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Ricky Gervais: 'People now get famous by living their life like an open wound'

"People would rather be known as being awful than not known at all," the actor and filmmaker observes.

By
Karen Butler
Special Correspondents filmmaker and actor Ricky Gervais appears at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards on September 20, 2015. File Photo by Ken Matsui/UPI
"Special Correspondents" filmmaker and actor Ricky Gervais appears at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards on September 20, 2015. File Photo by Ken Matsui/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, April 27 (UPI) -- British actor and filmmaker Ricky Gervais says his new Netflix movie Special Correspondents isn't a dig at the media as much as an indictment of fame.

In the movie, Gervais and Eric Bana play broadcast journalists Ian and Frank, who lose their plane tickets and passports on their way to cover a war in Ecuador, then start filing fake reports from a room over a restaurant in New York City to avoid getting fired. Vera Farmiga plays Ian's estranged wife Eleanor, who becomes an unlikely celebrity by raising money and appearing on talk shows in an effort to bring the reporters home after they are believed to be kidnapped.

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"I don't think that this is a big slight against journalism or media. That's sort of just where it sits, really. That's the backdrop. I see it more as a human-interest story. It's about ordinary people that sometimes do bad things. We all lie a little bit and it gets out of hand. ... It really is about a bunch of idiots trying to get on. That's what I would say this film is about," Gervais said after the comedy's recent world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.

"I think the big target is fame. I'm obsessed with it and it's getting worse," added the four-time Golden Globe Awards master of ceremonies. "People now get famous by just living their life like an open wound. They'll just do anything. They'll just do anything to be famous. There's no difference between fame and infamy. People do awful things. People would rather be known as being awful than not known at all and I think Vera's character is the epitome of that -- someone who thinks: 'It's my turn. I want to be famous.' All the reality shows where they go, 'Oh, I just really want this.' Oh, alright then. You really want it. We need more singers. Forget doctors, we need more singers."

The movie co-stars Kelly Macdonald, Kevin Pollak, America Ferrera and Benjamin Bratt. It will premiere on Netflix Friday.

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