NEW YORK, May 1 (UPI) -- Actor and filmmaker Ricky Gervais says it would have been "mental" if he cast himself as Frank, the handsome, cool and self-absorbed, broadcast journalist in his Netflix movie Special Correspondents.
The role of Frank eventually went to Eric Bana, while Gervais portrays Frank's sweet, but bumbling technician Ian. When the men lose their plane tickets and passports on their way to cover a war in Ecuador, they start filing fake news reports from a room over a restaurant in New York City to avoid getting fired by their boss Mallard, played by Kevin Pollak.
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.
Asked at a recent Tribeca Film Festival panel discussion after a screening of the movie if he always saw himself as Ian and never considered himself for the role of Frank, Gervais replied, "That's ridiculous. ...
"Imagine it the other way around; it's mental. It would be like Kevin as the Hulk."
However, Gervais admitted Farmiga also initially thought Gervais and Bana's roles should be reversed.
"It's just the last time I saw him he was being nice in a film and the last time I saw you, you were doing the Golden Globes," Gervais quoted Farmiga as telling him.
Gervais is famous for his sharp, verbal attacks on celebrities at the high-profile Golden Globe Awards ceremonies. He has hosted the gala four times.