Most Americans will probably know the distinctive comic delivery of actor Steve Coogan from his work with Ben Stiller, either in Tropic Thunder or the “Night at the Museum” movies. Cooler Americans will likely known him from his growing filmography with Michael Winterbottom, which began with 24 Hour Party People and has continued to grow with last year’s Paul Raymond biopic The Look of Love and their ongoing travelogue show, which began with The Trip. More recently, Coogan got quite a bit of attention as the Oscar-nominated co-writer of Philomena, as well as co-starring in the movie with Dame Judi Dench as the title character.
Long before being recognized on these shores, Coogan was hugely popular in England for playing a character called Alan Partridge, which he co-created with Armando Iannucci of HBO’s “Veep.” Partridge is a somewhat clueless TV talk show host whose ego tends to cause problems for himself and frustration for those around him.
As hard as it might be to believe, it’s been 20 years since Coogan rose to fame in the UK playing the character on Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge, which in turn led to a number of other shows. For most of the first decade of the ’00s, Coogan had put Partridge on hold while he did other things, but the popular character has finally been brought back for a feature film, appropriately called Alan Partridge, in which the overly self-conscious TV host turned radio DJ gets caught up in a hostage situation by a disgruntled former co-worker, played by Colm Meaney.
ComingSoon.net sat down with Coogan for a solid 20-minute interview at what couldn’t be a better time for the actor with the success of last year’s Philomena and the return of Partridge, a character who may not be as well known in the States though the movie acts as a nice jumping off point for Americans who want to get a taste for the humor that made Coogan so popular in his home country.
In the video interview below, you can hear Coogan talking about:
* Why it took so long to finally return to the character
* How when Alan Partridge was created were different times
* Trying to make Alan sympathetic despite his unrepentant behavior
* Making the movie stand alone for people unfamiliar with Alan Partridge
* How a lot of the writing took place as they made the film creating a good pressure
* Shooting the movie in Norfolk and using its locations
* Casting Colm Meaney as the main conflict in the story
* How not having the movie so tightly scripted beforehand allowed them to come up with funny bits on set
* On the other hand, Alan Partridge’s broadcasts are pretty tightly written by comparison
* Coogan talks about what he wants to do with the recognition he’s received from Philomena
Alan Partridge opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, April 4, and in other theaters in the coming weeks, but it’s also available on VOD and iTunes.