Fan Expo 2017: Doctor Who’s Matt Smith Talks Bow Ties, Doctor Thirteen, And Marvel
Before a legion of bow ties and fez hats, Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith appeared at Fan Expo in Toronto last night, kicking off a weekend that also features appearances from Doctor Who companions Billie Piper and Catherine Tate. Smith fielded fan questions about the next Doctor, talked about the pressure of playing such an iconic role, and revealed what kind of projects he’d like to take on next, now that he’s been both the Doctor and Prince Philip (opposite Claire Foy in The Crown). Here are the highlights from Smith’s time on stage:
Like Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor, Smith recalled how he helped create the look of his version of the character. “For the first meeting, I went in a tweed blazer, which is why he wears a tweed blazer. I thought, ‘Well, he’s old, so I’ve got to make him feel kind of professorial.’ I had a tweed blazer which I loved and which, obviously, I can never wear again. I was really annoyed at the time because I thought I looked really cool in it,” he said.
“I tried so many costumes on and at first he was quite pirate-y—he was in stripes and like a long coat and he looked a bit like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. Once we got the whole costume on, it felt like something was missing and I was like, ‘Can I try a bow tie on?’ and Steven Moffat was like ‘No, you can’t wear a bow tie’ but I tried it on and suddenly it sort of lifted the whole outfit.”
Smith, who hadn’t watched a single episode of Who before landing the role of the Eleventh Doctor, revealed that the weight of fan expectations had him on edge: “There was a great deal of pressure from the outside,” he said. “The thing with Doctor Who is that I’d walk down the street and people would be like, ‘Don’t break Doctor Who!’ And I’d be like ‘Please love me.’ Everyone loved David [Tennant] so much—and rightly so because that was such an amazing era.”
And so Smith understands what kind of pressure that Thirteen, Broadchurch actor Jodie Whittaker, is under—as both the new Doctor and the first female incarnation of the character. That said, he’s confident that she’ll be successful. “I think it’s absolutely what we should do,” said Smith. “Doctor Who as an idea is at its best when it’s inventing things and being brave with the forum. Having a woman come in and play the Doctor suddenly makes me go ‘Wow! What’s she gonna do?’ She’s a brilliant actress, she’s a great person, and I think she’s going to be a rocket. I’m really excited.”
Wanna know what’s next for Smith? It could be a move to the Marvel Universe, following in the footsteps of his Who castmates David Tennant (Kilgrave in Jessica Jones) and Karen Gillan (Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy). “I’d love to. They’ve got ask me though, the swines,” he joked. “But it would have to be the right project. It would have to be something that felt different enough to Doctor Who. I love so many of those movies and I love Nebula, because Karen’s blue. With no hair. Anyway, I’d love to… If you’re listening, Marvel.”