After Life 2: Ricky Gervais reveals "rare" and "emotional" responses he's received from fans

23 April 2020, 22:45 | Updated: 24 April 2020, 17:07

The creator and star of the Netflix show spoke to Radio X's Danny Wallace about the touching responses he's had from those grieving since the show first aired.

Ricky Gervais has reflected on the unexpected impact his After Life series has had on audiences.

The comedian, writer and actor - who stars as widower Tony in his hit Netflix series - spoke to Radio X's Danny Wallace about everything from the release of season 2 to how he's filling his time in lockdown.

Asked about the impact the series has had, Gervais revealed that he received over 300 letters in the first week of the first season being aired, and he still gets people coming up to him and opening up about their grief now.

"Genuinely. I’ve never had a reaction like it," he mused. "And I don’t just mean the size of the reaction, as that could be a reflection of the fact Netflix has £170 million subscribers worldwide, which is mind-blowing really when you think about It [...] but it was the emotional response.

"My agent on the first week got 300 letters. Now that is really rare, where people are bothering to write letters, and they were telling their own story, so it wasn’t a tweet, it wasn’t a thumbs up."

READ MORE: What happened at the end of Ricky Gervais' After Life season 1?

READ MORE: Ricky Gervais thanks fans for tributes after death of his pet cat Ollie

The Office creator added: "People come up to me on the street. Usually it’s, ‘I loved the show,’ or ‘Give it to them at the Golden Globes’ and now they come up and approach me and say, ‘I lost my brother three weeks before I watched it and you think, ‘Oh my god. Everyone’s grieving.

"Everyone in the world is grieving about something all the time and the older you get the more you’ve got to grieve about... And I really didn’t think of it as a document about grief.”

Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes 2020 with screengrab of him in Netflix's After Life inset
Ricky Gervais shares emotional responses to his After Life series. Picture: 1. Arnold Turner/Getty Images for Netflix 2. YouTube/Netflix's After Life 2

Gervais also stressed the importance of talking about taboo subjects such as death.

“I think there’s too much of people worrying about taboo subjects and that’s why they stay taboo, and I think that just laughing in the face of adversity is good for you. It really is”.

After Life season 2 is available on Netflix from Friday 24 April.

Listen to the full interview on The Important Broadcast this Sunday 26 April from 11am.

Listen to the latest Important Broadcast podcast here:


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