EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW - We Talk To David Tennant - 2006

David-Tennant.com are proud to bring you this exclusive interview with David Tennant.

How did you feel when you read that Tom Baker and the other Doctors think that you will be fantastic in the role?

I was very flattered and slightly overwhelmed, it was very nice of them. I don't actually know any of them but it was very nice of them, it's obviously better than them saying the opposite.

It must have been so strange on the set of Doctor Who for the first time, with the TARDIS and the Cybermen and all the other Doctor Who icons. Where you really nervous on your first day?

I was terrified! I had so much nervous energy. Starting any job is nerve wracking.
I had a photo shoot with Billie and I had to stand there looking like I'd done it for it ages. By the end of the first day I was totally exhausted.

David and Billie have a laugh on the Doctor Who set You seem to get on really well with Billie Piper. Does that help with the on screen chemistry between the Doctor and Rose?

Yeah. Billie and I are on set together all the time so she's my constant pal. We get on really well, she's very funny and we have a real laugh. It obviously helps to be working with someone that you get along with so well.

We've had a taster of what's to come with your Doctor in The Christmas Invasion. Did you watch it yourself?

Yeah I did. I'd seen it a couple of times before it aired. I saw a DVD from the office and then we had a press showing which was terrifying because they were all sitting behind us. I watched it with my parents on Christmas Day which was a slightly surreal situation.

The schedule for filming seems to be quite intense. Do you get any time off?

Yeah we got a couple of weeks off for Christmas and we get long weekends which we need to sort other things out. We film in blocks of two or three episodes and we're up to the penultimate block.

Although you've been acting for years, Doctor Who has made you more high profile. How are you coping with the extra attention?

It's not overwhelming. It's a bit weird, but it's not that bad, I can still travel on the tube. Obviously it is a bit strange that the press like to take an interest in things that I do. Billie has been great though because obviously she has been dealing with it since she was about 13 or something.

You started out in the theatre but you've also done TV and film. Which do you prefer?

I like all of them, that's the great thing about about acting you get the variety. I would hate never to do theatre or TV again. I love them all.

You've had the experience of the leading role in a film when you did LA Without A Map. Is Hollywood something that you'd be interested in pursuing?

It's not something I'd focus on or actively seek out. I've never had a grand five year plan or anything like that. I've always just bumbled along and things have worked out. Obviously if I was offered something I would consider it.

Tennant is just your stage name. What made you choose it?

I picked it out of Smash Hits magazine. I was 16 and I was in Dramarama and needed to sign up for Child Equity. There was already somebody with the same name so I was on the bus looking through Smash Hits and I saw Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys and I thought that would be a good name. Because it's got a good number of consonants in it!

 Are there any roles still on your wish list?

Oh of course! Most of the classic roles are in theatre, because TV usually produces new characters. So I'd like to go back and do more Shakespeare. Hamlet would be a role I would like, I think all actors want to play Hamlet.
I'd also like to do Benedict from Much Ado About Nothing, I've played him for radio, but I would really love to do that on stage. Also I was really lucky to play Jimmy Porter in Look Back In Anger in Edinburgh last year and that was a role I've always wanted to do.

You have worked with many prestigious actors over the years. But is there anyone you would like to work with in the future?

Ooh I don't really think about it until a part comes up. Obviously working with Peter O'Toole on Casanova was brilliant because he is such a legend. He lives up to every expectation you have of him. It was very exciting. Also Maggie Smith, who I think is just fantastic. Also a lot of brand new actors are great to work with because you realise what great talent there is coming up and it keeps you on your toes. I have been very lucky though and worked with fantastic actors.

If you could star in a remake of any film what would it be?

Ooh that's a tough one because often remakes aren't as good, but I did Twelve Angry Men at drama school, it's a play but was made into a film. We did it as a play and I think that if they were to do a remake of the film version I would choose that.

Is it true that you will be appearing in Ripley's Gold, the sequel to Blackpool later this year?

No unfortunately not. Sarah and I were going to make cameo appearances during a dream sequence, but Sarah is so busy and I'm so busy with Doctor Who, that it didn't work out which is a shame because it would have been nice for old times sakes. It's David Morriseys show hence the title and they've finished filming on it now so that's it.

Did you have good fun filming Blackpool?

Yeah great fun! Obviously it wasn't easy combining the singing and dancing with the acting but it was something different and it was really fun to make.

Have you ever been to an audition and missed out on a role that you really wanted to get?

Yeah it's part of the territory of being an actor, it does happen alot and obviously sometimes you do get attached to the role. The worst ones are when you keep getting called back all the time to do further auditions because you do get attached, it's easier if they just phone you the next day and say yes or no.

Did you enjoy your school days?

Not particularly, I didn't have a bad time, but I did feel like I was being forced to be there. I already knew what I wanted to do and I just thought I was wasting my time on subjects that didn't interest me particularly. I mean I wasn't bad at school, I had decent grades and everything, it's just that I wanted to get into the acting. When I went to drama school it was fantastic because it was focusing on what I wanted to do.

When did you realise that you wanted to become an actor?

Ooh when I was tiny, I was very young. It sounds quite precocious when I think about it now, but I just knew from an early age that that was what I wanted to do.

Did your family encourage you in your ambition?

Not particularly. They were always suggesting other careers for me to do. They did try to put me off it. It's understandable though because acting is a fool hardy career. They are very supportive of me now I hasten to add.

What's the first role you ever played in front of an audience?

At school the music teacher wrote a play called Gypsum's Journey. It was about a Goblin who went into the mortal world on his holidays! I played the goblin, Gypsum! It wasn't really the lead role, that was a part called Soft Sam, but I did get to wear a fetching pair of green tights and a pointy green hat that they had to wrestle off me.

You've had a varied and interesting career. Would you ever consider writing an autobiography?

Never say never but I don't think that other than my acting that I have a particularly interesting life. I think people would be very bored of me. Maybe when I'm 75... I don't really know. Ask me again then.

And what about if there was a film of your life. Who would you like to play you?

Ooh that's difficult. I'd say Daniel Evans, he's a theatre actor, he's nothing like me at all obviously, but he's a brilliant actor.

When was the last time you laughed?

It would have to be on set yesterday we were acting getting sucked into an old television set and that was quite funny because they say cut and you suddenly think 'What are we doing?' It's when reality collides with acting it's always quite funny.

And lastly do you have a message for your fans at david-tennant.com?

I can't believe I have fans! I'm obviously very flattered and thank you all very much.

(c) Sarah for David-Tennant.com
Many thanks to David Tennant