You lot over the UK may have been well familiar with “The IT Crowd” for quite some time now, but here the States, we’ve only just recently gotten the opportunity to be introduced to it. First, we had the Independent Film Channel (IFC) to thank, and now MPI Home Video has released Season 1 of the series onto DVD. Actually, there had been talk that the set would be released quite some time ago, but, then, that was back when NBC was still threatening to give us an Americanized version of the show. After those plans were canceled, so was the release of the set…’til now. We had a chance to chat with Chris O’Dowd, who plays Roy on “The IT Crowd,” about his experiences on the show, and we took the opportunity to quiz him a bit about a couple of upcoming film roles, including the re-telling of “Gulliver’s Travels,” starring Jack Black and Jason Segel.
Stay tuned for…
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If you’re not already familiar with Alexander McCall Smith’s series of books about a female private detective in Botswana, then you’d be forgiven for thinking that HBO’s “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” was some sort of premium-cable equivalent of ABC’s defunct “Women’s Murder Club.” It’s actually a rich look into modern day African culture that has as much to do with spotlighting the gorgeous landscape and establishing the personalities and quirks of its characters as it does with solving a mystery.
Fans of McCall Smith’s novels were chomping at the bit to see who would be cast to play the novel’s central figure, Mma Precious Ramotswe. The slightly surprising victor: Jill Scott, a woman known far more for her work as a singer than as an actress. It must be said, however, that Scott does a great job in the role, offering the appropriate notes of both humor and drama throughout the production. For his part, however, McCall Smith couldn’t say whether or not she truly fit his idea of what Precious would look like, if only because it’s something to which he ever gave any thought.
“As a writer, curiously enough — and people sometimes don’t believe me when I say this — but I don’t actually see my characters,” said McCall Smith. “I hear them, but I didn’t have a picture of what Mma Ramotswe would look like. So when Jill came along, I said, ‘That’s fine. That’s perfectly all right by me.’ And indeed, I think you have certainly given me a picture of my characters which I didn’t have before. But when I actually write, I don’t see people. I just hear things. And I see a countryside, but I don’t actually see the characters, which is a strange thing. So that was fine. I thought they were just right.”
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