Posts Tagged ‘Matt Smith’

Russell T. Davies (2010)

June 9, 2010

Here’s a transcript of Russell T. Davies’ appearance on the BBC a couple of days ago, discussing the news that Torchwood is coming back for a fourth series, as well as his thoughts on Matt Smith and Karen Gillan and how he’d like to make 20 episodes of Doctor Who every year…

Q: Torchwood has always been filmed in Wales, but it’s about to get an international flavour. Tell us about these storylines set in the US and all around the world.

A: It’s a bit soon to give away too much about the stories. We will still be shooting in Wales, there’ll still be Cardiff action, but the storyline now takes the team to America, to other parts of the world. It’s still going to be good, very personal stories, sometimes you describe it as ‘international stuff’, it sounds like a 1960’s series called ‘The Jetset’ or something. It’s going to be really good, strong human stories at the heart.

Q: Can you confirm John Barrowman will return as Captain Jack, alongside Eve Myles as Gwen?

A: The Barrowman will be back as Jack, and we’re all very excited, and hopefully some new UK signings as well, and a new American cast as well. That’s going to be part of the fun, the culture clash, you know sometimes in dramas Americans crop up for no reason, this is going to be the Americans not knowing what’s going on with the Welsh, the Welsh not knowing what’s going on with the Americans. There’s a lot of fun, I think, to be had out of that, so it’s going to be lively, it’s going to be a good laugh.

Q: Why do you think Torchwood has done so well?

A: I think science-fiction stuff is popular, fantasy stuff is popular, we were very lucky casting it well, and there’s an appetite for it. It’s a funny show, in a way, it’s sort of designed for the digital age, it’s a weapon, the way it keeps moving channels. Right now it’s a production with BBC Worldwide, that’s the first drama BBC Worldwide has ever actually made, so again it’s a new way of making drama, it’s a new way of funding drama, in association with Starz. It just suits the age, really, to have a flexible, dynamic show that can take new shapes, and this is the latest shape. It’s exciting.

Q: Do you miss Doctor Who?

A: Oh, I do! Do you know, the greatest single responsibility that the Doctor Who team has now is getting me a disc out to Los Angeles every single Saturday, which I sit and watch and love. So I don’t miss it, actually, I’m a viewer now, I watch the episodes and I’m loving them. My overriding thought is ‘Oh, that’s hard work’, part of me is so glad not to be sweating over that TARDIS. And truly, Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, what a glorious new age. It’s the show that’ll never die.

Q: Would you change anything, now that you’re watching it as a fan?

A: Not… (laughs) how dare you suggest such a thing! The only thing I’d change is I’d make 20 episodes a year. I’m sure they’d be glad to hear that. More Doctor Who!

Alex Kingston (2010)

April 21, 2010

Here are some quotes from interviews with Alex Kingston, who’s about to return to ‘Doctor Who’ as River Song. Mild spoilers ahead:

On watching ‘Doctor Who’ as a child

I used to watch through a crack in the door. I would drive my mother crazy, because she would say ‘Oh, turn it off if you get so scared!’, but no, no, I want to watch it. But that’s children. That’s how you learn to conquer your fears, by sort of safely putting yourself in that thrill zone.

There was one where the Daleks invaded the London Underground. And still, if I’m waiting for a Tube, I look down the hole and I can see the Daleks coming through – I still have that.

On working with David Tennant

We hit it off immediately. We just clicked. I’ve done guest roles on other shows, but rarely have I felt such a warm bond.

On the differences between ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘ER’.

The budgets are smaller (on ‘Doctor Who’) but everyone works just as hard. Someone told me I’m going to get a River Song action figure. I don’t quite believe it. You don’t get that on ‘ER’.

On returning for season 5.

When I first accepted the role of River Song, I thought it was just going to be those two episodes, particularly because she died at the end. So when I was asked to come back, I thought it was a little strange, but when I read the scripts for these two episodes it made total, perfect sense why she’s back. And I’m really happy to (come back), because I think the character is a really strong, meaty character, and I think we can run quite far with her, if Steven Moffat chooses to.

I’m not sure if I can tell you the story of her comeback to the series. All I can say is that in the ‘Silence in the Library’ episodes, she arrived with her diary, with her little blue diary, and in that diary she has pictures of all the Doctors. And she asked the David Tennant Doctor, what adventures they had been on, and so she asked questions like ‘Have we done the crash of the Byzantium?’, ‘Have we done the opening of the Pandorica?’, and he didn’t know what he was talking about. Well, the two episodes we’ve just finished filming are the crash of the Byzantium.

River has been released from jail. She has a special dispensation to be released from jail for this mission, because no-one else can do this mission, no-one else has the qualifications. She basically has a hunch that one of these Weeping Angel statues is in the hands of a private collector, and she needs to confirm that it is one, and she needs the Doctor’s help for that.

On the Doctor’s real name

I haven’t even told Matt what his real name is. I might tell Steven Moffat.

On working with Matt Smith

I think they were very clever shooting these episodes out of sequence, because for Matt, and for Karen who plays Amy, the pressure on them to have found their feet in the first episode, when everybody’s going to be watching – the press, the media, critics, everyone – is going to be huge, so that sort of took the pressure off them. And I think that’s maybe why I was brought in, because I’d done it before… to support them, really, and particularly to support Matt. But, to be honest, he didn’t need it. He sails through, absolutely sails through. He’s fantastic, absolutely fantastic. He has a very large pair of shoes to fill, that David Tennant left, and he’s going to fill them easily.

On her future in ‘Doctor Who’

All I can say is: the opening of the Pandorica (smiles).

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.

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.

Wendy Padbury (2009)

February 15, 2010

Here’s Wendy Padbury, Zoe in the late 60’s, talking about her work as an agent and, in particular, how she first met a young actor named Matt Smith, who she signed up and who… well, you know the rest!

“I’ve always been a massive supporter of the National Youth Theatre in London, which is a school where kids from all over the country go and perform. They do a course, you can’t be more than 20 or 21. They do productions in London. And they were doing this production of a very difficult play, called ‘Master and Marguerita’, which is quite something for kids to take on. They varied in age from 14 to 20. And I went along to watch, and there was this guy onstage, I couldn’t take my eyes off him, and I thought ‘He is absolutely fantastic, this boy’, and he was playing a very, very gay character – nothing wrong with being gay! – but he was so outrageously camp, and you had to think that if someone’s that camp, how difficult is that going to be for other work?

“So I decided, after the show, to go to the bar and wait for all these kids to come out and just see, and he – Matt Smith – came out, and he quite clearly was not gay. In fact, every girl who came out was going ‘Hi, Matt’, they adored him… So I went up to him and I said ‘Hi, Matt, you don’t know me but I’m an agent and I don’t know what your plans are for the future’, because a lot of kids at the National Youth Theatre aren’t there to become actors in the future, some are there just to have the experience in their youth. So I asked Matt and he said ‘Yeah’, and I said ‘Well I’d love to have a chat with you’, and he said ‘I’d love to’, so we arranged to meet the next day.

“And the next morning, I went into the office and I said to the girls ‘There’s this gorgeous boy coming in, you’re going to love him’, and in walked Matt Smith and he is gorgeous, he’s quite quirky-looking but he has that ability as a young man – this is a girl thing, by the way – to actually sit in front of you and look at you, and you’re the only person in the room. That’s a very attractive quality. And he’s charming and intelligent and bright. And while he was there, I said ‘I’d love to take you on’.

“I then wrote to his university, because he was doing a university course, because – and this is what happens for actors, it’s always about timing – the very next day, the casting director from the Royal Court called me up and said ‘Help us, we’re doing this play, we’re looking for an actor who can be about 16, do a New York accent, and obviously is really good’. I said ‘I’ve got Matt Smith’, she said ‘I don’t know who that is’, I said ‘Well you won’t, he only came yesterday. I have no photos to send you, no CV, nothing’, and she said ‘I don’t care, I want to meet him’. I think they were so desperate, they’d have taken my mother. So I phoned Matt and said ‘Can you do a New York accent?’ and he said ‘Yeah, I can, actually’, so I said ‘You’ve got an appointment on Monday’. He got the script, worked on it over the weekend, and went on Monday. He probably hadn’t even left the building when they phoned and said ‘He. Is. Fantastic’, and of course he got the job.

“He was amazed, I mean, how lucky to get that job straight away! He’s done the National now, he’s done so much work, he worked with Billie Piper… and I’ve never had a young client like that before, where nobody knew him, and my job was to take casting directors to meet and see clients that they don’t know, and I’ve never stood at the National before, surrounded by casting directors, with them saying ‘Oh my God, he’s brilliant, where did you find him?’. And the rest is history, really.

“I live in France now, so it takes a while for news to filter through. I got a phone call from someone, actually it was Charlie, saying ‘Have you heard about Matt? Have you heard about the new Doctor Who?’. I said ‘No’, they said ‘It’s Matt’. I went ‘Oh my God!’, I couldn’t believe it! I know people have concerns about his youth, but there’s no question about his talent and there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll do a brilliant job. So I hope you’ll be gentle with him, because I think you’ll love him, I really do.”

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.