In another cinematic life, Dan Stevens undertook a huge acting challenge that he remains rather proud of: waltzing on stilts while wearing a Beast-ly mo-cap suit, for 2017’s Beauty and the Beast. As any actor will tell you, every film presents its own unique challenges, and in the case of Stevens’ role in director Maria Schrader’s romantic dramedy I’m Your Man, doing a whole film in the German language was the point of pride. So much so that even when compared to stilt-work that Stevens did in his Disney live-action break, dancing with German dialogue was the more daunting challenge.
This was another piece of information I learned during the I’m Your Man press junket, where Mr. Stevens and I talked about his role as the lovelorn android Tom. Eager to impress his human/study participant Alma (Maren Eggert), there’s no limit to the knowledge that Tom can draw from. So when one scene called for human and robot to meet at a dance club, the following moment was brought to life, putting Dan Stevens to the test:
Acting as one of the initial moments in I’m Your Man’s courtship between human and machine, Dan Stevens and Maren Eggert’s first dance sees Tom showing his prowess on the floor. It isn’t too long before the robot becomes a bit overwhelmed and ends up malfunctioning, which sends him in for some quick repairs. Thankfully, Mr. Stevens’ thought processes didn’t get overloaded in a similar capacity, but the scene was a challenge nonetheless.
Dan Steven's prior studies in German gave him a fluency that he claims roughly five English actors in total have, making him a perfect candidate for I’m Your Man’s rigorous linguistic challenges. With the film shooting during the summer of 2020, as an early production during the COVID-19 pandemic, these dance club scenes were subject to extensive testing protocols. Saved for the end of shooting, real life couples and quarantined dancers were all used as extras to make those scenes a welcome respite from the realities that productions of all sorts were enduring.
So when you run the whole story back, from top to bottom, Dan Stevens had to speak German, dance the rumba and adhere to the strict health and safety guidelines the entire cast of I’m Your Man was subjected to. And yet, when you watch him dance, as well as hear him speak, it really is a welcomed distraction from any cares in the world. Maybe if that potential Beauty and the Beast sequel ever gets off the ground, there can be a scene where Stevens' Beast gets to dance whilst reciting German poetry to Belle. Now wouldn't that be impressive?
I’m Your Man starts its limited run in theaters this weekend, so be sure to check your local listings for showtimes and availability. And if you unfortunately cannot find a showing of this endearing comedy, there’s plenty more available for you to enjoy on the 2021 release schedule.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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