TO JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR, DEV PATEL, SAYING: "I think it's incredible, it's incredible to watch this film and hopefully it doesn't even become an issue after five minutes of watching it, and you're just watching good actors that have been chosen for the right roles, you know? And, it really is, it's a great opportunity for us, you know. I never thought I would ever have a film like this, where I get to be in period Victorian costume on those sets, ever come come into my orbit. It's a wonderful opportunity and I hope it continues to open doors and it sends a message to the rest of the industry to be as bold as Mr Iannucci." DIRECTOR ARMANDO IANNUCCI SIGNING AUTOGRAPHS AND WALKING ON RED CARPET (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR, ARMANDO IANNUCCI, SAYING: "For me it's a kind of celebration of how I see Britain which is actually a very outgoing, welcoming, varied, energetic place and a generous place. And it really, you know, it depresses me, this image that some people are thinking of Britain as being kind of closed down, isolated place. For me it's more than a passion project. It's a statement I wanted to make, really, how I feel about being born in the UK." RED CARPET ARRIVALS PATEL POSING FOR PHOTOS WITH FANS (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR, ARMANDO IANNUCCI, SAYING: "Yes, Dev, I couldn't think of anyone else. I just knew he'd be David Copperfield and I said 'you're David Copperfield, you have to be' and he said 'yes'. I didn't have a plan B. I wanted our audience to see London as it is now, reflected back at them, really. And also I just wanted to choose the best people who were most suited for the part, I didn't want to feel any kind of historical restriction." PATEL TALKING TO REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR, DEV PATEL, SAYING: "I know, I was that guy that had totally missed this glorious piece of literature in my childhood. I thought he was the illusionist (David Copperfield) when I went to the meeting. It was put together very hastily, and obviously that changed very quickly once I met Armando." ACTRESS NIKKI AMUKA-BIRD POSING FOR PHOTOS ACTOR JAIRAJ VARSANI, WHO IN THE MOVIE PLAYS YOUNG DAVID, WALKING ON RED CARPET ACTOR HUGH LAURIE IN INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR, HUGH LAURIE, SAYING: "We had such a good time, we laughed from...it's almost indecent actually how much fun we had because I tend to believe that work shouldn't be fun, work should be hard, you know, it should be gritty. But we had an amazing time, far too much fun. I'm sorry about that." ACTRESS GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE SIGNING AUTOGRAPHS (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTRESS, GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, SAYING: "I really loved it actually, it was great fun. I actually started filming the day after I finished 'Game of Thrones' so to play such a contrasting character in such a contrasting environment was a huge pleasure." ACTOR PAUL WHITEHOUSE POSING FOR PHOTOS (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR, PAUL WHITEHOUSE, SAYING: "What a great way to introduce Dickens to, certainly, like, London now. You know, for kids in London, you know, can readily identify with, you know, people with different colours and different races. And deprivation existed then, it still does in places now. So, very clever in that respect, yes." PATEL AND WHITEHOUSE SIGNING AUTOGRAPHS ACTRESS MORFYDD CLARK POSING FOR PHOTOS RED CARPET ARRIVALS FILMMAKER EVA LANSKA POSING FOR PHOTOS AND BLOWING A KISS ACTOR ANTHONY WELSH WALKING ON RED CARPET AND POSING FOR SELFIE WITH FAN RED CARPET ARRIVALS
- Embargoed: 16th October 2019 22:31
- Keywords: London Film Festival opening red carpet The Personal History of David Copperfield Dev Patel Hugh Laurie Tilda Swinton Armando Iannucci
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM AND VARIOUS FILM LOCATIONS
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM AND VARIOUS FILM LOCATIONS
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Film
- Reuters ID: LVA002AZEO9JH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: British satirist Armando Iannucci swaps political comedies for Charles Dickens in "The Personal History of David Copperfield," a comedy-drama adaptation of the literary classic in which Dev Patel leads a racially diverse cast in the Victorian-era movie.
The "Lion" and "Slumdog Millionaire" actor, born in London to Indian parents, plays the lead, a role he did not think would come his way, he said at the movie's opening of the BFI London Film Festival on Wednesday (October 2) evening.
"It's incredible to watch this film," Patel said.
"I never thought I would ever have a film like this where I get to be in period Victorian costume ... It's a wonderful opportunity and I hope it continues to open doors and it sends a message to the rest of the industry to be as bold as Mr Iannucci."
The film begins with Copperfield, a writer, taking audiences back to the start of his life, with his widowed mother giving birth to him, supported by doting housekeeper Peggotty.
While his early years are filled with love, all changes when his mother remarries the brutal Mr Murdstone and the young Copperfield is sent to work in a London factory.
He encounters hardships and kindness as he seeks to find a place for himself in society, all the time noting down the expressions of people he meets on bits of paper.
The story tackles homelessness, debt, Britain's class system and mental illness but writer-director Iannucci peppers it with laugh-out-loud moments.
"For me it's a kind of celebration of how I see Britain which is actually a very outgoing, welcoming, varied, energetic place and a generous place. And it really, you know, it depresses me, this image that some people are thinking of Britain as being kind of closed down, isolated place. For me it's more than a passion project. It's a statement I wanted to make, really, how I feel about being born in the UK," he said.
The cast includes Tilda Swinton as Copperfield's donkey-hating aunt Betsey Trotwood, "Howards End" actress Rosalind Eleazar as his friend Agnes and "Doctor Strange" actor Benedict Wong as her father Mr Wickfield.
Creditor-evading Mr Micawber is played by "Doctor Who" actor Peter Capaldi while "Game of Thrones" actress Gwendoline Christie portrays the cold Jane Murdstone. Ben Whishaw plays the obsequious villain Uriah Heep and "House" star Hugh Laurie portrays Mr Dick.
"I had no plan B. Dev was instantly the person I thought of," Iannucci said, later adding: "I just wanted to choose the best people who were most suited for the part, I didn't want to feel any kind of historical restrictions."
Patel said he first thought the film was about another David Copperfield.
"I was that guy that had totally missed this glorious piece of literature in my childhood," he said. "I thought he was the illusionist when I went to the meeting ... obviously that changed very quickly."
Iannucci is known for political TV comedies "The Thick Of It" and "Veep" and dark satirical movie "The Death of Stalin."
Though smaller than Cannes and Venice, the London festival has its own share of red carpet glamour. This year's screenings include Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman" and the mediaeval coming-of-age tale "The King" starring Timothee Chalamet.
(Production: Graham Kelly, Hanna Rantala)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None