Ricky Gervais Burns Money for The Hollywood Reporter Cover Shoot (Video)

"This is offensive on so many levels," the "Derek" comedian says during the session, which happened to fall on his 52nd birthday.

Ricky Gervais celebrated his 52nd birthday in style -- flipping off a camera while lighting a cigar with a $50 bill for his The Hollywood Reporter cover shoot.

The comedian, who is about to unleash Derek on U.S. audiences via Netflix, jokes the image is sure to get him in trouble.

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"It looks like some sort of billionaire prisoner," Gervais says. "When they imprisoned Walter Raleigh, they let him live in the tower of London. That was his punishment -- in the greatest place on Earth at the time."

Gervais says his character on Derek, about a caretaker at a nursing home, is different than the deeply flawed people he's played in the past on The Office or Extras.

"They had ego and they had jealousy problems, and we were laughing at the gap between how they saw themselves and how we saw them," he says. "With Derek, there's no gap. ... I've never connected emotionally with a character before like I do with Derek."

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For more on Gervais, read his profile here, or pick up the Sept. 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.