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From director Jason Winer and screenwriter Max Werner, the indie dramedy Ode to Joy follows Brooklyn librarian Charlie (Martin Freeman), a man with a neurological disorder called cataplexy, which causes him to lose control and faint whenever he’s overcome by a strong emotion, particularly joy. Living with such a condition has led Charlie to maintain a carefully managed world, which he finds turned upside when he meets the spontaneous Francesca (Morena Baccarin), who he starts to have feelings for and therefore tries to suppress those feelings, so that he can spend time with her without his disorder taking over.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actor Martin Freeman talked about this unique romantic comedy and why he found himself drawn to it, finding the tone, the logistics of shooting the scenes where Charlie passes out, and the story’s unusual love triangle. He also talked about whether he’ll be returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the future, if there could be more episodes of Sherlock, and why he wanted to explore parenthood for the FX comedy series Breeders, airing on 2020.
Collider - Comedy - Character - Reaction - Script
Collider: This is definitely not your typical romantic comedy, and its most definitely an odd character. What was your reaction, when you read the script? What was it that appealed to you about playing this guy?
MARTIN FREEMAN: Firstly, it was well written, and it made me laugh, and it had some truths in it. I don’t suffer from that condition, obviously. Very few people do. But it had some truths in it, about being alive and being in love. Beyond that, the idea of having a condition where you cannot allow yourself to feel strong emotions is clearly tragic and awful, but also very interesting, from an actor’s point of view. It certainly does have comedic legs. I knew...
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