'It's surreal': Paapa Essiedu was gobsmacked by Melissa McCarthy's acting skills in Genie
Paapa Essiedu had an "out of body experience" working with Melissa McCarthy on 'Genie'.
The 33-year-old actor features as Bernard – a workaholic who attempts to win his family back before the Christmas celebrations with the help of the magical genie Flora - in the Richard Curtis-scripted movie and found it "surreal" to see the 'Bridesmaids' star add even more the picture with her acting ability.
Speaking on 'The Graham Norton Show', Paapa said: "Obviously when you do a movie penned by Richard Curtis you know the script is unbeatable, but then Melissa comes along, rips it up and adds so much.
"It's surreal, she is an elite improviser, and I had an out of body experience watching her. I had to remind myself to act. It was the great learning experience for me. She is brilliant."
'Genie' is a remake of Richard's 1991 TV movie 'Bernard and the Genie' and explained how he first had the idea to re-write the project soon after it was released.
The 'Love Actually' screenwriter told Sky News: "Funnily enough, I actually wrote my sort of first draft of this about five years after the original film, and then I let it lie.
"And I just thought I would love to do another Christmas movie, and so I took it out and refreshed it in many ways, particularly having a female Genie and moving it to New York.
"But it's been in my head for a long time and I always think the best projects are the ones that have had time to stew."
Watch the full interview on 'The Graham Norton Show', BBC One, on Friday (08.12.23) night. Also available on BBC iPlayer.