Ricky Gervais Turned Down Role In Abrams Star Trek

British comedian Ricky Gervais said no to JJ Abrams. The actor, who didn’t become a star until he was 40 with his 2001 BBC comedy hit The Office, stars in Paramount DreamWork’s Ghost Town which opened this weekend, but apparently he has also been turning down a lot of work as well, including a spot in Abrams’ new Star Trek movie.


In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly Gervais says that he has been very picky about the projects presented to him, noting “I”m not trying to be a film star. I don’t care if I never do another film again. I can create my own material and I’ve got to remember that. As exciting as it is to be a film star, it means nothing to me.” And apparently he really means it as the article details an number of big movies he has turned down. From the EW article


Pirates of the Caribbean 2
Gervais passed on the chance to share the screen with Johnny Depp, saying, ”I didn’t want to sit in a Winnebago for six months waiting to show up as a comedy pirate for two minutes.”

The Da Vinci Code
Ditto to costarring with Tom Hanks in this 2006 Ron Howard thriller. ”I’m going to pop up and people are going to go: That’s the fat fellow from The Office! Who the f— does he think he is?”

Star Trek
Abrams approached the comedian about his franchise reboot, due next summer: ”I was never a big fan, so I would’ve felt guilty taking the part just to be in a blockbuster. To what? Boost my profile?”

Arthur remake
”I said ‘no’ straight-away,” Gervais says about an offer to star in a new version. ”Why would I mess with a perfect comedy? They know people don’t watch films that have the wrong font — it’s got an ’80s font.”

Magnum P.I. movie
Gervais wouldn’t say which role was offered, but we’ll bet it rhymes with ”Figgins.” ”I don’t want to be the funny butler…because [roles like that] do no good. I just keep walking away.”

So the question is, what role did Gervais turn down? Among the main cast there is only one possibility and that would be Scotty. It has already been stated that Simon Pegg (who is also a comedian) is carrying much of the comic relief of the film with his Scotty, so there would be a fit. But it could also be another smaller cameo role in the film.

Here is a trailer for Ghost Town

Gervais may not have wanted to get into Star Trek, but he did bring a little Star Trek into his show Extra when he had Patrick Stewart (playing himself) on the show. (I know we have shown this before, but hey…it is hilarious)

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We have Simon Pegg…. Nuff Said.

Harry Mudd?

Decloaking . . .
I guess FIRST plan worked, ’cause I’ve never heard of him.
Recloaking. . .

He is hilarious! It is nice to see that he also has integrity.

Star Trek doesn’t need him. We got the cream of the crop already…#1, i agree with you. Simon Pegg is GOD!

Gervais is rad. So he’s not a fan, big deal.

Reading his explanation, I can understand why he turned it down. I still think he’s hilarious.

Sh-t. Shatner got robbed again tonight.

Seems he’s so popular. Turning things down left and right…

Who is he?

Actor’s shouldn’t turn down work.

8. Brett Campbell – September 21, 2008
“Sh-t. Shatner got robbed again tonight.”

Lost his wallet?

11 – Ha, ha, ha. As F. Flintstone once said, “Droll, Rubble. Very droll.”

I don’t like him. Not sure why, I just don’t. Glad he turned it down if he’s not a fan.

Gervais is the man. Period. End of sentence. Which is normally where periods go.

So what if he is not a fan? Big deal. He is an amazing comedian and writer.

Not an actor, as he would tell you.

Saw Ghost Town and it was fantastic, go see it.

750 Mang wrote:
Actor’s shouldn’t turn down work.

– You wouldn’t be saying that if you understood the politics of the entertainment industry or were an actor yourself.

Where did this golden rule come from that you have to be a fan to properly portray a Trek character? I usually have found it to be quite the opposite.

I mean, have you actually watched the acting in some of the higher end fanfilms? It’s wretched. And those are fans too.

I am going to pretend that I did not read this article.

Gervais was going to play Old Kirk, resurrected at the end of the film by the changed timeline.

I enjoyed the article, I just can’t stand the anonymous pompousness of the Trek Fan elite regarding this movie anymore. We Trek fans already have a bad rep as fanboys, they just make it worse.

“Gervais was going to play Old Kirk, resurrected at the end of the film by the changed timeline.”



750 Mang
How do you know I’m not?

21 – Very good point about not making unfounded assumptions, as too many of us on these threads do. In fact, my first thought upon reading your comment is that you probably are an actor and know how difficult work can be to come by.

Scotty seems like the likely choice for him. I don’t know, I’ve gotten so used to the idea of Simon Pegg in the role, who’s so bound and determined to get it right, that I can’t imagine JJ considering someone else.

23 – How about Trelane? Maybe there just trying to squeeze in just about every character ever on ever.

Cannot abide Ricky Gervais. He’s about as funny as torture by toenail extraction. I don’t imagine he would’ve been going for the Scotty role. Harry Mudd would make sense but… I don’t see him appearing in this film.

He would have been a great Scotty, but I’m delighted at the prospect of Pegg.

He was most likely offered Scotty. He has the general look and like Simon Pegg, is a british comedian.

I like Pegg for Scotty better, but Gervais is very funny. I love Extras.

and I’m suprised no one has brought this up yet…….


He’s so self serving.

Ricky Gervais not liking Trek or actually being – *gasp!* – picky about the types of roles he chooses to accept does not make him a jerk or self-serving. It makes him smart.

At 46, he would have been way too old to play Scotty. But I must say, he’s a very funny guy. I just saw Ghost Town and laughed myself to tears.


PS Simon Pegg rules!!

Wrong series, I know, but would he not make the perfect “Q” type of character? Just thinking aloud. As for playing Scotty, this guy has talent oozing from every pore. He would’ve nailed it and stolen the film. Just looking at Ricky makes me laugh. He’s the best.

28: Agree completely. He’s also arrogant for such a derivative comic.

31… You’re a genius…

31 – Trelane is proto-Q, don’tcha think? And right series.

Memory Alpha puts Scotty at 43 at the start of the five-year mission, so 46 isn’t awfully far off.

Dennis Bailey (#18),

That was one of the funniest lines I’ve ever read on this site! Brilliant!

First off. Being a fanboy isn’t a bad thing.

Second, one would have to question the decision-making of a guy who was never a fan of Star Trek to begin with.

Third, he chose a museum curator in “Night at the Museum’ as if that was a good role?

He would have been a funny Admiral that trips over stuff.

38 – Kind of an interstellar Dick Van Dyke — if they put an ottoman in front of Kirk’s chair?

Does ‘Ghost Town’ remind anyone else of ‘Dead Like Me’, ‘Pushing Daises’ and ‘The Ghost Whisperer’?

For once Ricky Gervais has done something I can agree with him on!

18 – you owe me a dry, clean keyboard and monitor. That was a good laugh to be had.

Gervais is brilliant.

That Extras scene with Stewart is priceless. But now I’ve seen everything!

#37 Gervais probably took the role in Museum because he respects Stiller, Wilson, Robin Williams, Coogan, Van Dyke, and Rooney. It was a sweet hearted film, and he got a chance to work with a great cast. He was also HIGH-larious in that small curator role.

I love ST TOS. It does not bother me that everyone doesn’t.

There is a certain symmetry between Kirk being drowned in Tribbles from the grain compartment and Laura Petrie in the closet with all those walnuts.

I think the other thing one has to keep in mind is Gervais has said from day one any role he takes involves no make up and doest start shooting before 8am.

He always says if he were to play Gengis Khan it would with his own hair cut, his own skin colour, and a bristol accent.

So that narrows any Trek choices.

I wish Madea had turned down his role. Gervais would have stuck out like an old thumb had he played Scotty amid the young cast. He must have been offered more of a cameo role. Where do people see him in the States anyway? I understand he’s brilliant because I’ve been told so, but I’ve only seen him on ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘My Life on the D-List’.

Gervais is a genius. As for him not being a fan of TOS–well, lots of things I like were written/acted/directed by folks who don’t happen to care for other things I like. And it’s no skin off my tush.

Nicholas Meyer wasn’t a fan of star trek before he directed TWOK.

Gervais? If Abrams is INTENTIONALLY trying to make this new movie semi-comedic, I swear………….I will hunt him down where he lives!

47 – Au contraire. Meyer said he was in awe of directing “living legends” when he made the film, according to Nichelle Nichols in an interview.

Nah. He’s in it. It’s a plot between him and J.J. He’s just saying that so people will come to see if he’s in it.