Superfan Ricky Gervais-turned-salesman-turned-actor in ‘After Life’
He made videos inspired by the comedian’s series and messaged him. Months later he was on the set of the Netflix series.
Through TikTok, Ricky Gervais met Cole Anderson-James, a 24-year-old salesman stuck in a “boring nine-to-five job.” The Brit started on the social network to create small videos inspired by the comedian’s series and in a short time realized a dream.
“It’s crazy. I’ve been a Ricky Gervais fan for over ten years. I fall asleep listening to your podcast.” He began recreating scenes from shows like The Office, and one of them caught the comedian’s attention, who followed him.
Anderson-James then decided to take a different approach: he messaged Gervais directly. “Because if you never ask you’ll never get an answer, isn’t there a way to get into ‘After Life’?”
The Briton had already given up hope when something happened. “Months went by and I never got an answer. I thought nothing would happen until I got an email inviting me to audition for the third season. My head exploded.”
Noticing it, he made a video call to Gervais himself and the series’ producers, who, although they told him there was no role for him, still gave him a way to make the dream come true. Eventually, James was chosen to star in a small scene: he was chosen to be a yoga teacher in a laughter therapy class.
“I studied the script the night before shooting and Ricky said to me, ‘Let’s film and see you soon.’ “Take liberty with the script, invent it”. This confused me, but when he said “Action” my heart stopped. I screwed up the first scene, but then we repeated it a million times and it went well.”