Okay, maybe I was too subtle for Ricky Gervais and his fans.So I will go slow.
Gervais is a very funny Brit comic of abundant talent and, it turns out, thin skin. Or maybe it is just stretched tight. Like his suit at the Golden Globes. We loved him in Night at the Museum. Brilliant.Anyway, on his sitcom Extras, Gervais had famous film stars show up, do silly and deplorable things, and make fun of their own swollen egos. In one episode, Kate Winslet did a fine turn as a self-absorbed starlet who was scheming that, by appearing in a Holocaust film, she could improve her chances at winning an Oscar.
And then...and this is sort of the funny part...Winslet was actually nominated for Best Actress....For her appearance in The Reader....
A Holocaust film.
Well, I thought this was hilarious. You tell me: Are the august members of the Academy of Motion Picture Agriculture and Technology oblivious to the humor in this? Or did they actually nominate Kinslet as some kind of richly perverse communal prank?
I wrote about it, and took pains—by starting and ending my post with a catch phrase from "Extras" (Is he having a laugh?)—to let Gervais fans recognize that I was, like, joking.Well. They didn't. And neither, apparently, did he.
Gervais must have a big staff, a good search engine or a lot of time on his hands. Because somehow he dug down so deep in the Internet as to find me on Thomas Jefferson Street, and boxed my ears on his website. Where I've been accused of lacking a sense of humor. Which, coming from the guy who makes a living at being pretty funny—(he does a great Steve Carrell imitation in the British version of The Office)—is like being told by Norman Mailer: "Kid, you're no writer." I gotta tell you. It hurts.
I would like not to think that Gervais really is a self-absorbed actor egomaniac, overly defensive, and worried about his image with my tens of faithful readers.
I prefer, instead, to think that Ricky is a great guy, and maybe a bit concerned that his friend Kate could lose her Oscar because she was a good sport, and joined in an edgy joke—and now he's being overly protective.And so, members of the Academy and Winslet fans, let me assure you. I am not knocking her. I confess I have not seen The Reader, but I'm sure she's great. She was terrific as Galadriel, and in those Queen Elizabeth movies.