Warwick Davis Stars in New Ricky Gervais Series Life's Too Short

Gervais's comedy has never been more mean-spirited. That doesn't mean you won't laugh.

By , Columnist

Warwick Davis in Life's Too short

Ricky Gervais has never been known to be politically correct but with his new HBO series Life's Too Short, he may have managed to ace himself in the 'over the top, cruel and unusual punishment' department. Never has his humor been more harsh but you will probably laugh despite yourself.

His latest "mockumentary" stars “little person” Warwick Davis, an actor most people will know from his film roles. He’s played Willow in the film of the same name, an Ewok in Star Wars, and various characters in the Harry Potter films, most notably Professor Filius Flitwick. In Life’s Too Short, Davis is suffering the effects of a career that has gone steadily downhill since his Hollywood glories and now must take any job he is offered to pay an exorbitant tax bill.

He fancies himself an entrepreneur, heading up a talent agency called Dwarves For Hire, where he snags all the decent jobs for himself. The scenes with stars like Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Stephen Merchant, and Gervais himself are certain to set your teeth on edge. Fair warning: If mean-spirited humor makes you cringe, this ain't for you.


That said, there are similarities between Life’s Too Short’s Davis and comedian Steve Coogan’s brilliant Alan Partridge character that must be noted. Both are sad, sorry little men, who can’t manage to duplicate past glories and their desperation is palpable. The big difference here is Davis’s dwarfism. Think of all the ways dwarves can be ridiculed; Gervais hasn’t missed one.

Davis isn’t troubled by this. He writes in his BBC blog how proud he is of this role. “I say this because I have a much closer connection with the series than any project I have worked on before. [Ricky Gervais and I] talked about approaches I was getting from documentary producers wanting to follow me and my family. This type of thing was not for me, but maybe it would be fun to manipulate my world as an actor and person, presenting a very different version of myself and my life. And so, Life's Too Short was conceived — a faux documentary following a man obsessed with fame, a man whose career is on the slide, a man whose wife is divorcing him, a man who just happens to be short.”

Life's Too Short premieres Sunday, February 19 at 10:30 PM on HBO.

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Mindy Peterman is a freelance writer whose focus is on television, movies and pop culture. She has written over one hundred articles for the award winning Blogcritics.org website and has conducted interviews with producer Peter Asher, psychic-medium John Edward, Greg Grunberg and Bob Guiney from Band…

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