Ricky Gervais Q&A

BATD ON Feb 26, 2009 AT 2:56 pm

 

Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais

Ghost Town sees Ricky Gervais take on his first leading role in a hilarious and touching comedy where he plays social reject Bertram Pincus, a New York City dentist with horrendous people skills. When a routine surgery goes awry, Pincus is pronounced dead, but is miraculously revived seven minutes later. The ill-mannered Manhattanite suffers only one lasting after-effect; the ability to see and speak with the dead. Word soon gets out in the spirit community and Pincus is irritated to discover he’s the go-to-guy for every phantom with unfinished business in the city.

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You’ve had many film offers in the past, you seem to have held out for the right project with Ghost Town?

I think you’re exactly right. I’ve been offered films for about five years and I’ve turned them down for various reasons. Some I did, I did some cameos for various reasons. For Christopher Guest, which was two days ad libbing – he’s a comedy hero of mine. I did Night At The Museum, again a couple of days ad libbing with Ben Stiller, returning the favour for him being in Extras. Stardust, a couple of days ad libbing with Robert De Niro – you don’t turn that down. I got him in Extras. So it ticked more than one box. I read this, and I don’t even usually read scripts because I’m not looking, I’m busy. But I read this and I got a funny feeling, I thought this was the one for me. I called up the director and he said it was mine if I wanted it, I was the first on board.

Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais

Was it tailored for you?

Of course, not only was it written with me in mind but then I tailored it and added stuff on the day as you should. I assume when I’m hired I’m not hired to stand in one place and deliver the lines as they’re written. I think you’ve got to have fun, it is the creative process. I get no joy out of seeing my fat face on the finished thing, so I’ve got to enjoy the process and for me the process is the creativity. There’s nothing better than sitting in a room coming up with ideas with Stephen Merchant, that beats everything. I love the film and I love acting now, this has made me really love acting. I’m still not looking for films but if another one comes along that’s this perfect I’ll do it. I’ve just finished directing my first movie, called This Side of the Truth which is me and Jennifer Garner and Rob Lowe and Jeffrey Tambor, Jonah Hill, Tina Fey – the comedy cast of the decade – and just finished the film that me and Stephen will be directing next year called The Man From The Pru. So the diary’s full, but it’s the creative process that excites me.

Click here to read part 2

Click here to win Ghost Town on DVD

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