Why You Should Lie
What if lying were suddenly outlawed? At a New York screening of Ricky Gervais’ new comedy The Invention of Lying, Lloyd Grove asked a panel of A-list experts. Here are their responses.
John Goodman “I have to lie to myself to get out of bed in the morning. If nobody could lie, I’d put a gun in my mouth right now. I couldn’t function.”
Kathy Griffin “It would be over. It would be faster than the apocalypse. The world would end so quickly that there wouldn’t even be time for a seventh sign of the apocalypse after the first six. We need lying to get through our day.”
Amy Sedaris “If there was no lying it wouldn’t be any fun, right?”
Tiffani Thiessen “I do pride myself on trying to never lie, but I don’t consider white-lying lying. The old saying is that a little white lie will never hurt somebody, and sometimes it actually makes things a little better. White lies are usually lies that help in a situation. That’s different from telling lies to get yourself out of a situation you’re uncomfortable with.”
Stephanie March “My entire job is lying. I’m lying every time I pretend to be another person. In real life, I try to keep it to a cocktail minimum, just to kind of float along and be not too crazy.”
Ricky Gervais “I realize I lie every day but not in a bad way. I think I’m a really honest person. I value integrity and loyalty, but I lie every day in my life. And it’s usually when people say, ‘Will you come to my baby’s christening?’ And I say, ‘I’d love to, but I can’t because I’m out of the country.’ And then I have to hide indoors in case I bump into them. I think if there were no lying, the first thing you’d notice is general courtesy would go out the window. The thing that would smack you straight in the teeth right away is how rude people would be. Some lies are good.”
Matthew Robinson, writer/director of The Invention of Lying “Without lying, it would be a much colder, depressing world. It’s a world where there would be no potential. People who are born unattractive would stay on the outskirts of society in the lowest position and people who were born attractive would stay that way. I think the ability to lie to yourself, in the form of optimism, allows change and growth. With other people lying is utterly necessary. I don’t think you’d have friends if you were completely honest all the time.”
Hosted by the Cinema Society and Links of London.
Lloyd Grove is editor at large for The Daily Beast. He is also a frequent contributor to New York magazine and was a contributing editor for Condé Nast Portfolio. He wrote a gossip column for the New York Daily News from 2003 to 2006. Prior to that, he wrote the Reliable Source column for the Washington Post, where he spent 23 years covering politics, the media, and other subjects.