Sandra Varner’s Celebrity Profiles
“Lying never felt so good…it’s true.” Sandra Varner, Talk2SV.com
These days, Ricky Gervais (“Night at the Museum” I & II) is in high demand and he handles the attention well.
Gervais has become today’s “poster boy” for the ordinary, lackluster guy who gets the girl and does so with classic dry, British wit and clever aplomb.
Making the rounds at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival to promote his new movie, “The Invention of Lying,” Gervais, seated on a dais next to Rob Lowe (TV’s “Brothers & Sisters,” “The West Wing”), blurted out before an eager band of reporters, “Oh yeah, put me next to Rob Lowe, brilliant. What a great comparison that is.”
In response, Lowe offered the comparison, “Twins,” referring to the 1988 Arnold Schwarzenegger blockbuster, the story of a physically perfect man who goes in search of his twin, a small, non-threatening figure.
Gervais fires back, “Yeah, twins. I’m Danny DeVito (Schwarzenegger’s movie twin) and Lowe flips it right back, “It’s good to be sitting next to Simon Cowell.”
These two are having fun.
Lovable yet acerbic, Gervais is not your typical leading man rather he epitomizes the everyman we can all relate to. His character in LYING is Mark Bellison, simply put, a borderline loser with few options for success. Mark struggles as a screenwriter for a history-based film company and –finds in telling lies– an out to his inability to pen a worthwhile script.
Co-written by Matthew Robinson and co-starring Jennifer Garner (“Juno”), Tina Fey (NBC’s “30 Rock”) and Hollywood film producer Lynda Obst (“How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days”), this movie is a hoot.
Plainly speaking, if there is a logical reason as to why “we” lie, who wouldn’t want to know why?
“The Invention of Lying” attempts to make sense of the reasons why we do.
I asked about the premise of the film that allows one to think of the lies you want to tell, have told, or wish you had wondering if the filmmakers refrained from telling certain lies because they wouldn’t work in the context of the story nor be funny.
“We didn’t cut anything because we thought it was too offensive or shocking but we did cut down the amount of jokes because we didn’t want people constantly searching in the background or looking for too many advertisements or commercials. We really limited the amount of “small lies” that were littered around … just so that the ones that were there would work,” explained Robinson.
Gervais added, “Yeah, we wanted you (the audience) to concentrate more on the bigger story as well because there’s quite a lot going on in the film. I mean it’s all high concept comedy, and then moves to drama. There’s a lot of stuff going on so we had to cut down on the peripheral stuff, just so people would concentrate. But the decision we made about the lies we couldn’t tell, there was one just to show that Mark was a decent guy; that he had three chances to lie to get the girl and he didn’t because as he said at the end, ‘it wouldn’t count.’
“It’s funny when you’re making those decisions as a writer/ director: what you should and shouldn’t do. Because in a world without lying there’s no fiction; so I play a screenwriter and the films of the day are just readers, reading out facts like the history of the fork, things like that. We had the holocaust and we thought about it and we thought there wouldn’t be a holocaust because prejudice and race is built on a lie.”