Ordinarily, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's decision to hire the first host of the Golden Globe Awards since 1995 would be considered a huge mistake. After all, one of the charms of that telecast -- aside from the fact that attendees are able to drink at their seats throughout the evening, of course -- is just how fast the ceremony usually flies by thanks to the lack of awkward, forced patter from an eager-to-please host. But in the case of the 2010 Globes (airing Jan. 17, 8PM ET, NBC), we're happy to have the evening in the hands of Ricky Gervais, who, when not creating brilliant television comedy, has spent the last several years often single-handedly enlivening dull awards shows as a presenter or winner. In an interview with us and other media outlets, he explained how he's going to bring his signature style to his role as MC for what has ordinarily been a three-hour schmooze fest.
As an artist, do you personally even care about awards? You've certainly won plenty of them yourself?
You know what, I'm always flattered by awards. Some awards are a public vote and that's a popularity contest. So, you know, swings and roundabouts with that. But [for] your peers to say they thought you did a good job... now that's very flattering -- and that would be the case if I was a research scientist. I'd want a lot of people in white coats to come around and go "No one wields a pipette like Gervais. He did a great job." So, you know, I certainly like respect and acclaim in my field. Does it matter who wins? You know what, probably not in all honesty. I've gone to award shows and I've lost -- I think I lost five Emmys last year -- [and] I had people coming up to me afterwards and going, "Congratulations." They don't remember who won. And I was going, "Thanks, thanks."
The Globes are quite different from shows like the Oscars and Emmys since they're held in a ballroom instead of a huge theater, and the guests are dining at tables instead of stuck facing forward in their chairs. How will that affect your strategy as the host?
It's funny, it's probably the worst one for the host but the best one for the nominees and guests. So, yeah, it's a bittersweet experience. I'd rather be at a table getting drunk, certainly, than working. I might as well be staff. While the opposite is true of the Emmys. With the Emmys, it's fun to sort of get up there because it means you can stretch your legs and not sit in a seat for three hours without being allowed to go to the toilet or have a drink. So I'll be shouting at them. I'll go, "Oi, Cruise, stop scraping your plate when I'm talking!"
How did you get this hosting job? Who approached whom?
I think they approached me via my agent. There'd been lots of rumors that I was going to be asked to host the Oscars and the Globes and the Emmys and all that. I don't know how true they were. My agent said he got a couple of calls asking would I be interested. And then someone said I'm on the list. I think that was for the Oscars. But again, you know, how long is the list? This [the Globes] is the only one I could have ever said yes to, in all honesty. No one wants to see me mucking around at the Oscars -- they're there to know if they've won the most important award of their life. It's a pretty thankless task. The Emmys is possible but I couldn't do the rehearsals. So this is perfect. They said I could turn up and say what I wanted and get drunk. What's also nice is that I think that I've only been in this business about 10 years, but because I'm a very lazy person, I think I've achieved enough and so I only do things now that could possibly end my career. It gives me a little bit of adrenaline rush, you know.
What's your general strategy for your night as host?
I'm probably going to try and prick the bubble of people taking themselves too seriously. It's not just [about] the people in the room. It's [about] the 25 million people in America watching and the other 500 million people around the world watching. I think that it shouldn't be like they've eavesdropped on a staff party. I think there's got to be something in it for them. So I suppose I'm going to strike a blow for the common man sitting at home in his pants who can't afford, you know, laser surgery and teeth-whitening and hair transplants and Armani underpants. I want it to be good for everyone. I mean, on the night I'm going to have my teeth whitened and wear a wig and Armani underpants. But after the show I'm going to go home and watch it in my Y-fronts eating beans on toast.
You've been great in your past awards appearances, but are you nervous at all about carrying a three-hour telecast?
You know, I don't do well with anything that's even close to hard work. So it could go one of three ways: I could go up there and be pleasant and do a wonderful job and be professional about it. I could go up there, aim to do that, but then get a little bit annoyed and start berating everyone including myself for ever thinking I could do this -- that's the other way. Or three, I decide to start drinking early. And then I'll have a good time, at least. So I sort of hope it's just the first one. I hope I go out there and do a pretty good job. I mean, this doesn't affect me either way if I'm being honest. I've never done anything to further my career or up my profile or as a stepping-stone to something else. I'll probably never do this again. So, in all honesty, this sort of thing doesn't affect me because I sort of create my own labor. The roles won't dry up for me because I put myself in the things I've written and directed. So I can always get a job. I'm my own boss. I give myself the job first. But of course I want it to be good and I want it to be fun and I want it to be interesting and I want it to be different. And I want people to say, "Oh, he did a really good job" and "That bit was nice." So of course I'd rather it go well than badly. But if it goes badly, that would be interesting, too, won't it? That's the thing about life, it's great that you don't know what's going to happen. That's what's interesting. You never know what you're going to get -- unlike with a box of chocolates. Hanks was talking rubbish -- you know exactly what you're going to get because it's written on the inside of the box what's in a box of chocolates. So Forrest Gump and his mum didn't know what they're talking about.
What kind of preparation are you going to do in terms of writing material in advance? Will you have a team of writers working with you as awards hosts generally do?
I'm not going to do any sort of shtick; I'm not going to do pre-records; I'm not going to do a dance number; I'm not going to rehearse with anyone. I'm going to plan what I'm going to say but I'm going to go out there and sort of relax. I want to host it a little bit more like someone from the Rat Pack would host it -- you know, just off the cuff and just playing the room and having fun with the people and roasting a few of the A-listers -- and hopefully it'll be fun for the room and the people at home. I just haven't planned it yet but I'm certainly going to be prepared because I think if you're not prepared at all, it can be very, very flimsy and a little bit self-indulgent. So I'm certainly going to work on a few little-little things to say or themes, but I'm going to keep it short, sharp. I think I'm an acquired taste. I think I'm best in small doses. So I don't want to outstay my welcome. I don't want to overwhelm the show. It's everyone else's show, really. It's people who have won's big night, not mine. And I'm just doing it for, you know, for a laugh if I'm being totally honest. I'm not so cocky and arrogant and, dare I say, self-indulgent, to think I can walk out and not even have an inkling of what I'm going to say. I know my appearances look like that...
What I don't do is do other people's material, so I'll be writing my own stuff to, you know, to whatever degree it will be crafted or written down. I don't really use an autocue because I think that it's nicer if people know that I am speaking at least unrehearsed or to them or that anything can happen. I do want people to have the feeling that anything can happen. I want to be reactive so I don't want to just go out there and read an autocue and do a very staid joke and have that sort of polite sort of titter... You know, I think it's a party. You don't plan what you're going to say when you go to a party down to the sentence structure. I think I'm going to keep it loose and fun. But it's not going to be the complete shambles. Over the three hours, I imagine I'm going to -- my tie is going to come off and I'll get drunker and drunker. So I don't know what the last hour is going to be like but I hope the first hour is going to be watchable.
Do you think you'll refer to any recent political developments in your opening monologue?
Well, the quick answer is no because I haven't planned it yet. I probably don't do well with current affairs as I don't really watch the news. It's too depressing. Who knows, I might have liposuction that goes terribly wrong and I can talk about that.
Do you have any targets in mind from among the celebrities in attendance that you're looking forward to roasting?
Oh, well, I think targets is a scary term -- that makes it look like I'm going to be doing put-downs. I think it's going to be fun. I'm going to certainly not do anything cruel or distasteful, hopefully. I think gentle ribbing. But all of them, anyone who's younger and thinner and richer and more attractive than me -- that's the ones I'm going for. Rainn Wilson is safe again, but everyone else -- Steve Carell is on the cusp.
How does the fact that the Globes are live this year on both coasts impact you as the host?
That's the exciting and the scary bit. The reason I love doing standup is because it is the last bastion of self-censorship; there's no one to tell you what you can and can't do. And that's the same as a live show, you know. The problem with me is that I've got these two people in my head. And one of them says, "Say it, it'll be all right," and the other one says, "You don't need to say it, it might go terribly wrong," And the other one goes, "Yeah, but that's what life's about; see what happens." And the other one goes, "Don't do it, it could be the end of your career." There's always a little fight up there so I don't know which one is going to win. That's the fun for me and I think that's the fun for the people at home.
Have more fun at RickyGervais.com and check out The Ricky Gervais Guide to... Law & Order on iTunes.
MOST RECENT POSTS
Warning: file(http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.com/index.php?app=core&module=global§ion=rss&type=forums&id=101) [function.file]: failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! in /var/www/mte41/mt41-blogs.televisionwithoutpity.com/telefile/2009/12/golden-boy-ricky-gervais-previ.php on line 427
Warning: implode() [function.implode]: Invalid arguments passed in /var/www/mte41/mt41-blogs.televisionwithoutpity.com/telefile/2009/12/golden-boy-ricky-gervais-previ.php on line 427
Warning: DOMDocument::loadXML() [function.DOMDocument-loadXML]: Empty string supplied as input in /var/www/mte41/mt41-blogs.televisionwithoutpity.com/telefile/2009/12/golden-boy-ricky-gervais-previ.php on line 429