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Q&A: 'Devil's Double''s Dominic Cooper Is Doubly Ready For a Big Year

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For his latest film, Dominic Cooper is pulling double duty.

No, he's not singing and dancing again like he did in "Mamma Mia!" The young actor is playing dual roles in "The Devil's Double" – he's Saddam Hussein's infamous son Uday and Latif Yahia, a man forced to become Uday's body double. The film itself is based loosely on a true story, but this isn't your average biopic – it's more like a gangster film.

And, not unlike some gangster films, Cooper is already getting major buzz for his performance and whispers of awards season.

We caught up with the 33-year-old (who also happens to star in "Captain America: The First Avenger") during San Diego Comic-Con and he was downright humbled by the idea of dressing up for awards shows at the top of 2012.

People have been buzzing about this movie ever since Sundance earlier this year – are you thinking that you might get to be talking about it for another seven months or so?
I don’t know. I just hope it that people see it. It’s a small film and always difficult for those films to be seen. So we’ll see. At the moment people are responding to it in a great way.

The idea of the body double is so fascinating.
I think the idea of the body double anyway is extraordinary. You never really know who's got them or how many they are, how often you see the double.

Lionsgate

Do you think we actually see them pretty often?
I think a lot. I imagine most political and heavyweight leaders probably have someone... It’s an intriguing idea.

In this story, it becomes much more about one man’s vanity and desperation and love affair with himself to recreate that kind of second version. I don’t think Uday really worried too much about people being safe until the assassination attempt was made. I think he thought it was a bit of a joke. Uday just thought he had this plaything and he was completely in control of Latif. And he kind of enjoyed watching how he behaved and responded in those situations which he should have been in. Sending him off to dangerous military zones and watching him on TV doing a speech, rather than taking any of this seriously.

It's why his dad didn't take him in any way seriously. No doubt he thought he was very irresponsible, which he was, and therefore didn't give him the extra family name, the family responsibilities. I think it made him extremely aggressive. It was a cultural insult as an elder son.

Was there an added pressure taking on a role about a real-life person?
I think there can be, but with this, the pressure was kind of taken off because we weren't making it a historical or accurate biography. It wasn't meant to be exactly how this person did this. It was just the story of a person and we used the framework of that story. I was at liberty to explore it… they’re not hugely famous, no one really knows them. I think the pressure is when you’re doing someone so well known and everyone knows what they think they know about that person and these guys can be anyone, in my opinion.

So many people believe that every person has at least one doppelganger. We kinda think yours might be your "Captain America" co-star Sebastian Stan.
Oh, yeah, my friends do as well. When we were working together, we’d be in London a lot and my friends would go “you look exactly the same.” I’m much better looking than him though [laughs].

Dominic Cooper and Amanda Seyfried in "Mamma Mia!"
Universal

Would you ever do another musical like "Mamma Mia?"
Yeah, if it was right. I was amazed that I was ever part of that movie and I loved it. And I loved singing. I tend not to like that genre. I never went for musicals, never watched them. I was in "Cabaret" when I first ever got into acting… In reality someone’s talking and then breaking into show tunes for me is just totally bizarre, but yeah, I'd love to.

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