Dan Stevens tapped into Cary Grant’s performance in The Philadelphia Story to inform his role as a romance-driven robot in Bleecker Street’s I’m Your Man, Germany’s official entry in the International Feature Oscar race.
“That specific movie was a great touchstone for us, [director Maria Schrader] and I loved the idea that Tom had been programmed with Cary Grant- and Jimmy Stewart-like characteristics and got his programming from a lot of screwball comedies,” Stevens said Sunday during Deadline’s Contenders Film: Los Angeles award-season event at the DGA Theater. “We went for Cary Grant’s hair color for Tom and really borrowed certain mannerisms and characteristics.”
I’m Your Man earned star Maren Eggert the best actress Silver Bear at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. She stars as a scientist at the famous Pergamon Museum in Berlin. In order to obtain research funds for her work, she is persuaded to participate in an extraordinary study: For three weeks, she is to live with a humanoid robot named Tom (Stevens) tailored to her character and needs, whose artificial intelligence is intended to be the perfect life partner created solely to make her happy.
During the panel conversation, Stevens reflected on how comedy can be as much of a platform as drama to reflect on existential questions about humanity. For the Downton Abbey actor, the German comedy became a “reflection on humanity” and what technology “is doing to the human heart.”
“Isn’t it great to laugh? What this film really reminded me…is that comedy is a great playground for philosophy…it doesn’t always have to be in those heavy handed brow-beating kind of way,” he added.
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