Ricky Gervais used to "fear" fame.

Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais

The 'Office' star was worried about being regarded as a "celebrity" when he first found success and was concerned he'd lose his privacy.

He said: "When I was about to be famous, I feared it on a few levels. I feared it because I didn't want people to lump me in with those people who'd do anything to be famous.

"I didn't like the word 'celebrity'. I feared intrusion, you know? Make me famous, and suddenly you can go through my trash bins. I was very protective of my privacy.

"I didn't want people to write bad things about me that weren't true because that's just not fair. Fifty percent of everything written about me is wrong."

While the 55-year-old star is more at ease with his status these days, he admits that is because he was probably "overreacting" with his early concerns as people don't really "care" about his life.

He told Vulture: "My thoughts on fame haven't changed other than ... I can cope with it better now. I probably overreacted early on and it wasn't as bad for me as for other people. Now I don't fear it at all because I've realised that no one cares."

And the British comic admitted he used to be worried about something ruining his "reputation" but has come to realise people's opinions of him are not as important as the person he really is.

He explained: "I used to think reputation was the most important thing in the world. I couldn't stand someone saying something untrue about me, anything from getting wrong where I went to school or the names of my siblings.

"What I've learned recently, though, is reputation is still important, but not as much as character.

"Reputation is what strangers think of you, and character is what you are really like and what your friends think of you. People hate me online for being atheist. But there's so much rubbish now that no one really cares.

"The internet is like emptying your drawers out of a window. It's just piles and piles of rubbish."

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