Matt Smith, 30, was born in Northamptonshire. He was pursuing a footballing career until a back injury at 16 forced him out of the game. A teacher encouraged him to join the National Youth Theatre, and he later studied drama and creative writing at UEA. He appeared on stage in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys and his first major TV role was in the seriesParty Animals. In 2009 he was cast as the 11th Doctor Who, becoming the youngest person to play the character. The new series starts tonight on BBC1.
When were you happiest?
I believe happiness is in the moment, so now.
What is your greatest fear?
Losing people I love.
What is your earliest memory?
Getting my head cracked open at playschool when I was three. I was on a pirate swing and I fell under it and it sliced into my head. I had 24 stitches. If I ever shaved my head, I’d have a massive scar there.
Which living person do you most admire, and why?
My dad, because he is full of integrity and good humour; and my grandad, because he’s full of the same.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
They happen every day. I am terribly clumsy, so there is a plethora of walking into lamp-posts, falling over, dropping things and ruining sofas.
What makes you unhappy?
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I’ve got big ears.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
I don’t know yet. I haven’t lived it all.
What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?
I am a fancy dress grump, to be honest.
What is your favourite word?
What is your favourite book?
The Master And Margarita (Mikhail Bulgakov) or A Million Little Pieces(James Frey).
To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
If I wanted to say sorry, then I would have said it.
What or who is the love of your life?
Football, family and exploring something creative.
What does love feel like?
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Albert Einstein, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Eric Cantona. AndJennifer Lawrence can come, too.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Classic”, “safe” and “sick”.
What is the worst job you’ve done?
On my first day as a glass collector, I had to brush sick off a carpet, which was pretty horrendous.
What has been your biggest disappointment?
I got injured when I was a kid and it prevented me from becoming a footballer. Now I am quite happy being an actor but, at the time, that was the biggest thing to overcome.
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
More clarity, or if I went to the gym more.
What keeps you awake at night?
Everything. I am a terrible sleeper.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
I don’t want to think that far ahead, but a song I like is Herb Alpert’s This Guy’s In Love With You. Let’s pretend it’s going to be played at my wedding instead.
How would you like to be remembered?