OnlyOnAOL: For Eric Bana, 'there's nowhere to hide' from Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais and Eric Bana On "Special Correspondents"
Ricky Gervais and Eric Bana On "Special Correspondents"

By: Donna Freydkin

As the creator and star of the original British sitcom "The Office," Ricky Gervais knows a thing or three about being funny.

"Trump is not trying to make us laugh. But it's hilarious," says Gervais. "I don't live here. I think it's hilarious."

He's now written and directed "Special Correspondents" for Netflix. In the satire, Gervais plays a radio technician, and Eric Bana a slick, suave reporter who wants to be a major foreign correspondent. So when a war breaks out in Ecuador, the two, after a series of mishaps, cover the battle from the safety of a New York City deli.

Bana has a background in standup comedy, which lent itself to his starring role. "I could just go in and relax and play Frank as Frank in order for it to be funny," says Bana.

Working opposite Gervais makes keeping a straight face something of a challenge. Meaning, if you crack up -- which is often unavoidable -- you ruin a take. "There's nowhere to hide," says Bana. "The camera is always on you."

The Australian-born Bana is known for his intense roles in dramas like "Munich." But he can showcase a funny bone with the best of them.

In "Correspondents," Bana's character dreams of being the next Anderson Cooper, and behaves like an ambitious, obnoxious reporter. "We made him a bit angrier," says Bana. "Ricky found it humorous when Frank got really, really angry at him. That developed during filming."

The project wound up at Netflix because Gervais wants control. "I want as many people to see my work as possible but with no compromise," says Gervais.

Here's a look back at Bana's impressive career.