- Phil McCarten/AP
Actor and comedian Ricky Gervais has spoken out against Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Gervais talked to Business Insider about Trump while promoting his musical mockumentary, “David Brent: Life on the Road,” and its accompanying album and songbook.
The comedian says the humorous, narcissistic tendencies of his David Brent character from the UK’s “The Office” now pale in comparison to the “insatiable” nature of celebrity and self-promotion in our current cultural moment.
“There’s no difference now between fame and infamy,” Gervais said. “Fame is insatiable. People demand fame forever, and they live like an open wound to stay famous. People now do bad things and they’re rewarded for it.”
Gervais talked about how Trump’s “ruthless ambition” and rhetoric feel like a dangerously exaggerated version of his Brent character’s brash demeanor and politically incorrect humor.
“You’ve got a potential president who says things like, ‘I’d like to punch him in the face,'” Gervais said. “And he gets a round of applause. There’s a new breed of ruthless ambition.”
Gervais doesn’t take Trump’s political aspirations very seriously.
“And Trump, you can’t win without democracy,” he said. “If he gets in, good luck to him. That’s what the people wanted. But he’s got more in common with David Brent than he has with JFK. He’s an entertainer … I doubt he thought about becoming president a year ago, and it’s like a joke that got out of hand.”
Gervais joked that the Republican nominee’s candidacy feels like a “bet from a 1980s movie,” and he alluded to the plot of Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd’s 1983 comedy “Trading Places.”
“It’s like the movie would start with two old billionaires going, ‘I bet I can choose the worst person and make him president within a year,'” he said. “And then someone goes, ‘You’re on!’ and that’s how the film starts.”