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Ricky Gervais felt a “sense of responsibility” about the ending of ‘After Life’.
The 60-year-old star admitted he considered a number of different last scenes for the third series of his Netflix comedy drama but quickly rejected the “most drastic” idea of having his character Tony take his own life after a grief councillor urged him not to.
He said: “It was down to two or three [endings]. Some options were worse and sadder than others but I soon rejected the most drastic of those, and I’ll tell you why.
“After the first season, I’d never had a reaction like it – that emotional response from people – and I realised that everyone’s grieving, really.
“And I met a grief therapist who said, ‘Please don’t have Tony commit suicide.’
“Now, I’ve always insisted on not worrying about what other people might think, but I had to take that on board.
“So – amazingly – I felt a sense of responsibility and I ruled that out.
“Then, it was a matter of degrees. What happened? What does Tony do? What does it really mean?
“I didn’t want it to be ambiguous and it’s not really open. It’s the end.
“And we don’t know what happens next, except that everyone dies eventually. So that was my thinking behind it.”
The final scene was soundtracked by Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’ but Ricky also had a different song in mind for the closing moments.
He said: “Imagine if I hadn’t been able to use that song – how it would have affected the scene.”
Asked if he’d considered something else, he told heat magazine: “Shall I say, or would that annoy people? Does that spoil it? It’s fine.
“It was ‘Heroes’ [by David Bowie].
“But the music is so important, I knew the songs I wanted for the whole series as I was writing the script. They’re that embedded in it.
“So I basically picked my favourite songs from the last 50 years.”