In a wide-ranging interview with GQ Ricky Gervais, comedian and creator of The Office, discusses dealing with notoriety, critics and how fame has (or hasn’t) changed him. In this excerpt, he’s asked how he dealt with one particularly seething critic writing about his show Derek:
GQ: It did get some fairly savage British reviews.
Ricky Gervais: It was the usual suspects, the same four or five journalists who have hated everything. It bored me, but it didn’t bother me. I could have predicted what they’d say.
GQ: But when someone says “vile, cynical, and dishonest”? Or an “appalling piece of comedy hackwork”?
Ricky Gervais: [chuckling] Both of those made me laugh when you said them. “Vile, cynical…” [laughing more] That’s something you’d say about Charles Manson, not a bloke who made a twenty-three-minute sitcom! “Vile, cynical, and dishonest”! “What’d he do?” “Did a sitcom…” [falls on his side to the sofa, he is laughing so hard] Cunts!
GQ: But can you just brush it off?
Ricky Gervais: Yeah. Who said it?
GQ: I can’t remember specifically right now.
Ricky Gervais: Right. But who wrote and directed Derek?
GQ: [puzzled] You did.
Ricky Gervais: You remember that, don’t you?