Chabuddy G is one of the great British comedy characters. The hapless but loveable failing salesman has been a fan favourite since British mockumentary series People Just Do Nothing first began on YouTube.
Asim Chaudhry has played Chabuddy G since creating the show with his collaborators back in 2011 and he’s gone on to earn the RTS award for Best Comedy Male Performance and a BAFTA nomination.
But Asim does more than consistently trotting out top-class comedy performances as Chabuddy. Throughout People Just Do Nothing, he was also working behind the scenes, writing, shooting and editing it.
While this alter ego and the show has kept him busy, Asim is now branching out. He has a degree in Film and Media and now Asim is returning to his directorial roots. His debut short Love Pool was impressive and surprising and proves a strong eye for comedy behind the camera as well as in front of it.
Now you’ll find his talents on both Curate Film’s roster of directors and its comedy writing roster the Writers Room.
LBB’s Alex Reeves caught up with Asim to hear more about this renaissance man.
LBB> When did you first consider the idea of directing?
Asim> I’ve always wanted to direct since uni days. I actually directed the short film for my final year. It was a remake of the French horror film, Les Diaboliques (it was awful).
LBB> And when did it crystallise in your mind that it was something you actually had a chance to do?
Asim> I think it all stemmed from writing. I’ve always wanted to direct stuff I’ve written. I studied the great auteurs at university and I admire the courage it takes for someone to have the confidence to drive so much of the creative process.
LBB> So much of your career so far has been dominated by creating People Just Do Nothing. What have you taken from the years working on that you want to build on as a director?
Asim> I think I’ve learnt to kill your babies and don’t be too precious about your ideas, always have the confidence that you can come up with something better. If you don’t want to kill your babies then you can always cryogenically freeze them to use them later. (Sorry that made sense in my head but as I’m typing it out I’m not sure anymore.)
LBB> And presumably there are muscles that the show wouldn't allow you to flex that you want to use now. What are those?
Asim> I think working with actors in a non acting role. I love performing and bouncing off actors but I also love observing. I think it’s a great feeling when an actor trusts you and in turn you trust them back.
LBB> I read that you were quite nervous about putting out your directorial debut Love Pool, but it's brilliant so obviously has been well received. Now you've got some distance, how do you feel about it?
Asim> Thank you! I’m very proud of it. I think it summed up my mental state at the time when I wrote it and it was also a very therapeutic process for me.
LBB> And you've recently made a return to making music, most recently with Brown Skin (Drown Him). How does music fit into the many modes of creative expression you're playing in? Why did that idea end up as a song and not, say, a sitcom script?
Asim> It was an idea I had for years and I’m so happy I was able to articulate it in such a fun way. It ended up as a song because I felt like it could be more accessible to people. It’s a banging hip hop song but it has some real history and education attached to it.
LBB> That song also had such a good music video by Golden Wolf. We love those guys too. What did you think about that process? Are you keen to direct music videos yourself?
Asim> It was amazing. Golden Wolf made the idea in my head a reality. I would love to direct music videos in the future. I’m actually working on some video ideas at the moment for my own music.
LBB> How are you feeling about signing to Curate and the Writers Room and the opportunities that come with that?
Asim> I’m very excited. I think they’re lovely people to work with and I enjoy the collaborative process so I’m hoping this is the start of a great relationship.
LBB> Sorry to quote your recent Tweets back at you but I really wanted to ask you about this one: "I know the quote 'Be who you needed when you were younger' is very tumblr emo-ey but that shits basically how I live my life." What did you mean by that?
Asim> OMG embarrassing! Sounds like a 2am emo tweet. I just mean think about the adult you needed when you were young, attentive, non-judgmental, nurturing, etc. Try to be those things.
LBB> Is there any kind of film that you'd like to direct that would particularly surprise people who know your work so far?
Asim> I’m writing a horror film at the moment that I also want to direct. I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people. I’m going to do a ‘Jordan Peele’ on everyone.
LBB> What's been keeping your spirits up recently while 2020 continues to take a dump on us all? Where have you been turning for inspiration in this age where we have a glut of 'content'?
Asim> Music and plants. Taking care of plants reminds you to take care of yourself and play some music as the soundtrack of your self care and self love! x