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19th Dec 2019

Stephen Merchant: I started acting because Ricky Gervais was getting all the free stuff

Wil Jones

“I had seen how much free stuff Ricky got sent, and that was another reason to put myself in the show”

Writer, director and actor Stephen Merchant is one of the UK’s most recognisable comedy stars – and not just because he’s 6ft 6 tall. After co-creating The Office with Ricky Gervais, he took a larger on-screen role in the duo’s follow-up show Extras and established himself as a multi-talented comedy auteur. He’s been in big Hollywood productions like Logan and Hall Pass, created his own HBO show Hello Ladies, and stepped behind the camera to direct the Dwayne Johnson wrestling comedy Fighting With My Family.

Merchant can next be seen in Taika Waititi’s WWII satire Jojo Rabbit, and JOE caught up with him to talk about his whole career, from playing The Oggmonster to being in a superhero movie with Hugh Jackman.

Jojo Rabbit is in UK cinemas 1st Jan.