Ricky Gervais says 'Office' character is 'absolutely f-cking tragic' in 'Life on the Road'


Aug 07 (TheWrap.com) - Ricky Gervais is taking his most famous small-screen character, David Brent, to the big screen. TheWrap chatted with the British comedian Wednesday, just one day after news broke about the film “Life on the Road,” about what would be in store for the former boss of the original “Office.”

One thing the film definitely won't have? An office. 

“I won't revisit ‘The Office’ because that wouldn't make sense,” Gervais explained. “We did ‘The Office’ perfectly and for all those people to still be there — that would be ridiculous. Imagine going back to an office you worked in 20 years ago and they're still there, they're just a little bit older?” 

The real-life inspiration for Brent came from Gervais, who worked in an office for 10 years and thought someone like Brent would find an ideal home in that white-collar world. Plus, cubicles and conference rooms create a perfect setting and metaphor for the mundanity of life. It may sound bleak, but that doesn't mean that Gervais dislikes his creation.

“I do like beauty and the tragedy of life and the sweetness of people trying,” Gervais said of Brent, but also drew that comparison to most of his characters — including the titular one of Netflix's “Derek,” a role that earned him an Emmy nomination. 

But getting back to that no office thing: “Imagine if that was a real documentary — ‘The Office’ — and David Brent was the person he was,” Gervais continued. “He'd still be trying to be famous. You wouldn't go back and find him in the office — you would go back and find him repping like he is now, still trying to be a pop star and trying to get Simon Cowell‘s eye and trying to have his own YouTube channel.” 

In the upcoming film, Brent heads out on tour, paying “through the nose” for a new group of young session musicians. But Brent's real reason to hit the road is his day job of selling toilet paper products — a futile effort to fund his dream. 

So what happened to Brent's “Office” rock band Foregone Conclusion? Well, in Brent's world, they're too old and unavailable: “One's got lumbago, one's doing time in prison for sexual assault,” Gervais teased.

Taking it way too far, as the character is wont to do, the “slightly more tragic” movie version of Brent cashes in one of his private pensions to pay for a tour bus. 

“He thinks he's gonna get signed,” Gervais said. “He's trying to get A&R men along, and they're coming along and going, ‘You look like Piers Morgan, you're a 50-year-old man in a suit, why are we going to sign this?’

“It's absolutely f-cking tragic,” he promised.