Stephen Merchant Q&A: ‘Hello Ladies: The Movie’

While Stephen Merchant is delighted with the two Emmy nominations for “Hello Ladies: The Movie” (Best TV Movie, Best Movie/Mini Writing), he is disappointed that his pal Ricky Gervais is only nominated for Best Movie/Mini Actor for the “Derek” special. That means that the co-creators of the original version of "The Office" won’t be going head-to-head in any categories.

During our recent webcam chat, Merchant vividly recalls the 2007 BAFTAs: “We were both nominated in the same category and he won. Unexpectedly they asked me to collect it on the night. Suddenly I’ve got to go up there and make an impromptu speech on his behalf for an award I was nominated for."

To make this telefilm that concludes the story that he began in his HBO series last year, Merchant drew on his “experience of L.A. in particular where there are a lot of men who are sort of stunted adolescents; it’s something that drives a lot of very successful and powerful people in the industry. The idea that they are still trying to compete with the past, the girls that rejected them when they were 15. That was something my character was always struggling with;  we wanted to see him evolve from that and deal with that idea.”

As for that very awkward sex scene, he admits, “When you stop to think about it it’s quite weird. Suddenly you’re completely naked with them, and the sort of mechanics of getting the condom. A word of advice is never put your iTunes on shuffle because you never know what tune might come up. I was lucky to be intimate once and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ came on and that’s a very intense piece to have sex to, because there’s so many peaks and troughs. It’s naturally quite awkward and funny sex… but by the end sex should be fun and the fact they’re laughing and giggling with each other by the end I hope sort of breaks some of that awkwardness.”

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UPLOADED Aug 14, 2015 3:30 pm