In an interview with The Onion's AV Club, Ricky Gervais reveals an avoidance of the grand strategic plan and a tight creative grip at the tactical level:
The A.V. Club: You've had a pretty varied career so far. Did you always intend not to focus on one thing?
Ricky Gervais: I didn't even intend to do what I'm doing now. I think doing something creative is the most important thing to me, and I think it's probably just good for the soul for anyone, whatever it is. You don't have to be a film director—you can do gardening or something—but I think everyone needs to create something. I've always dabbled. I've always nearly written a book, I've always tried painting, I've always tried to make something out of ideas, really. It was never a plan. I never thought, "Right. First I'll get famous, and then I'll do a book. Then I'll do a podcast." I hadn't heard of the word "podcast" a year ago. What I do next is never strategic. It's never, "If I did this, then I'll get that demographic, and then they'll like me for this, and then I can do that." I go, "I want to do this next. This is the thing that interests me most." I've got the attention span of a 5-year-old, so that's why I don't hang around doing one thing for very long. I have to be excited, I have to have an adrenaline rush about doing something, or it bores me, I feel trapped. I've never regretted saying no to anything, or finishing something. When I'm in the middle of doing something I love, I can have a better idea, and I'll go, "Oh God, I can't finish this." Maybe I've got some sort of disorder.
AVC: How do you establish that kind of creative control?
RG: I just demand it. I just simply wouldn't do anything that I wasn't terribly in charge of. I don't let anything go. I worry about the font on the back of the DVD, and I'll do this as long as that continues. Even if it does continue, I could still get bored with that, but I certainly wouldn't compromise anything. I think we got away with it initially [on The Office] because we were low-risk.