OUT OF THE OFFICE
RICKY GERVAIS HEADS TO NETFLIX FOR HIS NEXT MOVIE
N THE DAY EMPIRE visits the Toronto set of Ricky Gervais’ latest film, he’s overseeing a scene where two journalists are on their knees, with guns pointed at their heads. It would be tempting to read symbolism into the set-up. Gervais has had a shifting relationship with the fourth estate over the years. In the days of The Office he could do no wrong, rightly celebrated for creating one of the best sitcoms in history. Since then, a perceived cockiness has turned certain parts of the press against him. Is he about to take his revenge?
Well, no. Special Correspondents is a comedy, a very loose remake of 2009 French film Envoyés Très Spéciaux, and the two men with guns to their heads are Eric Bana and Gervais himself. The pair play a radio journalist and his technician who were supposed to be reporting from the frontline of a South American war, but a mixture of arrogance and foolishness meant they never made it out of New York. Rather than admit their screw-up and lose their jobs, they hole up in a flat and start filing fake reports, pretending they’re in the thick of the fighting. Today they’re staging their own kidnapping — the ‘militia’ holding them hostage are their neighbours, America Ferrara and Raúl Castillo.