U.K. native gives viewers an 'Extra' dose of laughter
A surprise winner of this year’s comedy actor trophy for HBO’s “Extras,” Gervais beat out Steve Carell — American-version star of the U.K.-native multihyphenate’s biggest creation, “The Office.” “A few hours after the (Emmys), I turned my phone on and there were messages from my agent, ‘You won! You won!’ I still feel very flattered to be accepted in America. I was brought up on American TV.”
In the second season of “Extras,” which Gervais co-created with Stephen Merchant, his character, struggling thesp Andy Millman, finally gets his own sitcom but is pressured into dumbing it down and including catchphrases.
On the bigscreen, having appeared last year in the Fox hit “Night at the Museum,” Gervais is set to star as a misanthropic dentist in “Ghost Town” and will write, direct and star in “This Side of the Truth,” about a guy who lives in a world in which no one ever lies. This year Gervais also had a 100-date U.K. standup tour (the reason he couldn’t make the Emmys), and he continued to create his popular podcast.
Point of view
“In England I’m one step below the queen. But here (in the U.S.), I’m probably number 49 on this list,” Gervais quips.