Ricky Gervais explains the importance of lies, Rob Lowe and Jennifer Garner hop on the Kanye hate train

Ricky Gervais explains the importance of lies, Rob Lowe and Jennifer Garner hop on the Kanye hate train

Rob Lowe and Jennifer Garner at The Invention of Lying press conference (Photo by Karon Liu)

“Did you say publicity or honesty? I didn’t quite catch that,” jokes Rob Lowe about Kanye West’s bout of honesty at this year’s MTV VMAs.

“I’m sorry, that’s not honesty, that’s just bad manners,” interjects Jennifer Garner. “You can choose to be civil or to not be civil, and what’s the point of going through the day and thinking it’s cool to wear your honesty on your sleeve at the expense of everyone around you?”

It was clear at yesterday’s press conference that the stars of the comedy The Invention of Lying think fibbing is a necessity of life. The film, written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson, takes place in an alternate universe where everyone tells the truth until down-on-his luck writer Mark discovers lying and uses it to be successful.

“A world without any lying at all isn’t a good world because it’s heartless,” says Gervais, who plays Mark. “There wouldn’t be any art or fictional TV shows. There would be no white lies or flatteries. The things that make us human are the ability to make those choices, and without that it wouldn’t be a very nice world at all, particularly for Mark, who knows he’s a loser but doesn’t need to be told he is one every day.”

“Without lying, there’s no potential, there’s no self-deceit that can tell you more than you’re a loser,” adds Robinson. “And that’s the most important kind of lie. Without the lie we’re all stuck in how we’re born and we can’t seek beyond that.”

Lowe looked eerily unchanged from his role on Waynes World, which Gervais knew when he cast him as the antagonist. “We needed a genetically perfect nemesis. I mean, look at his jaw line, it’s like it’s fake. It’s like someone drew it. It’s too sharp. It’s too perfect.”

As for Garner, who plays Mark’s earnest love interest, Gervais liked that the most offensive words she’ll say are “darn it” and “dang it.” “When I asked her to say a swear word, she said, ‘rats.’”

“That’s a bunch of baloney,” she replies.

What are the odds she’s lying?