In a brand new interview, David Tennant has spoken exclusively to James Hibbert of Entertainment Weekly on why he made the decision to become involved in Gracepoint. The Fox TV limited series is a reworking of the much celebrated ITV hit Broadchurch in which he also starred; his role as Detective Emmett Carver is the equivalent of DI Alec Hardy in the original.
While an actor reprising a role in a trans-Atlantic TV remake is not unknown, it is rare. David explains why he took the step, what filming has been like for him so far and how it compares with his experience on Broadchurch.
EW: You’ve played this character in this story once. Why do it again?
David Tennant: The fact I knew how good it was. I knew what an exciting story it was and a lot of the same people are involved so I knew it wasn’t going to be turned into something … less good.
EW: For your performance, it’s a very rare opportunity to have a total do-over. Are there things about the way you played the character the first time that you look at and go, “Okay, I’m going to do it this way instead.”
Tennant: I’m sure there will be a bit of that going on. I’m not going to encourage people to compare to original performance. But since I’m playing scenes in a different location with different people it’s going to be different; you just have to be open to where that goes. There is no precedent for this. It’s so familiar, yet completely new. It’s a very peculiar experience.
EW: Your character’s name has changed, but your stubble is back. Were there discussions about your look for the Fox version?
Tennant: I think there’s something about the character that has a certain unattended quality to him. His personal vanity is low on his list of priorities. So I think there’s something about being slightly unkempt that tells a story about that character that’s quite useful. So it’s a similar look. I also think there was also a notion that if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. I don’t think we’re trying to change anything about him that worked the first time.
EW: This time your partner is played by Anna Gunn. What’s unique about working with her?
Tennant: It’s been lovely. We’ve only done two days on set so we’re still at the beginning of our working relationship. But she’s very sparky and a fine actress and fun so far, which is a relief. We’re spending quite a bit of time together over the next few weeks. She can take work very seriously but can also have a laugh which I think is important when working on something so intense. There’s not a lot of humour because it’s a pretty awful situation [in the story].
EW: What was toughest part about doing an American accent?
Tennant: I don’t know. I’ve done accents over the years. You just kind of hack away at it until it sets in your mind. We grew up surrounded by American culture. It’s something we’re very familiar with. It’s not for me to say whether I’ve cracked it or not.
EW: The show’s title and the ending have changed for the Fox version. How do you feel about that?
Tennant: In terms of the ending, I’m just as in the dark as everybody else. I’m following the rumours in the press. Which is the same as the experience as filming Broadchurch. I’m told there will be a change, whether that’s a fundamental change or a tweak I have no idea. Certainly the pilot episode sticks very closely to the original, as the story goes on it eases out a bit, there’s extra twists and turns, some characters are more developed. I think the story will go in directions that fans wouldn’t necessarily recognize.
EW: Gracepoint is billed as a limited series. But would you be open to doing a second season?
Tennant: I’m still waiting to find out whether he comes back [in the second season of the UK's Broadchurch]. I suppose that might impact Gracepoint. I’m in the dark on that. I’d be thrilled to be involved, but it’s in the hands of others.
EW: What else has struck you as different about this version?
Tennant: I wouldn’t want to compare. But it’s been a fantastic first couple of weeks.
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Source: Entertainment Weekly