Dominic Cooper tackles the emotionally and physically difficult roles of Saddam Hussein’s son Uday Hussein and Uday’s body double, Latif Yahia, in the dramatic film The Devil’s Double. Based on true events and directed by Lee Tamahori, The Devil’s Double required Cooper to switch back and forth between playing the cruel Uday and the man forced into giving up his home, his family, and his entire life because he resembled the dictator’s son.
In this interview with Cooper provided by Lionsgate Films, Cooper discusses playing Uday and Latif, taking on two distinct characters in the film, the differences between the two, working with Ludivine Sagnier who plays Uday’s girlfriend, and working with director Tamahori.
The Devil’s Double opened in theaters on July 29, 2011.
The Plot: Baghdad, 1987. Summoned from the frontline to Saddam Hussein’s palace, Iraqi army lieutenant Latif Yahia (Dominic Cooper) is thrust into the highest echelons of the “royal family” when he’s ordered to become the ‘fiday’ – or body double – to Saddam’s son, the notorious “Black Prince” Uday Hussein (also Dominic Cooper), a reckless, sadistic party-boy with a rabid hunger for sex and brutality. With his and his family’s lives at stake, Latif must surrender his former self forever as he learns to walk, talk and act like Uday. But nothing could have prepared him for the horror of the Black Prince’s psychotic, drug-addled life of fast cars, easy women and impulsive violence. With one wrong move costing him his life, Latif forges an intimate bond with Sarrab (Ludivine Sagnier), Uday’s seductive mistress who’s haunted by her own secrets. But as war looms with Kuwait and Uday’s depraved gangster regime threatens to destroy them all, Latif realizes that escape from the devil’s den will only come at the highest possible cost.