Ricky Gervais is sensitive about his weight. You can tell he’s sensitive, because he’s used public and media criticism of his weight in his stand-up acts and in his scripts. He’s trying to get to the criticism before the critics, but you can tell that it bothers him. It bothers him despite that fact that he has often been described as a comedic genius, has worldwide success on all his projects and is very wealthy. The fact is he has lost some weight recently – he still looks a little fluffy, but his image does seem a bit sleeker and tighter. The British tabloids noticed that Ricky had lost the weight, and they began reporting (in a snotty way) that Ricky had “gone Hollywood” and lost weight because he wanted to be a bigger star. So, when The Telegraph finally got Ricky for an interview, and got to ask him questions about his weight loss, Ricky sort of went off about how much he hates all of the Americans who want him to get skinny, fix his teeth and be the next big British import.
In an interview to promote his new film Cemetery Junction, Gervais said: “The Hollywood pressure is that you do have to be of a certain standard or a certain type. I see everyone doing it, even good character actors. I think, ‘Why are you starving yourself?’ The pressure is there to have white, straight teeth…”
Warming to the theme, Gervais, who has recently bought an apartment in Manhattan with his long-time partner Jane Fallon, went on to rant against the Hollywood system, making use of a lot of colourful language.
Then, in an interview with The Times newspaper, Gervais said: “What is in America? I don’t give a fuck what they think and if I don’t get a film role because my teeth are crooked, then fuck them, I don’t want it. I just go, ‘It’s ridiculous.’”
“I hate them, and I hate that people think that I would. It makes me angry. I remember when a newspaper said, ‘He’s lost three stone for Hollywood.’ I went, ‘No, I haven’t lost three stone and I would never fucking do it for Hollywood. I did it ‘cos I work out and I wanna be fit.’ And that annoys me.”
Gervais shot to fame with the television comedy series The Office which was then followed by the highly acclaimed Extras. He has since switched to movies.
Cemetery Junction, which opens April 14 in the UK and is co-directed and co-written by Gervais and Stephen Merchant, stars Gervais alongside Emily Watson and Ralph Fiennes. The film is set in the 1970s in Reading, Berkshire where Gervais grew up.
Note: Ricky isn’t saying he hates America. He seems to be limiting his obscenities to “the Hollywood system”. And of course he has a point – the Hollywood system that promotes homogenous “beauty” gives way to monstrosities like Heidi Montag. Besides what’s wrong with crooked teeth and a Buddha belly. It’s working for Britney Spears.