Archive for the ‘Matt Smith’ Category

Matt Smith & Karen Gillan (2010)

April 17, 2010

There have been loads of Matt Smith / Karen Gillan interviews recently, focusing on the new (2010) series, but this one’s particularly great since the interviewer is a showbiz reporter on Fox News. Turns out, ‘Doctor Who’ is as big as ‘Two and a Half Men’, and maybe even bigger…

Q: Welcome back, we have two guests from ‘Doctor Who’, Matt Smith and Karen Gillan.

Matt Smith: Thanks for having us on.

Q: So the show premieres on Saturday on BBC America, and I was lucky enough to get a preview last night, I got a sneak peek, and I loved it. But since ‘Doctor Who’ is much bigger in the UK, I wasn’t even sure who Dr. Who is. So since you two are the stars of it, who is Dr. Who?

MS: Dr. Who is a 907-year old Timelord who travels through space and time in something called a TARDIS, which is a time machine. And what’s brilliant about all this is that one week he can be in the past, the next week he can be in the future. And he does all this with a companion, played by…

Karen Gillan: And that’s where I come in! I play Amy Pond, his companion, and she’s really his best friend, and he meets her in the first episode in a really interesting way. And they go on adventures together.

Q: ‘Wired’ magazine has the sonic screwdriver on the cover. What does it do that’s so amazing?

MS: The sonic basically works on anything except wood. Anything electrical. So for example, if I wanted to do something to your computer, I could go ‘Bzzzzz’ and make it work in a really fantastical way. If I’m running away from an alien, I can point it at the door and it locks the door. So essentially it sort of unlocks and opens doors. It does everything that we need it to, narratively.

KG: Don’t tell them that!

MS: But it doesn’t work on wood.

Q: Karen, I understand your character’s Scottish. Were they debating whether to have your character be a Scottish person?

KG: Yeah, she is. Well originally she could have been from anywhere, and I auditioned for the role in two different accents, and then we just went with my own ’cause it just seemed to work. You don’t hear that on television so much.

Q: And we see the younger version of you, the 7-year old version.

KG: Who’s my cousin!

Q: Tell us about that.

KG: Well, they needed someone to play a younger version of me, and because I have a sort of weird Highland accent and ginger hair, and that’s not easy to find, they asked me if I knew anyone, and I put her forward and she nailed it.

Q: Had she acted before?

KG: No. Nothing. So it’s really incredible, what she’s done.

Q: Is she just in that one episode?

KG: That’s a secret.

Q: ‘Doctor Who’ is so big in England. It’s huge. It’s as big as something like ‘Two and a Half Men’, but even bigger than that. Did you guys get nervous?

MS: Well, yes, in England it’s the number one show. We didn’t want to break it, basically. We’ve had an overwhelming response, and we really hope you guys in the US will pick it up and dig it. I mean, it’s the longest running show on television, well, sci-fi show ever.

Q: What number Doctor are you?

MS: I’m number eleven.

Q: So how does the character change, is it like a (James) Bond thing?

MS: Well that’s the principle, we see him regenerate from one man to the next.

Q: Oh perfect, so it’s actually a logical transformation.

MS: Yeah, I mean he’s a 900-year old alien with two hearts. It’s mad, it’s bonkers. He’s James Bond but cooler. James Bond gets a boat, the Doctor gets a time machine.

Q: Can you play it for more than a year?

MS: Oh yes, I think the longest ever Doctor played it for seven. So you can really do a stint.

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Matt Smith (2010)

March 27, 2010

Here’s a transcript of Matt Smith on Jonathan Ross’s chat show last night. Among other things, he talks about how long he might be playing the role, how big the new TARDIS is, and David Tennant’s memory:

Q: When did you audition for this role? When and how did you find out you’d got it?

A: Well, my mum randomly texted me and said ‘You should be the next Doctor’ about a week before my agent rang and said ‘Do you fancy auditioning for the part?’, and I said ‘Yeah’. We had two secret auditions…

Q: There’s massive secrecy around ‘Doctor Who’…

A: Yes! We’re showing the new episode on the third, and it feels like a massive security breach. So, anyway, I auditioned, and I thought nothing more of it, it was in a very trashy hotel, and then my agent called and said ‘You can go again’, so I went for the second audition, and I just tried to do it as clearly and as creatively and as honestly as I could, which is all you can ever do.

Q: When you audition for ‘Doctor Who’, do they give you a new script, or something that’s been out already?

A: They gave me ep one. At first it was just some sides, then it was the whole ep. And I read it, and I was of that barren age where it wasn’t on TV…

Q: The Dark Years, we call them.

A: Right. I mean, what were they doing? It’s ‘Doctor Who’, it’s the best thing ever. Anyway, I digress, I got the part, they told me, and then of course I couldn’t tell anyone for three months!

Q: So they told you, and you couldn’t tell anyone?

A: I told my mum, my dad and my granddad on Christmas Eve, and they were very excited, and I told my sister, and that was it.

Q: How excited are you to be the new Doctor?

A: Ah, man, I’m thrilled. I mean, to my mind it’s pretty much the best part in British televisual history. And what’s really truly incredible about it is that it’s not bound by space or time or genre or logic, so as an actor it sort of influences you, really…

Q: You can be Shakespearean one week, in the future the next, you can even be a different character. In the David Tennant years, and they were wonderful, sadly they’re over –

A: He was wonderful!

Q: And Christopher Eccleston was brilliant –

A: I loved Chris as well, yeah, I thought Chris was great.

Q: But there was one story strand where he completely forgot he was the Doctor.

A: Who? David did? In the show?

Q: Do you not watch the series?

A: Oh, you mean in the show, as a narrative structure –

Q: Not in real life! But you have infinite possibilities with this series.

A: Yeah, and I think it’s something that you probably realise more and more as the series goes on, and I think as the series evolves my Doctor becomes more assured, and develops. And of course there are infinite narratives and infinite multitudes of the character that you can explore. And this is the new sonic screwdriver!

Q: Did you practice with that at home?

A: I did. I tossed it a few times.

Q: You like that?

A: Yeah.

Q: So they gave it to you, to take away and make it your own thing?

A: Yeah, I think with anything dramatic, you have to take it away and sort of make it your own thing.

Q: Now the TARDIS is different as well, isn’t it?

A: It is, yeah. You’re gonna love that.

Q: How is it different?

A: Well, again I can’t give too much away. It’s bigger. It’s bigger on the inside than it was bigger on the inside before. It’s bigger.

Q: But the outside is still the same?

A: It’s still a police box. But there’s a different tint.

Q: That’s not the most exciting revelation I could have teased out of you.

A: It’s got levels. I’ll tell you that. It’s got different rooms, it’s got a pool and a library.

Q: Is there a hot tub in there for smoochy nights?

A: For some alone time with me and Amy, yes.

Q: So Amy is the new companion?

A: Yes, played by Karen Gillan.

Q: They’re gone for a ginger companion again.

A: Yes, a fiery red.

Q: Do you feel this is a proactive thing? Are they trying to welcome them back? Because a ginger person can get a hard time in the UK, so they’re saying ‘Look, the Doctor loves a red-haired person’…

A: Yeah, redheads are cool. Yeah, I mean you’ve seen her, she’s a 10.

Q: Sober 10 or drunk 10? So how many have you shot? Have you shot them all?

A: Yeah, we’ve shot thirteen. It takes up all your time, because the line-learning is extraordinary. So it’s strange now.

Q: You can relax a little bit.

A: Yeah.

Q: So this clip is from episode six?

A: Yes, it’s called ‘Vampires in Venice’. We shot it in Croatia, which doubles up rather superbly.

Q: So you film in Wales, but you also go off on location?

A: Yeah, we went to Puzzlewood, and we went to Stonehenge, which is rather glorious, we got to go in the middle of them.

Q: Were you at all tempted to carve your initials in there?

A: Absolutely. I wanted to climb on one of them, but they weren’t having any of it.

Q: And the bow tie, is that part of the costume?

A: It is. One thing I will say about this particular Doctor is that I think his costume will evolve. I’d quite like a hat.

Q: You should have a word with them.

A: I have had a word.

Q: Can you bring in your own things?

A: Yeah, I mean I brought in the tweed jacket and the braces, and then we put on the bow tie and it just sort of sat right.

Q: David was there for four years, I think the longest-serving Doctor was Tom Baker…

A: Seven years, wasn’t it?

Q: How long will you be in the role?

A: I hope to do at least another year, and ideally a couple more, we’ll see. It’s a wonderful part and I want to keep it. I’ve sort of got my teeth into it now.

Matt Smith & Karen Gillan (2010)

January 26, 2010

DWM recently ran a very long and very interesting interview with Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, I definitely recommend buying a copy. This is a transcript from a piece of audio, from that interview, that appeared on YouTube. Karen Gillan talks about her police uniform, while Matt Smith enthuses about the beauty of the TARDIS.

Q: When was the first time you met? Was it at Karen’s audition?

Karen Gillan: Well I first met Matt when I did my recall, and I read with him. And he was very friendly, I have to say! I was actually quite intimidated about meeting Matt, because he’s Dr. Who and it was all very scary.

Matt Smith: Didn’t show.

KG: Well thanks, but I was feeling it inside. But he was very friendly and made me feel at ease.

MS: I do the reverse of that now. I’m a complete bastard and make her feel uncomfortable.

Q: I’ve got to ask you about the costumes. Matt, you did the regeneration in this.

MS: Well, no, in a newer version of this, ’cause this is the raggy Doctor.

Q: But how’s it been altered? Because you’re a bit, sort of, taller than David.

MS: He was a very thin man, whereas I’m rolling down the aisles! I don’t know how it’s been accommodated, if they’ve altered the waistline or… One would hope that at the tender age of 26, that I’m not spinning out of it. It’s been made raggedy.

Q: Karen, what about your first reaction to the police woman’s uniform? Because it’s been made quite… short.

KG: Yes, well we went through a long process trying to find this uniform. Initially, they wanted me in trousers, just because of the practicality of running around, but I did want the short skirt because of how we meet her and who her character is.

MS: Let’s say it out loud, it’s sexier, isn’t it? Come on…

KG: I do feel more sassy in it, which is good because I think she’s a sassy lady.

MS: Mmm… political…

Q: What clues can you give us about the dynamic between the Doctor and Amy?

MS: He’s less tolerant than most other Doctors, and she’s got fire in her belly, so they combust together. But there’s great affection and love there, and we’re developing that all the time. And Steven is truly a genius, he lives in a fairytale land and it sort of comes through, and that’s what I think is magical about this particular series, it taps into the fairytale side of it.

Q: Some of it seems almost Tim Burton?

MS: Yes! And the way it’s being shot, it’s sort of ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’-y. It’s exciting.

Q: What about acting opposite the iconic aspects of the series, the TARDIS, the Daleks, are they sort of pinch-yourself moments?

KG: Yes, totally. When I first met a Dalek, I couldn’t believe it. It’s just such an iconic image, and then you meet the guys who control them!

MS: And the TARDIS, the first time I saw that… I look at it every day now, and it’s breathtaking, it’s the most attractive thing in the world. It doesn’t matter where you put it, it doesn’t matter what landscape, it looks like someone brilliant has come back, like Picasso or someone, and placed it perfectly on a beach or… even, just in a room, it dominates, it’s like… Wow!

Q: There’s a long tradition, dating right back to the 60’s, of actors breaking the set. Bits coming off the console. Have you managed to keep it in one piece so far?

KG: Matt breaks everything.

MS: Yes, I think I’m the clumsiest Doctor in history. I break it daily. They give me things with trepidation.

Matt Smith (2009)

September 1, 2009

Here’s a transcript of a very short BBC News interview with Matt Smith, conducted in Cannes while he was promoting a short film, ‘Together’.

Q: So, your first time in Cannes. How are you finding it?

A: Rock and roll. I love how decadent it is, everyone’s in shades.

Q: Are you ready for the fame that will come with ‘Doctor Who’?

A: I don’t know what to expect. At the moment I can pass by unnoticed, really.

Q: Do you dread it, or will you just take it in your stride?

A: I’ll just take it in my stride. What else can you do but enjoy it? It’s a happy thing, it’s a wonderful part, a wonderful thing and people are very enthusiastic about it. My lips are sealed, I can’t say very much about it.

Q: Do you want to make more films?

A: Hopefully one day. I’d like to make a short first, and then – yeah, hopefully, why not? Aim high, come back, have a film. That’d be great. That’s where my interest in film’s going to take me.

Matt Smith (2009)

August 23, 2009

So here’s the ‘extended’ version of the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ interview with Matt Smith, from back at the start of the year. He talks about his Dad’s reaction to the news, about reading two of the scripts, and about keeping the news of his casting from his friends and family.

Q: How does it feel being cast as the 11th Doctor?

A: Flabbergasted. I haven’t slept, to be honest. Truthfully, I probably look a bit bags under the eyes now. Because it’s an iconic part of our culture, my granddad knows about it, my dad knows about it. It’s been going since 1963 and it has the iconic status of Robin Hood or Sherlock Holmes, and I’m taking it on. That’s my responsibility. It’s exciting. Nerve-wracking, exciting. Exciting. Stops me sleeping.

Q: What was your initial reaction to being cast?

A: What I did when I got the role was I paced around the room for about three days, because I didn’t know what to do, so I’d get up, then I’d come back and I’d sit down, then I’d watch a bit of TV and I’d smile and go ‘I’m the Doctor’… It’s weird, it does weird things to you.

Q: How hard was it keeping it a secret?

A: A complete nightmare, not being able to tell anyone. It’s like any secret, it bubbles up inside you and the longer you try to keep it the more mad you go, and I’ll be in my flat and ‘Doctor Who’ will be on and my flatmate’s there and I’d love to share that I’m the new Doctor, but I can’t and it’s, um… but there’s also a sense of mischief, because I know something that the rest of Britain doesn’t know.

Q: Have you told anyone?

A: I had to tell someone because I was going mad, so I told my Dad. But it’s a giant secret, it’s hugely significant.

Q: How did your dad take the news?

A: He was flabbergasted. And he was very proud, because he loves the show, and then he started talking about Tom Baker, because that’s his reference for it, and that’s the thing – my whole family has references for it, and when my Granddad finds out, I don’t know what he’s going to do with it. He was just immensely proud, yeah, and what do you do with information like that? ‘I’m going to be playing the Doctor’, even I say it now and it freaks me out. He was excited, proud, elated.

Q: What was the audition like?

A: I just did my best. I tried to give my version and be brave with it, make brave choices. It was very surreal, though, because again I couldn’t tell anyone about it. It was bizarre, a bizarre process, I’ve never had an audition like it, really.

Q: What did you have to do?

A: I had quite a lot of scenes to do, and I got the scenes the night before, so I had four or five scenes to do and there were too many lines, you know, to learn them all the night before, so I just had to know my way around the scenes as best I could. I wish I could tell you what’s in the scenes, but it’s fun, there’s a lot of stuff going on.

Q: Have you read any of the scripts?

A: I’ve read two scripts, I’ve read episode one and episode four, am I allowed to say that? And they’re brilliant! And he’s a brilliant writer, Stephen, funny writer. And I can’t say a lot about them, but you’re in for a treat.

Q: What’s your Doctor going to be like?

A: I’ve got this wonderful sort of journey in front of me, where I’ve got these six months to build this… this Time Lord, you know? And that’s such an exciting prospect, because I love that part of being an actor, I love the discovery and the being a detective bit. That excites me hugely, yeah, but I don’t know, I’ve got to build him up.

Q: Have you been warned about the attention the role brings?

A: I have been warned about what to expect, and I think that David’s going to be quite a good source of attention for that because he’s dealt with it with great grace and enthusiasm, and that’s what it’s about, and also you work so hard as the Doctor on ‘Doctor Who’ anyway, you don’t get much spare time. But yeah, I’ve talked to a couple of people about, but I’m just going to concentrate on the words on the page and let the rest unfold.