May 23rd, 2011
11:31 AM ET
In a recent entry on his blog, Gervais—who executive produces the NBC series and wrote and starred in the U.K. edition—gave his take on the final episode, in which he, Jim Carrey, James Spader and even billionaire Warren Buffett all compete for the regional manager job vacated by Michael Scott (Steve Carell).
"Watching The Office finale may remind some of the Chris Martin episode of Extras," Gervais said. "If you’re going to jump a shark, jump a big one. I assume most people know I didn't do the U.S. remake for the art. I did my version for the art."
Gervais continues, "Don't get me wrong. I'm very proud of the U.S. version. It was not only a very, very good network comedy but it was also a massive success story. But you know, I did it for different reasons, ambitions and with slightly different emotional attachments to the project."
Despite rumors that Gervais would take over for Carell, he insisted that was never part of the plan."I would never ever in a million years take a permanent role in the show as an actor," Gervais said. "It really would be f—ing mental. You don't start a company to work on reception."
Getting in one last dig about the cameos, he said, "Can't wait to start work on the Chinese version. Bill Gates is in that one."
Though Gervais later came under fire for dissing the U.S. series, the funnyman insisted his comments weren't meant to be cruel.
"I simply said it's different to the original which I created and made with different ambitions. What's wrong with that?" he said. "I myself, did a fun but pointless, over-hyped cameo in the episode too, remember. I did it for a laugh like everyone else, I assume."
Gervais continued, "The U.S. version of 'The Office' has probably made me ten times the money that the U.K. version did. I wouldn't knock it. It's still my show. All I said was I do it for different reasons. That is simply what they call the truth. Hope that's OK. I believe I am still entitled to an honest opinion."
Later, still feeling the backlash from his blogging, Gervais made one final comment on the matter.
"When I said that I did the original version of 'The Office' purely for the art and the U.S. version not purely for the art, I wasn't suggesting that the U.S. version was therefore artless, or that anyone else involved didn't do it for the art," he wrote. "I was just admitting that there were obviously other factors and reasons present in my involvement in the remake."
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