Gervais talks to EW about his hilarious and sweet Netflix comedy and why he's not going to 'pave the jungle' for people who are easily offended
Before we die, we should all get a chance to be insulted by Ricky Gervais. The actor and creator of The Office has long been known for his biting and incisive humor, and he puts it to good use in his sweet and hilariously acerbic Netflix comedy After Life. Gervais stars as Tony, a suicidal widower in a small town whose plan to punish the world with brutal honesty is foiled by his friends and family, who refuse to stop loving him.
After Life sparked a minor controversy before it even premiered: Some viewers were shocked by the trailer, in which Gervais’ character calls a bratty, redheaded boy a “tubby little ginger c—.” Gervais has no patience for the online outrage machine. “If you mollycoddle people, I don’t think it prepares you for real life, and that’s why people are so easily offended these days,” he says during an interview with EW’s The Awardist podcast. “Some people expect that they can get through life without hearing anything they don’t like, and it’s not realistic.”
As for the little “ginger c—,” Gervais says the child actor was not around to hear the naughty word spoken out loud. “People don’t understand filming,” he notes. “That’s why it cut to my close-up — the kid wasn’t there when I said it.”
For more with Gervais — including the priceless, real-life inspiration for the After Life scene involving rice pudding and breast milk — listen to the full interview below. (The conversation begins at 32:50.) You can also listen and subscribe to The Awardist podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio.com, or wherever you get your podcasts.