David Tennant On HBO's Camping: "Walt Is Kind Of Me, Really"



Last month, HBO staged at panel for their new limited series comedy Camping at the TCA Summer Press Tour in Beverley Hills. The show's creator Jenni Konner and star Jennifer Garner fielded questions from assembled American and Canadian entertainment journalists, ad were joined by David Tennant, appearing live by satellite from the UK. David plays the henpecked husband to Jennifer's hyper-controlling character. Camping is an eight part series based on the UK show of the same name, created by Julia Davis, which aired on Sky Atlantic. 

Entertainment site Eurweb has posted some of David's comments from the panel:

On whether he deliberately chose the role to contrast with the psychopathic characters of Kilgrave and Cale Erendreich:
"No, I didn't. But then this came in and you go, oh well that's perfect because, you know, you can only play so many psychopaths without taking it home. So, it was lovely to play someone who's so sweet and open-hearted and long-suffering and possibly most like the real me that I've ever done. The physical manifestation of Walt is how I feel inside much more than some sort of sharp-suited psychopathic villain."  

On identifying with the character of Walt:

"It was hugely appealing to kind of get into that headspace and bucket hat. I think the character brought more resonances with myself when I wear my hats even in public. I think Jen and I have, and I'm not suggesting for a second Jennifer that she is mad as Kathryn is, but we've both had sort of character traits that I think we could identify with."

On going camping:
"I’ve always assumed before I ever did it I would hate camping because I do quite like home comfort and a shower and not smelling, clean undercrackers. These things are important. And so I have only been proper camping once. And it was sort of a disaster. I went to a music festival and we got rained on and I woke up the next morning, there was rivers down the side, either side of the tent we were in. And it didn’t really improve for the four or five days. And I resisted briefly. And then I just surrendered and part of me kind of went feral and kind of loved it, but I've not rushed back."

On which is most challenging: comedy or drama? 
"You're just trying to always do the same thing. You're just trying to be truthful. And I think the more kind of scrupulous you can be about being truthful, the funnier something is. I try to sort of approach the two in the same way. I think as soon as you try to be funny, it can kind of become a little bit knowing. A show like this, it's about the characters, and those characters have got to be believable and rooted in something real. I slightly worry that this is closer to the real me than anything I did in Jessica Jones. Walt is, you know, that's kind of me, really. And so there’s something liberating and slightly alarming about allowing myself to go there."

On the US vs. UK versions:
"I know Julia Davis's work overall. I’ve been a massive fan of her forever, and I love that she goes to some very dark, quite surreal places. Nighty Night was a work of great genius, Human Remains was brilliant. But I hadn’t seen Camping until this came up for me, and I sought it out, and loved it. But as genius as it is, it feels very British...which is part of its joy. I think what Jenny and Lena [Dunham] managed to do was to take something that's recognisably the same show and make it very much their own. If you've seen the British show, you’ll recognise it, but then it becomes very much its own beast very quickly."


Camping centres on the uptight and controlling Kathryn, played by Jennifer Garner, and her downtrodden and obedient husband Walt, played by David Tennant. Kathryn has organised a camping trip to celebrate Walt's 45th birthday, which is supposed to be a delightful return to nature. But when the festivities gather Kathryn's meek sister, her holier-than-thou ex-best friend and a free-spirited tagalong in one place, the weekend becomes one of tested marriages and woman-on-woman crime that won't soon be forgotten. The series also stars Juliette Lewis, Ione Skye, Janicza Bravo, Brett Gelman and Bridget Everett.

Camping will premiere in the USA on October 14th.


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