|Photo by Murdo Macleod for the Observer Magazine|
Euan Ferguson's interview with Matt Smith appeared in The Guardian last Saturday. Introduced as the "lord of misrule" the writer remarks that the actor "spends all his time in Wales, has no social life, and he's just broken up with Daisy Lowe. But as Doctor Who returns, Smith [reveals] why he's the luckiest man on TV."
The pair discuss the Higgs boson (aka. the "God particle"), Harris Tweed (steeped in a "piss bucket"), and Smith's Best Sci-Fi Actor award, before getting round to this year's Christmas special, described as Tim Burton-esque!
Now two years into the role of the Time Lord, does the actor "feel he's changed him at all?" Having achieved the near-impossible feat of successfully following David Tennant into the TARDIS, this Doctor is "still evolving" and Smith lovingly sums up his portrayal:
"As the doctor ages he gets younger and sillier. He's over 1,000 now, I think. And – oh, I just like him. His lack of cynicism. He's like a baby. He wants to sniff, to taste, everything; he'll never dismiss anything. As we get older – perhaps I'm just speaking for myself – we can get too cynical. If he had a… bath, it would be filled with rubber ducks which could talk or something; he'd find a way to reinvent the common bath. And I admire that."
And asking the inevitable question, does this eleventh incarnation now have a finite lifespan? Again, Smith answers with typical enthusiasm and honesty:
"It depends on your physical and mental state at the end of every shoot. I just take it year by year, but I'm quite excited by the coming year – it's the 50th anniversary, which'll let us be even bigger and bolder than ever." It's harder to think how much bigger, bolder, stranger. Don't there come limits? "Never. Not in Doctor Who. That's the beauty of it. You're never bound by logic, or time, or genre, or space, or location, which is what makes it such an ingenious televisual conceit."
Ferguson also discovers how Smith's sporting injury resulted in an accidental acting career:
"I'd been playing football my whole life, really. Loved it – still do. I was at Leicester City at the time, and it wasn't any one incident, just a succession, and it was L5, my lumbar 5, there was a problem with that. I'll never forget it, the day before my history GCSE, and Leicester said they wouldn't be extending my contract because of it – it was a nasty time, bleak, but at least I was just 16."
The rest of the interview covers many other topics, such as the programme's ratings, Smith's drama teacher, past projects, fame, Richard Dawkins, filming new Who, and bow ties! Read the full conversation here.