Ricky Gervais: I love playing David Brent because he never loses hope

"I think he's even funnier and sadder in his later years. But he's still trying. That's what I like about him"

Ricky Gervais has revealed why he gets such joy out of playing The Office’s David Brent in new film Life on the Road— and why he finds it therapeutic.


“I’d forgotten how much fun it was to play David Brent,” the actor wrote on his blog. “The man is a brilliant beast. So enthusiastic. So hard working. So desperate to please. So cringeworthy. I think he’s even funnier and sadder in his later years. But he’s still trying. That’s what I like about him. He never loses hope.”

Gervais, who stepped back into the former Wernham Hogg manager’s shoes last week when filming began, said that he “couldn’t be happier” playing Brent again.

The movie follows Brent 15 years after the events of The Office, touring with his band Foregone Conclusion as he tries to make it as a rock star — a dream which he goes to ludicrous lengths to achieve.

 “He keeps having these crazy schemes for fame, popularity and respect, and he keeps falling for our amusement. He is a classic comedy fool. A regular guy with aspirations beyond his skill set.  He desperately wants to be a rock star. So much so that he is willing to pay through the nose for it.

“He’s spending all his disposable income and even cashing in pensions and savings bonds to finance a tour with top-of-the-range session musicians.”

“That’s what fiction is for; role-play for the soul. We create heroes and villains for them to be rewarded or punished. No one really gets hurt. However, I think the more realistic you make it the more it resonates. There are millions of David Brents in the world. Probably more than ever and that’s why we feel real emotions. Especially when he looks down the camera for our help. Yikes!”


“Anyway, shooting Life On The Road is underway and I couldn’t be happier. It’s almost therapeutic. There is nothing in this world as fun as fronting a rock band. Even if you’re the butt of the joke.”