“This was a vanity project by David Brent. He is so desperate for fame that he is going to pay for it now,” reveals Ricky Gervais about bringing back his most famous character for the new Netflix telefilm “David Brent: Life on the Road.” In our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video above), he adds, “He’s worked hard, and he’s going to cash in his pensions and get a band together, a group of mercenary session musicians who are fleecing him with no love for him. They’re just taking the money from him, this old guy they’re just hanging around, and it’s embarrassing for them.”
For the mocumentary comedy movie, Gervais wrote, directed, produced, composed the songs, and starred as Brent. The caustic character from the original British version of “The Office” (2001-02) is now a sales rep for a bathroom supply firm. He takes time off from his job for his passion project of starting a band called Foregone Conclusion. One of the inside jokes is that their “life on the road” consists of a few gigs in the general area where he lives and not actually out traveling on the road. Co-stars include Ben Bailey Smith, Andy Burrows, Tom Basden, Jo Hartley, Mandeep Dhillon, Tom Bennett, and Andrew Brooke.
After hosting the Golden Globes four times, Gervais has a unique perspective of being on live television. He dishes his reaction to the envelope fiasco at the end of this year’s Oscars: “No one died. Someone read out the wrong name. There’s wars going on. If that is the most interesting thing that happened at an awards show, let’s not have that awards show anymore…. I can’t believe it was taken so seriously. Just think of the things the president says everyday. I think somebody reading the wrong name would be put into context.”
Gervais is already a two-time Emmy winner among his 23 career nominations. His victories were for producing the U.S. version of “The Office” (Best Comedy Series, 2006) and for Best Comedy Actor on “Extras” (2007). His bids over the years have been across a wide variety of producing, directing, and writing categories in the comedy, variety, TV movie, special class, and animated genres.
In addition to these topics, watch our interview as Gervais also shows off his awards collection, discusses American politics, dishes his current comedy stand-up tour, chats about whether he would return as the Golden Globes host, and why he would probably never accept an invitation to emcee the Academy Awards (hint: he would want complete freedom).
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