Despite all of its cringe-worthy moments, the original version of The Office was at its core a love story between the characters Tim and Dawn. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that series co-creator Stephen Merchant has a bit of a soft spot for romantic comedies.
That affinity is on display in Merchant’s latest project, Hello Ladies: The Movie, which premieres Sunday on HBO. Merchant stars in, co-wrote, and directed the TV movie, which concludes the series of the same name that aired for one season on HBO.
I recently had the chance to chat with Merchant about Hello Ladies, his first major project without long-time [...]
"When something is successful in Britain, we go, 'Okay, let's stop it before we screw it up.' And when something is successful over here, they go, 'Okay, let's keep making this a success until it's not a success.' And I think that it is a kind of very different attitude, but I'm actually really glad for that, because as I said, when the idea of an American version of that program came out, it sounded like sacrilege. And now, frankly, I look at those final episodes and they are so emotionally satisfying and grounded in a way that I don't think the British Office ever got the chance to be." [...]
"Rainn Wilson once gave this interview where he said, 'The universe will tell you what it wants from you.' That really haunted me. I really wanted to act at that time, but I was clearly better as a writer. I thought, What part of me is chasing the fun and thrill of this job and how much of me should actually be doing this? I felt kind of ashamed and inquisitive. It really challenged me, even if for all I know [Wilson] got it from Chicken Soup for the Soul."
– B.J. Novak tells Vulture about his days as a frustrated actor on The Office while promoting the audiobook [...]
Ricky Gervais has taken his Office alter ego David Brent to the stage, playing two music gigs at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London with his band, Foregone Conclusion. The BBC has a round-up of the first show's mostly-positive reviews, which could mean that David Brent could be going on tour.