Mackenzie Crook says his character Gareth from The Office was ‘a bit of a monster’

Mackenzie Crook says his character Gareth from The Office was ‘a bit of a monster’

Mackenzie Crook has said his character in The Office was “a bit of a monster”.

In a new interview with The Independent, the actor opened up about his mixed feelings towards the hit mockumentary series in which he played Gareth Keenan.

The Office – which was written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant – ran across two seasons from 2001 to 2002.

The sitcom starred Gervais as David Brent, the manager of a paper company, alongside Crook who played his assistant. Martin Freeman and Lucy Davis also starred in the series.

“He’s a bit of a monster actually, Gareth,” said Crook. “I didn’t remember him being so… urgh. The things he comes out with when he’s trying to chat up girls are diabolical.”

The 50-year-old called his breakout role “an odd performance”.

“I seem to be doing much more than everyone else. Everyone else seems to be very natural, and then I just seem to be coming in from a different angle. I’m more cartoonish than any other character,” he said.

Speaking about whether the Noughties sitcom would be received differently by audiences today due to its use of ironic misogyny, ableism and racism, Crook said: “I suppose it’s a document of its time.”


He continued: “What we were portraying back then were things that were being said in an office environment, and people were getting away with it. So we were pointing it out – laughing at those people who were behaving so badly.

“But yeah, I don’t think those things could be said in a workplace anymore without somebody picking up on them. So no, you wouldn’t have it now in a comedy.”

Crook added that “[The Office] was cringey at points but no, it didn’t need to be wiped out”.

Earlier this year, Gervais said The Office “would be cancelled now”. The comedian, however, later said his comment was “clearly a joke”.