David Tennant: "I'm Quite Looking Forward To Having A Shave”

David Tennant recently spoke to Rolling Stone about starring in both Broadchurch and the American remake Gracepoint, which premieres on Thursday night in the USA. 

Broadchurch, which aired in the UK to huge critical acclaim, followed the impact of the murder of a boy on a small seaside town in the West Country. David played the secretive, taciturn and permanently grumpy DI Alec Hardy, who led up the investigation. In Gracepoint he essentially reprises the role, although Hardy has now become Detective Emmett Carver, equally as secretive, taciturn and permanently grumpy, while the story has been shifted from the Dorset coast to California.

David, currently working on series 2 of Broadchurch in the UK said that there was a very short gap between finishing work on Gracepoint in Canada and starting production on his new series, giving little time for him to shift his mindset from one character to the next.

“I got on a plane in Canada after finishing Gracepoint and I had the read for Broadchurch the day after I landed. They had to finish me early on the American series so that I could get back to start the British one,” he said. “I read [the new Broadchurch script] when it arrived and thought, you know what? I am just going to have to hit the ground running with this, because it was too disorienting. They're similar worlds, but they actually feel quite different. It's rather schizophrenic, so I thought: I'm just going to have to deal with that when I get home.”

Asked about what had initially drawn him to Broadchurch, he said, “The way that Chris Chibnall drew the characters, it wasn't just about a murder and who had done it; the story was also about this brilliantly drawn community. It was so raw in a way that I wasn't used to seeing it.”

As it became clear that Broadchurch was becoming a phenomenon around the world, Fox TV posited their own version, Gracepoint. David was asked when he first decided to come aboard the remake.

“I know there was a moment where it was sort of a notion before it was actually green-lit, and I remember reading that I was connected before I was even aware it was actually happening,” he said. “Obviously it was an unusual idea, and reasonably unprecedented.”

David also faced then oft-asked question on what it felt like to be playing different incarnations of the same character twice.

“I keep getting asked, "Was it peculiar to tell the same story again?" But as an actor, that's part of what you do,” he explained. “You often do 14 takes of the same lines; in the theater, you tell the same story every night with all the same actors around you. So really, telling a similar story in a very different set of circumstances wasn't as peculiar as I think a lot of people imagine it would be. If there's a story that's compelling and a script that's good, then you think: Well, I'll tell it as many times as people want to hear it, frankly.”

“But then it's not the same character,” he added. “They really feel quite different in my bones. Though they both look quite similar. And I'm quite looking forward to having a shave!”

Read the full interview with Rolling Stone here 

Gracepoint premieres on Fox in the US and on Global in Canada on Thursday 2nd October at 9pm ET. The series also stars Anna Gunn, Nick Nolte, Kevin Zegers and Jacki Weaver.

Find out more about the series on our website.

Series 2 of Broadchurch is still filming in the UK, and is expected to air on ITV early next year.