Q&A: Ricky Gervais


Ricky Gervais is a big Golden Globes watcher -- mostly, he jokes, because the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. has twice nominated him for best actor in a comedy series (he won in 2004 for the British version of "The Office"). Now he's the first host of the show since 1995. He spoke with The Hollywood Reporter's Matthew Belloni.

The Hollywood Reporter: What's the best piece of hosting advice someone has given you?

Ricky Gervais: Neil Patrick Harris said I have to wrangle the crowd, because they're rowdy. But I'm doing it for the people in the room. It's their industry, and I want to have fun with them and give them a bit of a roasting.

: But it's also for the 500 million-or-so people around the world who watch.

: That's not intimidating, is it? It's live, as well! Your mistakes are documented forever -- but it also means no one can tell me what to do.
THR: Until it's too late.

Gervais: Yeah. The reason I do stand-up is it's the last bastion of self-censorship. If you're an artist -- even an art as lowly as film and TV comedy -- then you have to get things off your chest. I've gotten to the stage where I only do things that can enhance and maybe ruin my career. I need an adrenaline rush. Things like this are my extreme sports. I'm not going to bungee jump any more, but I can still get up in front of a crowd of rowdy, drunk A-listers. That gives me a bit of a buzz. Not much of one, though, because I don't care what happens. I don't know whether that means I have the biggest ego in the world or no ego at all. My suspicion is it's the biggest ego in the world.

THR: At the Globes, you definitely won't have the biggest ego in the room.

Gervais: I'm going to wear bigger sunglasses than Jack.

THR: Is there a host whose style you admire?

Gervais: I'm a big fan of Jon Stewart. There's something behind his eyes when he's doing these things.

THR: Have you watched all the nominated films?

: No. I'm not a judge. It's best that I don't see them because if I saw one that I thought should win, I'd be worse than Kanye West.

THR: "Sit down, Jim Cameron, I really think 'An Education' is the best picture."

Gervais: Right. "Where do you think you're going? This is not the final say."

THR: Can we expect you to sing and dance?

: No. I'm just going to go out there -- truth is, I don't know what I'm going to do. I haven't thought it through. (Laughs.) I can say I'm going to do my own thing. No one's writing anything for me.

THR: Beware, the last awards show hosts to not prepare were the reality guys who bombed at the 2008 Emmys. By the way, you stole that show when you demanded Steve Carell's Emmy. You should reprise your rivalry on the Globes.

Gervais: I'd love to. I was thinking of writing an episode (of NBC's "The Office") where Michael Scott goes to a world conference and meets David Brent. But I don't know if I should. Maybe the final episode or something.

THR: Should the Globes crowd be prepared for you to do something shocking?
Gervais: Well, if my breast is accidentally uncovered, you can be sure I'll have something on my nipple, just by chance.