In a new Q&A with The New York Times, the 58-year-old British comedian talks about what his life's been like under quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic. Gervais said it actually hasn't been drastically different and is also conscious about others having it a lot harder.
"Apart from the gigs that were postponed, my life hasn't changed much," he says. "I didn't go out a lot, and there's always enough booze in the house for a nuclear winter. You won't hear me complain. Not when, every day, I see some millionaire celebrity going, 'I'm sad that I'm not on telly tonight.' Or, 'I had a swim in the pool that made me feel a little bit better.'"
At this point, he mocks Gal Gadot's Instagram video of herself singing John Lennon's "Imagine" in self-isolation with a few of her celebrity friends -- including Jamie Dornan, Natalie Portman and Kristen Wiig -- that some critics called tone-deaf. The New York Times notes Gervias begins to sing, "Imagine there's no heaven ... "
"I've got nothing against anyone being a celebrity or being famous," he adds. "I think that people are just a bit tired of being lectured to. Now celebrities think: 'The general public needs to see my face. They can't get to the cinema -- I need to do something.' And it's when you look into their eyes, you know that, even if they're doing something good, they're sort of thinking, 'I could weep at what a good person I am.' Oh dear."
Gervais also responds to his critics for making fun of celebrities taking social justice stances while hosting the 2020 Golden Globes in January. The comedian called himself a "court jester" and made no apologies about going after "the richest people in the room." Though he notes that political conservatives who started following him afterward are probably disappointed in his personal stances.
"I didn't notice that on Twitter until a couple of disgruntled liberal elites suddenly said, 'Oh, Gervais is alt-right now,'" he says. "And I went, what? What's right-wing about taking the mickey out of the richest, most powerful corporations on the planet? But I've had this before. People that followed me, if they were far right, they're probably not atheists like me. They probably don't like some of the language that I use. They probably don't agree with my anti-trophy hunting stance. In general, I think most normal people follow a person for a particular reason or two. If the tweets I hate outnumber the ones I like, I'll unfollow him. No one has to be perfect to have friends. They just have to be, on balance, OK."
"I think that's the mistake people make: They think that every joke is a window to the comedian's soul -- because I wrote it and performed it under my own name, that that's really me," he also shares. "And that's just not true. I'll flip a joke halfway through and change my stance to make the joke better. I'll pretend to be right wing, left wing, whatever wing, no wing."