Having the opportunity to talk to Ricky Gervais was a dream come true. As a self confessed Anglophile, Mr. Gervais was definitely on my list of people who would cause me to run outside and do a cartwheel if I ever exchanged words with him.
And while I did attempt the cartwheel (and nearly smooshed my dog Peetie in the process), I did get to chat up the creator of The Office and Extra’s about his upcoming Golden Globe hosting duties for the second year in a row.
The main topic I was dying to talk about was his “controversial” comment during last years awards to Kate Winslet. If you missed the exchange this is what went down.
So many people took what Mr. Gervais said the wrong way because quite obviously, they have missed out on one of the most amazing series ever created. Along with his partner Stephen Merchant, Ricky created, wrote, and directed this brilliant show called “Extras” which aired in the United Kingdom on BBC and in the United States on HBO.
During the third episode of the first season, Kate guest starred as herself, an actress in the role of a nun, shooting a Holocaust movie. When Ricky’s character Andy Millman congratulates her for taking the role so as to further bring attention to the cause she tells Andy why she really took the gig.
Check it out below.
If you missed the joke don’t feel bad as you are in good company. Mr. Gervais shared a story about how mega star Tom Hanks got caught up in the confusion.
R. Gervais: Tom Hanks was telling me that he was on his way to work and he was listening to the radio and he must’ve just tuned in and they were playing a clip from the Extras that Kate Winslet was in. And she was saying, “Yes. I mean, you know, do we need another Holocaust movie?”
I mean – and he thought it was an interview. He didn’t realize. He hadn’t seen the show. So he thought Kate Winslet was on the radio saying she’d only done a Holocaust film to win an Oscar. And he went around telling everyone, “What is she thinking? What is she thinking?” And then his producer said, “Tom, that must’ve been a clip from the show.” And then he went, “All right. Okay.” And he’d spent the whole day going around telling people that Kate Winslet had lost her mind.
Lesson Learned! If you have had the misfortune of never having seen Extras, take advantage of the holiday season and by the entire series on DVD. If you head over to Amazon right now, you can get the whole shabang for just $20.99!
So does Ricky think he has taken his comedy bit as far as it can go or can we expect more of this type of hilarity during the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards?
R. Gervais: I don’t think I was too bad. I don’t think I went far enough. I think people know me now and they know – I think comedy comes from a good or a bad place. And I think however cheeky or out there or, you know, taboo subjects and dark places I take them, I think they know it comes from a good place with me. The last thing I want to do is genuinely offend anyone. I couldn’t live with myself.
So I want the victims of the joke to like it as well. I don’t see any victory in going out and being awful and shocking. That’s too easy. I mean it’s 5 o’clock on network TV. You don’t have to – I mean, people couldn’t believe I went out with a beer. So if that’s still shocking in this day and age, there is no victory in just being shocking.
I think you’ve got to be interesting and engaging and, you know, I try and do it with a twinkle in my eye and a smile on my face. So hopefully I can go even further this year and still not be chased out of the country.
The next big topic on my mind and to also stay on the same theme as my original question, I wanted to talk to Ricky about who the new boss on the American version of “The Office” could be. My favorite character on Extras was Stephen Merchant’s character Darren Lamb, “agent” to Andy Millman and Barry from Eastenders.
I thought it would be so brilliant to have some sort of kooky situation where Darren is fired from his job at Carphone Warehouse and he somehow finds his way to America and takes over as Regional Manager at Dunder Mifflin. To further piss off Dwight, I think Karl Pilkington should come in to play himself and have Darren hire him as Assistant to the Regional Manager!
According to Mr. Gervais, I can just dream on as this will NEVER happen.
R. Gervais: The chances of both of those in either order are slim to none. I don’ think – well Karl certainly wouldn’t take it. I mean it takes all of my efforts for Karl to do anything.
Karl is looking forward to being old so he doesn’t have to do anything. He actually said that. He’s looking forward to being old because old people are left alone. I go, “What do you mean?” He said, “If you’re old you can sit in the street in an armchair and no one gives you a dirty look for being lazy.” So that’s ambition to be old so he doesn’t have to do anything anymore. So he certainly won’t take it.
No, Steve wouldn’t do it and nor would I. The thing is me and Steve get paid for doing nothing, so why would we work for it, you know? We’ve made so much money off Steve Carell. He’s like a big goose that lays golden eggs for us. Now we need some other schmuck to come along and get up at 6 o’clock every day for seven years.
So if you know anyone?
I do actually have a suggestion Mr. Gervais, I think Rhys Darby from Flight of the Conchords would be brilliant as Regional Manager. Rumor has it he might come on board as a salesman but I feel like he would be great in the big boy chair.
Don’t forget to catch Ricky Gervais when he hosts the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards happening on Sunday, January 16th, 2011. The show will be live again coast to coast from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm Pacific Time and 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm Eastern Time from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.