INTERVIEW: "I’ve Never Been Particularly Drawn To Straightforward Heroes" - David Tennant Talks To Newsweek



In a new interview with Iva Dixit for Newsweek, David Tennant talks about the role of Richard II, which he is currently reprising for the Royal Shakespeare Company in New York. David also talks about starring as Kilgrave in Marvel's Jessica Jones, his respect for Shakespeare and about playing the hero. Take a  sneak peek at what he says below:

On Richard II:
“I’ve always loved this play! I saw it for the first time in drama school. I saw Derek Jacobi do it. It’s just…the story of it! The unexpectedness of it! The extraordinary journey of that central character, who started out being so unlikable and so difficult to engage with, and yet Shakespeare confounds you. And just when you believe that Bolingbroke’s done the right thing—he allows Richard to discover humanity and discover perspective and objectivity”

On playing heroic roles:
“I’ve never been particularly drawn to straightforward heroes…Even when I played what you might call “heroic characters,” they’ve been slightly off centre, slightly left field, you know? I’ll never play Superman, you know what I mean?”

On Kilgrave's similarities to Richard:
“Nobody will ever say no to either of them. Imagine what that must do to your psychology, and how must that form your character as you grow up. In some ways, I think they’re both marooned in childhood.”

On the legacy of William Shakespeare:
“Shakespeare has survived because he has extraordinary things to say, and if we can hear them, they can enlighten us in a way that no other playwright has ever quite managed to achieve.” 

On Richard's long hair:

“…It’s been something of a liberation to have it as a wig this time around.”


David is currently appearing at the BAM Harvey Theatre in Brooklyn in Richard II, part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's King & Country Great Cycle Of Kings. The play is being performed in rotation with Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 and Henry V. The cycle remains in residence until early May.


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