Richard Ayoade writes for Total Film

Richard Ayoade

My co-stars on Boom Goes The Neigborhood! have been beyond supportive of my fledgling flight in the apo-com-lyptic action genre, and many now know my name.

From the start, one in particular has been marvellously vigilant in keeping the lines of communication with me open and clear. For legal reasons, his name is withheld.

Many thanks for your recent letter.

No need to worry, I have already received the instruction to only verbally address your client via his assistant.

The ‘good morning’ I uttered was an error born of habit and not an attempt ‘to undermine the foundations of the terms of my employment’.

While avoiding any eye contact with your client during the scenes themselves may prove hard, I’m looking forward to the challenge!

Also, thanks in abundance for the further clarifications you graciously make in the enclosed appendix. I will not cross those particular boundaries again.

In my dealings with other people a handshake has been viewed as a cordial gesture and not the ‘epidermal defilement’ referred to in your draft injunction.

In future I will offer the quarter bow you so kindly suggest.

Might I make one small request in turn? Is there any way your client could stop practising golf during takes?

The metronome-like swish of metal behind the camera is distracting enough, but the cries of ‘Fore!’ make it near impossible to deliver dialogue.

Sincere supplications, R

A thousand thank yous for your recent communication.

I am well aware that your client is on a strict alfalfa and chlorophyll cleanse and that the smell of ‘any food on my breath’ must be ‘fatally distracting’ for him.

However, your team’s insistence that I ‘stop eating for the duration of the production’ is proving difficult.

Yesterday I caved and ordered a double helping at the Ikea snack station. Forty meatballs. That’s going to haunt me, and those around me, for several days to come.

However, I can assure you I will restrict any liquid intake on set to the bare minimum and if driven by sheer madness to ‘consume solids’ I will do so in the ‘privacy of the crew toilet’.

Can I take this opportunity to mention that dribbling a basketball off camera may be even more disruptive than the putting practise?

An armoire of apologies, R

A tower of thanks for your timely epistle.

I suppose, given the physical distance you’d like me to maintain from your client, it’s tricky to know exactly when he’s breathing in, and so for me ‘not to exhale at any time that [your] client is inhaling’ requires synchronisation that may be beyond my physical capacities.

Perhaps this particular rhythm was what he was trying to imply with the golf swings?

And while the suggestion that ‘perhaps I don’t breathe at all’ seems simple, I feel it may be tricky in conjunction with your client’s suggestion, communicated via his security chief, for me ‘[to] go fuck myself in the mouth’.

Perhaps I must view such outbursts as what you call ‘the gift of fear’.

In expectation of ever closer ties, R

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