Ricky goes all PC

...and turns down role as black man's brother

Ricky Gervais has revealed that he turned down the chance to star in a Hollywood movie – because he was worried about being politically incorrect.

The Office star, who never flinches from tackling potentially offensive material in his stand-up, was approached to play Will Smith’s brother in a forthcoming blockbuster.

But he said: ‘I assume it wouldn't be that politically correct for me to black up to be his brother…’

The role was one of dozens he has been offered in America since The Office won two Golden Globes – but he told New York’s Long Island Press: ‘I turn down films, really.

‘I think the important thing is to cherry-pick. You know, otherwise I could spend the next three years going around popping up as the English butler in 50 American films.

And he added he will never become a Hollywood icon, saying: "I don't mind making an idiot of myself on camera, I can do that till the cows come home.

“But me being enigmatic or sexy or cold, I don't think it'll work. I can be evil, yeah, I could be absolutely evil, but I couldn't do the romantic lead. I can do putz. I can do putz and loser.’

Published: 7 Sep 2005

Today's comedy-on demand picks


Tim Key headlines this night of comedy, music and poetry, fundraising in aid of the National Autistic Society tonight (Thursday) at 8.15pm, after the clap for carers.

Other comics taking part include  Harriet Dyer, Jack Carroll, Jay Foreman, Milo McCabe, Paul 'Silky' White, Edy Hurst, Tony Wright, and Will Andrews.

Click for more suggestions

... including Marcel Lucont's lockdown show plus a new episode of Jacob Hawley's Job Centre.

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