Digital Spy caught up with the filmmaker to discuss his directorial debut, reading critics' reviews and a pair of unlikely stars for his version of Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Double...
After directing for television and music videos, was it always your ambition to make the leap to movies?
"I suppose you have it in the back of your mind but you're not sort of tired of the thing you're doing while you're doing it, as in I was very happy directing music videos and TV. They weren't frustrations on the way to doing films but I'm pleased to have done this particular film."
What was it about Submarine that particularly engaged you?
"It was the book. I liked the character of Oliver Tate. Meeting Joe (Dunthorne), getting on with him. It was those things really."
"I think I probably gave him Taxi Driver to watch, but it was more the sense of having voiceover juxtaposed with actions that are supported by the voiceover. [The comparison] was probably slightly out of context, it was more the idea that you don't necessarily have to like a character to be interested in them."
Was the shot you had of the camera tracking into the projector from Scorsese's Mean Streets?
"Oh yeah, that is from the start of Mean Streets. We altered it, but that's pretty direct."
What kind of preparation did you do with Craig and Yasmin, were there other films and books you pushed their way?
"Yeah, there were various films. I gave Craig Catcher in the Rye to read, things that I thought Oliver would have read. They had to watch The Passion of Joan of Arc, which they both found quite a struggle."
Paddy Considine has this relationship with Shane Meadows where he's given a lot of room to improvise - was that something you let him do?
"Yeah, you work it out quite carefully. I think Paddy's one of those people who is so good in those Shane Meadows films that people think he can just show up and access that immediately. If anyone can, he can and he's a brilliant improviser but I think sometimes people just get him into something that's not thought out. I think the difficulty Paddy sometimes has is he's so good people just think he doesn't have to try at all. He works at it."
"I think he just read the script. It was sent to his production company and he and his producing partner Stuart Cornfeld liked it and he got involved that way. He was a great help getting it out in America. He's really kind and supportive."
You got a phenomenal response from critics. Do you read reviews, whether they're good or bad?
"You're made aware of it, you're sent things. You tend only to remember negative things, that's what you sort of focus in on. You very rarely bask in good reviews. You sort of feel that the bad ones were right and the good ones were lucky."
Is there still a desire from you to appear in front of the camera or will it be mainly directing from now on?
"Directing and writing is probably the thing that I'll spend the most time doing, I imagine. I've a very limited range so I can't really act in things very often with any form of competence."
Do you enjoy acting or do you find it makes you uncomfortable?
"Most things make me uncomfortable, that's one of them."
How are things progressing with the next film? Is it going to be a version of Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Double?
"Yeah, trying to. You never know with these things, but I'm pleased with the script and just trying to see how it goes at the moment."
"I'm just going to cast Jedward."
Whatever happened to the plans for a Garth Marenghi movie?
"The thing is it's so weird my talking about that show without Matt. We never really gave interviews about it because it was about a bunch of pompous people giving interviews about something they did, and so for us to do pompous interviews as pompous people giving interviews at the end of it would be ridiculous. It's too dumb to talk about."
Having directed the series, though, was it difficult to direct something deliberately badly?
"No, that's my default position."
Submarine is released on Blu-ray and DVD today.