Wednesday 21 February 2018

Merchant surprise at nude scene

Stephen Merchant appears on the Graham Norton Show
Stephen Merchant appears on the Graham Norton Show

Co-creator of The Office Stephen Merchant has revealed he did not realise his West End debut might include a nude scene because he did not bother to read the script before accepting it.

The comic and actor, who also appeared on screen with long-term collaborator Ricky Gervais in Extras and Life's Too Short, is set to star in The Mentalists at London's Wyndham's Theatre.

Appearing on Graham Norton's BBC One chat show, he said: " It is essentially my first play. It's a little scary but I've done standup and I've been on telly so I'm thinking put that all together and how hard can it be. I'm assuming you can take the script on stage.

" I'm an actor now and that means I just check how many lines I have to say.

"I agreed to do it and then someone tweeted me to say, 'I've read the play, are you going to be doing the nudity?' And, apparently I am meant to be naked, but I won't be doing that. I don't care how classy a theatregoer you are, if someone is naked on stage people will not be listening to the lines. I'm not sure it's called for. I don't even like being naked at home."

He appeared on the show alongside American Amy Schumer and Samuel L. Jackson who revealed he has some friends in high places.

The actor told Norton: " I was at the polo and met Prince Harry. We talked for a minute. He was so nice to me and he and his brother took me to a party. It was cool."

:: See the full interview on The Graham Norton Show on BBC One tonight at 10.35pm

Press Association

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