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JAN
14
2 YEARS

Golden Globes Host Ricky Gervais Finds it 'Literally Impossible' to Exaggerate Hollywood

Speaking of his latest spoof on fame, HBO's "Life's Too Short," the comedian and Golden Gloves host says there's truth behind his portrayal of celebrity ego.

Ricky Gervais Devil Golden Globes Promo - P 2012
Todd Antony

If Ricky Gervais seems eager to mock the Golden Globes crowd again this Sunday, it's because he's genuinely surprised by the state of Hollywood.

Speaking to reporters Friday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour about his latest industry-spoofing HBO series, Life's Too Short, the comedian sounded off on the state of celebrity in 2012.

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"It's almost like fame these days is much more aggressive," said Gervais. "It's just rife. There's no shame. There's no shame in anything... and you can't exaggerate it. As one thing we found doing this, you can't do something that's so ridiculous that isn't happening in Hollywood. It's literally impossible."

Life's Too Short follows a fictionalized version of Willow star Warwick Davis as he navigates the niche world of being a dwarf actor craving more fame. And desperate celebrities, something Gervais and collaborator Stephen Merchant previously tackled in Extras, are an easy target these days.

"If The Office sort of reflected those quaint docu‑soaps of the '90s where normal people were getting their 15 minutes, this is much more up‑to‑date," said Gervais. "This is much more those things where people do anything just to be on television, open the doors 24/7 because they've got a massive tax bill or their agent thinks they can make a fast buck and sell a perfume."

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And though Life's Too Short portrays Warwick as something of a jerk, Gervais says there's an optimism to his and Merchant's approach.

"I find it bizarre that people are surprised with some of our happy endings, and I think we still leave a flavor of cynicism and outrage," he said. "Warwick [has] a seven‑part trajectory to this. Even this nasty little fascist sees the light."