NEW INTERVIEW: David Tennant On Richard II, Johnny Marr And Piano Lessons

David Tennant has been interviewed by the New York Times about what he's Reading, Listening to, Watching, Playing and Eating. The interview will appear in the print edition of the Sunday Review on Sunday 14th July. 

David will be starring as DI Alec Hardy in the hit ITV crime drama Broadchurch which premieres on BBC America on Wednesday 7th August. 

David Tennant in the New York Times

A Brief History of Britain 1066-1485, by Nicholas Vincent, because I’m getting ready to be in Shakespeare’s “Richard II.” I learned that he was married to a 6-year-old, which was a revelation, and there’s some question of whether or not he was gay. It can be a good reason for not researching anything and just using the script because you can’t bend the character to the historical accuracy of his life, necessarily. It can be a bit distracting but equally regularly it can enliven something and make something make more sense or give you a new way into something.

What I keep returning to when I have a bit of free reading time is Hunter Davies’s book about the Beatles. The Beatles are a relatively recent passion of mine. So I have been gradually swotting up and becoming all the more fascinated by them as a creative force and as four individuals. I think it’s always interesting to set those two things against each other — try and find where among four ordinary blokes the overlap creates genius.

Johnny Marr’s The Messenger. He was the guitarist in The Smiths. He’s always been sort of regarded as the king of a certain type of credible indie-pop. On this album, he’s kind of let loose. It feels like he’s allowed himself not to be pretentious.

Also Desert Island Discs is a BBC radio show, which invites people who are forerunners in their fields to talk about eight records that they’d take to a desert island. People reveal all sorts of things about themselves that they don’t elsewhere. You get an insight into a variety of high-achieving people, I suppose, and what makes them tick.

Vicious is a sitcom with Ian McKellen and David Jacobi playing an old gay couple, who have been together for 45 years. It’s wildly camp, very over-the-top and borderline offensive. Maybe it’s because I grew up watching McKellen and Jacobi play every great Shakespearean role, there’s something delicious about watching them playing a couple of old queens.

And 10 O’Clock Live. It’s like The Daily Show. It’s a current affairs comedy show that’s only on once a week. It has just some of the sharpest performers and writers deconstructing the week’s events fairly acidly.

I recently started piano lessons. I took piano lessons when I was about 10 for six months. And inevitably because I was 10, I gave them up and ever since I’ve thought I should get back to that. And recently I did but then I had to go away filming so I’ve had three lessons and I don’t know when I’m going to have the next one, but I’m determined. It’s gonna happen.


I’m about to sit down to some Peri-Peri chicken, which is a common weekend favorite in our house from the local Nando’s. Peri-Peri chicken. Do you know it? It’s just a way of grilling chicken but in quite a spicy marinade.

Source: NY Times