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Night At The Museum 2 - Ricky Gervais interview

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Interview by Michael Edwards

RICKY Gervais talks about reprising his role in Night At The Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, what best mate Karl Pilkington might make of the movie’s concept and whether he gets back to Reading from time to time…

Q: Did you ask Karl Pilkington his insights into the possibility of a museum coming to life overnight, because the surreal premise would rather suit him?
Ricky Gervais: Oh no, he’d say: “Bit weird isn’t it?” That’d be it. We did an audio book recently about the English for St George’s Day. Karl was annoyed that St George is a saint because he said that if St George killed a dragon today he’d have PETA on at him, and everyone would be going: “Why did you kill that one?” And I said: “Well, the dragon was metaphorical…” He replied: “What?” So, I said it wasn’t a real dragon. And he said: “What? You don’t believe in dragons? But you believe in dinosaurs?” And I said: “Well yeah, because of fossil evidence.” So, it wouldn’t phase him, it wouldn’t phase him at all.

Q: Do you go back to Reading much and do you ever discuss old haunts with the Reading contingent in Hollywood, such as Kate Winslet?
Ricky Gervais: Winslet, no, I think she was born on the other side of the tracks. I go back to Reading for funerals – more and more recently, in fact. I go back twice a year to see folks dotted around Thatcham and Wokingham, but only for family really.

Q: Where did you used to go out there?
Ricky Gervais: I didn’t after dark obviously. It was like I Am Legend. We’re actually in the middle of pre-production for a film set in Reading. Obviously, we’re not going to film it in Reading – too dangerous. We’re filming it in Hampstead. It’s true. I had good times growing up, I enjoyed Reading, I thought it was great and I got out when I was 18. I’ve got fond memories of Reading.

Q: If you had to take home anything from any museum in the world and think, this is really cool, what would it be?
Ricky Gervais: Well, we stole all those mummies from Egypt, so I’d probably see if I could up that collection. I’d go and steal other things from other countries. Difficult one isn’t it. I’m into evolution, so I’d probably want Lucy, the first hominid.

Q: What do you think of waxworks and being immortalised as a waxwork? Do you think that’d be quite creepy or would you be quite happy to have one?
Ricky Gervais: Er. Yeah, I’ve been asked a couple of times to do things like that… one was chocolate and I just couldn’t be bothered to sit there for three hours. If they can do it from a photo then they’re welcome.

Q. Wait, they wanted to do one of chocolate? Like a full-size chocolate sculpture?
Ricky Gervais: Yeah, chocolate wax. You could go round licking me. Again. That’s the point really, that’s the point of waxworks. Oh, look it looks like so and so. Yeah it does, yeah.

Read our review of the movie