Ricky Gervais on Growing Up Poor

Question: Did you grow up poor

Gervais:    You know, growing up… Yeah, yeah.  We’re poor, in working class.  My dad was a laborer.  We live in a councilor state.  My mom was a housewife.  But I don’t really know.  Everyone was in the same boat so I didn’t… I didn’t know I was poor.  I didn’t know I was working class when I got to university and everyone spoke like a queen.  I didn’t… I didn’t know what it was, really.  And then… Yeah.  But I stuck to my guns and… Bob Dylan said, a man can consider himself a success if he gets up in the morning, goes to bed at night, and in between, does exactly what he wants.  And I’ve always done that.  I’ve always done that.  I’ve never worried… When I was trying to be a pop star and no money, I never moaned about… I never borrowed money.  It was my luck.  I chose to do that.  And I’ve always done things I wanted to do.  So, yeah. 

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Question: Is money important?

Gervais:    Yeah.  Well, I’ve never… I’ve never… I’ve never craved money.  I’ve never been proud of money per se.  In fact, the first few years of getting a new found wealth, I felt guilty about it.  And I still feel a little bit guilty because there was a [nobility] in poverty, really.  And so, I’ve always thought that if I’m going to be rich and famous, then I’ve got to be proud of how [I got my] money and how I got my fame.  And making… money-making, money, I’ve never understood it.  You know, I’ve never understood it.  I don’t play those games.  I don’t play the… I don’t try and make more money.  I’ve never tried to make money.  I don’t know.  There is some [gauche] about it, really.  But I do make money and you do need to.

Has the comedian overcome wealth guilt?

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