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Did Dan Stevens Really Learn German For New Movie I’m Your Man? The English Actor Explains

If you’re a fan of Dan Stevens (and why wouldn’t you be?), his latest film may have you asking some questions. With I’m Your Man seeing the man known as a star of Downton Abbey, featured mutant on FX’s Legion and, of course, the latter half of Beauty and the Beast playing an ideal robot mate, that was a scenario bound to happen. But the largest question some may have is whether or not Stevens really learned German for his role in director Maria Schrader’s romantic dramedy. The answer is no, but only because as it turns out, Dan Stevens had already studied the language earlier in his life.

Speaking with Mr. Stevens during the press day for I’m Your Man, I admitted that after hearing him speaking German in the film, it made me want to speak it better myself. This was after learning through preparation that Dan Stevens had prior experience with the language, and he’s actually fluent in the language. Through words of encouragement, he also revealed that a little owl helped him brush up on the dialect while readying himself for I’m Your Man:

Well it’s never too late to pick it back up. I have to say, I hit that DuoLingo pretty hard last summer. ‘You’ve always got five minutes’, as that little owl will remind you.

Though Dan Stevens’ character Tom is indeed an android, that doesn’t mean he’s speaking in the stereotypical stiff and halting sentences one would expect. The world of I’m Your Man has designed robots like Tom with a specific purpose: to provide romance and companionship for those who are lonely in life. His unit is one of several that are being tested, as his budding relationship with scientist Alma (Maren Eggert) is meant to provide vital feedback on an emerging technology.

Delivering dialogue in such a scenario isn’t easy in another language, as it really takes someone who understands the texture of that linguistic waltz to really stick the landing. Dan Stevens certainly accomplishes that in I’m Your Man thanks to his prior fluency and some handy help from DuoLingo. But the cherry on top of the whole experience has to be the fact that, as one might expect, Stevens kept his language settings set to German throughout pretty much the entire shoot:

The whole cast and crew were pretty much instructed to talk to me only in German. But most Berliners speak excellent English, and in fact the minute we wrapped, everyone started speaking to me in English. But Maria would occasionally come in with English directions … sometimes the quickest, the most efficient way would be to say it in English. I would always respond in German, insofar as possible keep everything in German. It really helped kind of keep my head in the game.

After all of this talk about Dan Stevens playing a romantic robot who speaks perfect German with an English accent, you probably want to hear some of the finished product from I’m Your Man. That’s natural, as even his eccentric performance in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga can’t prepare you for what you might feel in viewing this very human film. Well, you can get a taste of what’s in store, thanks to the I’m Your Man trailer, included below:

You can boot up the beautiful romantic dramedy that is I’m Your Man when it hits selected theaters on September 24. Also, don't forget to check out the 2021 release schedule and see what else is arriving in theaters for the weeks to come. You never know where you'll find the next adventure with a lovable robot and their human companion.

Mike Reyes

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.