Jenna Coleman Interview

About a week and a half ago Zap2It had an interview with Jenna Coleman where she talked about everything from ComicCon to food.  Yes, I’m just getting around to it now.  Sorry!  Read on below:

Jenna Coleman might be the luckiest girl in the “Doctor Who” universe. She joined the show as the Doctor’s mysterious companion, Clara, in its 50th Anniversary season and found herself working with Matt Smith on his final episodes. Soon, she’ll help usher in a brand new Twelfth Doctor (to be announced in a live international TV special airing this weekend).

In less than a year’s time, she’s acted alongside famous guest stars including Diana Rigg, John Hurt, Warwick Davis, Richard E. Grant and David Warner and just recently made her first trek to Comic-Con (where her boyfriend, actor Richard Madden, also turned up to promote HBO’s “Game of Thrones”).

We sat down with Coleman for a one on one chat during the recent TCA summer press tour to discuss “Who”-mania, the upcoming 50th Anniversary and Christmas specials, what it was like working with iconic stars from “Who” past, and (because we couldn’t resist) what she thought of the “Game of Thrones” Red Wedding.

We even had a special guest interrupt the conversation…

Let’s talk a little bit about the 50th. I know you can’t say too much, but what was the vibe like on set, since it was the 50th Anniversary special. Did it feel like a regular episode?

Jenna Coleman: No, it didn’t. It was different in so many ways. Because it’s 3D, the way of shooting is totally different. The cameras are a lot bigger. It takes a lot more time with set ups, and actually filming the show. Also, just having so many people on set. It’s such an ensemble cast, with the three Doctors, with Billie Piper, myself, lots of different characters.

It was a really nice feeling because every day felt like a celebration. There was just a buzz. You knew you were part of something special, and part of the history of the show. There was that kind of atmosphere around. I have to think it will be lovely to look back in a few years and be like, ‘Cool, I was part of that whole thing!’

It looks like David Tennant and Matt Smith have terrific chemistry together judging by the Comic-Con trailer. Was that evident on the set too?

Yeah, from the read-through actually. You read it in the script, and you’re like, ‘This is brilliant. This is brilliant.’ It was so snappy. And just the kind of the humor that David’s doctor has, and then Matt — they’re very different doctors, very different but also there’s definitely a meeting of minds in humor. Then there’s also the antagonistic stuff as well going on. And John Hurt is completely his own [Doctor]. It’s just a great dynamic of the three of them being the one person.

Had you met Billie Piper before or was this the first time?

This was the first time I had met her. I heard a lot about her. Matt’s really good friends with Billie, so I felt like I met her before.

Did you compare companion notes at all?

It’s funny, the stuff you talk about is more like the logistics of like, ‘Oh yeah, I used to eat at this place.’ ‘Well, actually did you know about this place?’ ‘Oh, I stayed in this place.’ We shared notes on that kind of thing, and then we just really got on. She’s great to have around. She’s got such a good energy on set as well. We all had special chairs made for us for the 50th. In between takes and stuff like that, we’d sit around and it was just like a big family.

It sounds exciting.

It was, and we’d all get Nando’s at lunch. Do you have that here?

I haven’t heard of it.

It’s like a spicy chicken take-away. We’d all bond over Nando’s. It was everybody’s birthday as well, which was weird. It was my birthday, David’s birthday, Joe, our lead cameraman’s, birthday. I’d never been on a shoot with so much cake!

Did John Hurt eat Nando’s also?

No, John wasn’t into Nando’s.

I had to ask! Switching topics a bit, Steven Moffat said at Comic-Con that he’s still writing the Christmas Special with Matt’s departure. I’m not asking for spoilers but do you know anything about it at all?

I know a tiny little bit, but to be honest, I like to wait for script. I like to read it as the page turns.

At what point did you find out Matt would be leaving?

It was always [talked about] from day one. It’s not a decision that he’s made lightly, and it’s something that we’ve been all talking about for a while, so I kind of knew from the start, really, that, that was what was going to happen.

Did you get any reassurance for Clara that if the Doctor leaves, she would stay?

I’m trying to think how it went. I think the idea was, as it always is in the show, we get to know the doctor and a companion for a couple of seasons before they move on.

I definitely don’t want to see her go yet. We’ve only spent half a season with her, and during that time she was mostly a mystery.

That’s what I’m very excited about is that we can actually get the more human side. We couldn’t get to know too much about her because she was a mystery last year. It’s going to be nice just to have her as a human, as a girl. There’s quite a lot to explore still, I think.

When David Tennant left he was on his own, but Matt’s departure seems more similar to when Christopher Eccleston left and Rose got to continue with another Doctor.

It’s only been done once with Rose, I think. At the moment, it feels like a blank canvas. It’s totally in Steven’s mind. That’s what’s kind of exciting, with the nature of the show, we could go anywhere with it. I suppose there is an element of starting again as well which is always so exciting about the show.

I don’t know how they did this with Billie, but have you been involved in the casting process for the Twelfth Doctor in terms of chemistry tests or things like that?

Yeah, I think it’s a good way to do it. Obviously I had a few auditions with Matt, and I know Matt read with some of the [other] potential companions. I think it’s really good for the writers as well to see us read together.

It’s going to be exciting to have a front row seat to the casting because I’ve been on the other side of it quite a lot on different jobs. I’ve never actually been the girl reading with them, so it’s interesting. I like to see lots of different actors do the same scene, and how different they can make it and what they can do.

Have you started thinking at all about your own ending on the show? The Doctor’s companions are always leaving, and this seems like a very exciting time to be a part of “Doctor Who” because Arthur [Darvill] and Karen [Gillan] and Matt have all gone on to great roles.

Yeah. I saw Arthur on Broadway [in ‘Once’]! His voice is insane. I don’t know. It still feels very much like I’m at the beginning, but what’s quite nice is I’m working on something else [BBC miniseries ‘Death Comes to Pemberley’] at the moment. I sort of have a break and then I have another break, after Matt goes, later in the year because I know I’m not shooting until January. It means I get to explore other projects and come back, and that keeps me very happy.

What’s your role in “Pemberley” like?

I’m playing Lydia Wickham, who is, I apologize already to every single viewer because the director gave me the note, ‘We all should want to slap you in the face,’ so I’m basically as annoying and awful and hysterical a drama queen as possible. I’ve had a great time having a license to just be ridiculous, basically. But everybody else has to sit and witness it, so sorry about that.

I hope it’s okay to ask a “Game of Thrones” question, but what was your reaction to the Red Wedding, since you must have known that was coming?

I think my reaction was just this [jaw drops], for about five minutes. That’s something that I knew was coming, but it was just hand over mouth, shock.

And at Comic-Con you shared a panel with David Bradley [who plays Walder Frey on “Game of Thrones” and stars in the upcoming “Doctor Who” docudrama “An Adventure in Space and Time”], had you ever met him before?

No. He was in [‘Doctor Who’] but that was before I was. He’s a good friend of my boyfriend’s, and also Matt has said some wonderful things about David Bradley. He’s a rock star. He’s cool. You know somebody is a good actor when it makes you feel uncomfortable, afterwards even.

[At this point Matt Smith jumps in briefly to tease Coleman.]

Matt Smith: Is she still going on? I’m really sorry. She’s really boring.

I can’t get her to stop talking!

[Coleman to Smith:] Pipe down, Smith. Go eat some caramel wafers.

[Smith walks away smiling.]

Sorry about him.

It’s funny he did that because he keeps mentioning the great friendships that he’s made on the show, and it must be a little sad to think that he’ll be leaving soon.

I’ll miss him. I will so miss him. We don’t say things like that to each other. But I just can’t imagine it yet. That’s the thing, I don’t need to because we’ve not finished. We have yet to say our goodbyes and yet to even read those goodbyes, so I’ve not moved on. I’ve not dumped him just yet, you know what I mean?

You want to make the most of it.

Oh, massively. [Smith’s first full episode] ‘Eleventh Hour’ is one of my favorite episodes, and it’s one of Matt’s as well. I think he’s been such an incredible, amazing Doctor. [The Christmas special] is going to be such a tribute to Matt, and to the Eleventh Doctor.

We both just want to really go in there and make it up there with ‘Eleventh Hour’ — as strong as possible to give him the best goodbye possible. It’s gonna be exciting. Coming to Comic-Con, and seeing the trailers and things like that, you’re like, ‘Aw, I missed that,’ because we hadn’t done it for a couple of months. It’s like, ‘Let’s get ourselves back to Cardiff, and make some “Doctor Who”!’

The “Doctor Who” 50th Anniversary Special airs worldwide Nov. 23.

Bradley SDCC Interview

David Bradley discusses playing William Hartnell in An Adventure In Space And Time:

SDCC Doctor Who Panel

The full Doctor Who panel from San Diego ComicCon.

Doctor Who Panel

If you haven’t already heard, there’s a 50th anniversary Doctor Who panel at ComicCon on the Sunday.

Another one of my dream destinations, but that’s not relevant at all.

Craig Ferguson (a long time big Doctor Who fan) tweeted this today:

I’m honored to be moderating @BBCAMERICA’s Dr Who panel at #ComicCon in Hall H Sunday 21 @ 1230pm. #intellect&romance>bruteforce&cynicism

Now, aside from the fact he said Dr instead of Doctor, that’s pretty exciting.  Especially since he’ll be joining Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman, Steven Moffat, David Bradley and Mark Gatiss.

Moffat Interview

Entertainment Weekly had an interview with Steven Moffat talking about looking for a new actor and more!  I added it below because lately some of my links have been breaking.

Last month, the BBC announced that Doctor Who star Matt Smith had decided to leave the 50-year-old British science fiction show after this year’s special Christmas episode. So how goes the search for the next Doctor? “Well, it’s always just terrifying,” says Doctor Who executive producer Steven Moffat, who recruited Smith to replace his predecessor, David Tennant, back in late 2008. “If you’re a Doctor Who fan, as I have been all my life, you’ve been doing fantasy casting for this part for as long as you can remember. But when you’re suddenly faced with the reality that you are going to sit there and you are going to make that decision it does feel absolutely chilling. There’s a very big range of people who could play it and different ways you could go with it. We must get this right. One false move and the show’s over.”

Below, Moffat — who will be appearing at the Comic-Con Doctor Who 50th anniversary panel along with Smith and other Who notables — talks more about the search for a new Doctor, Smith’s decision to leave the show, and why he’s got a bone to pick with Ryan Gosling.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When do you hope to announce the identity of the new Doctor?
STEVEN MOFFAT: Unless we have an insane plan, we’ll announce a new Doctor within days of finalizing the new Doctor. Because it’s very very hard to keep any kind of a secret. The last time, when we chose Matt, we had to hold over on that one, because there was a Christmas Doctor Who special called “The Next Doctor” for which Russell (T. Davies, former Doctor Who showrunner) was playing the game of pretending it was going to be David Morrissey. So we couldn’t deflate that. [Laughs]. But I think we’ll go public pretty fast.

Have you at least narrowed down the sex of the actor who will be playing the new Doctor?
I’m not going to comment at all on the direction we’re going. Sorry!

Are you hoping the new Doctor will appear in this year’s Christmas special?
Yes. That’s not the hope — that’s the plan. It’ll be the traditional regeneration. You know, the eleventh will fall and the twelfth shall rise. And you’ll see that in the closing moments of the show. I mean, you sometimes sit and think, “Are there better ways of doing it? Is there a different way of doing it?” But quite honestly what could be better than that? It’s just too exciting. [Laughs]

Is Matt going to have to wear a wig when he films the Christmas special? He seems to have had a very severe haircut for his role in Ryan Gosling’s How to Catch a Monster.
We’re sprinkling fertilizer on his head as we speak. I don’t know. If you care to take a look at “The Angels Take Manhattan” there are a couple of scenes that Karen Gillan came back to do in the graveyard after she’d had her radical haircut and she is wearing what seems like a strategically draped otter on her head. [Laughs]

However, we effect it, the Doctor will turn up in his trademark quaff. We can’t have Matt’s last stand in the TARDIS without his proper look. So, thank you, Ryan Gosling…

Am I right in thinking that the new series—the first post-Matt shows—will be broadcast in late summer 2014?
I think that’s probably right. But these things change so often.

How did you find out that Matt was leaving?
Well, I’ve known broadly speaking for a very long while because I knew how long, when he first came in, he was broadly speaking intending to do. And obviously, being the man I am, I always tried to persuade him to do longer and to do more and he [stayed] a little bit longer than he intended to. I knew that he would do what most of them do and do his three years. It’s a difficult thing for any departing Doctor.

Curiously enough, it was really to me that David Tennant resigned. Because he was considering whether to continue now that I was taking over. And both of them went through the same experience. It’s not like leaving any other part, it really isn’t. It’s sort of like abdicating [the throne] and it’s genuinely emotional, it’s upsetting. It’s an upheaval in your life. It’s something you really have to contemplate. And I remember what both of them said during their period of anguish — when they were contemplating letting somebody else into the TARDIS — they both said, “There’s part of me, I would just stay doing it forever. So, if I don’t leave now, maybe I’ll just carry on forever. And that wouldn’t be right for me or the show.” It was a difficult, emotional experience for both of them.

When did he actually tell you that he was leaving?
We discussed ages ago that we would do three series and then he would do the 50th and then he’d do Christmas. That was Plan A for a very, very long while. That may sound cold that it was so far in advance but you’ve got to plan a career. [Laughs] The question was, “Will I be able to talk him out of it?” We went out for lunch and he said that he’d come very close to doing another series but it was the same argument: “If I do another series, I think I might do two more series, or three more series. I think I might never leave.” It’s that thing of wanting to leave while you’re a huge hit and not let it tail off. It’s part of the ecology of the program, it’s part of the DNA of the program, that there is going to be a new Doctor now and then.

None of them ever want to outstay their welcome, and Matt certainly didn’t. Not that I think he was in any danger of that, frankly. It’s also, it has to be said, an overwhelming schedule for the actor playing the Doctor. As a workload it precludes you doing anything else. It precludes theatre, it precludes any significant other television or film work really. And even trying to crowbar some time in for him to do other things — which was part of our charm offensive — in the end he wanted to go and develop the other parts of his career.

What can you tell us about this November’s Doctor Who 50th anniversary show?
[Laughs] Oh, well, very, very little. It will feature of course Matt and Jenna Coleman, but in addition there’ll be Billie Piper and David Tennant and John Hurt. But we’ve been really quite careful. We have a philosophy that anything we shot outside we had to own up to but the rest of it…You’re just going to have to wait until November to find out about.

What is the format of the 50th anniversary special? Is it movie-length?
It’s a special episode. I think you could call it movie-length, yeah. I mean, I’m saying that with a slight hint of vagueness because I don’t know the finished running time. [Laughs] It’s certainly well over an hour.

What was it like having Matt and David together?
They really loved each other and had a huge laugh together. And of course they’ve been through this experience that only the two of them can talk about, really, in the modern world. They are the two people that have played that part at a time when the series is this big. They spent the entire time just sitting together talking animatedly.

Could you talk about how their Doctors relate to each other? Traditionally, there’s been a bit of edge when Doctors have met each other onscreen?
Well, when you’re talking to yourself, there’s no filter! You don’t spare yourself! They’re quite a fun pairing, I would say. There’s a bit of the normal joshing of each other but they’re both such enthusiastic Doctors. While they might be sort of competing slightly, they’re both standing there saying, “Oh god, it’s so cool, there’s two of me!” So, it’s very different. I think the other one that worked brilliantly was Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton. They were incredibly funny together. This is very different from that but it’s a sublime double act.

What was it like working with John Hurt?
He’s wonderful. That’s hardly a headline: “John Hurt is a very good actor.” But he’s terrific. It’s a lovely 50th anniversary treat, I suppose. You get a whole new Doctor played by a proper screen legend.

The Tom Baker-era monsters the zygons are coming back?
Oh yes, that’s confirmed. We had to do a scene with the zygons outside, so there was no point in pretending they weren’t there. We kept very close to the original design. It’s a cracking monster.

I grew up in the ’70s and the zygons loom very large in my memory. I was quite surprised to recently discover they only really appeared in one episode.
That’s right. Only one story. Despite the fact that they are clearly one of the most successful monsters the show has ever had.

The other main part of the 50th anniversary celebrations is the TV movie An Adventure in Space and Time, which details the creation of the show and actor William Hartnell’s tenure as the original Doctor. What else can you tell us about that?
Oh, it’s gorgeous. It’s a very, very different celebration of Doctor Who.

Are you aware that David Bradley (who plays Hartnell in the movie) is now a thousand times more famous in America than he was a couple of months ago thanks to his pivotal role on the recent season of Game of Thrones?
Oh, brilliant. That’s excellent. I love David. He’s such a clever actor. And we’ve had him in the proper show as well. He’s in “Dinosaurs On a Spaceship.”

How much longer do you yourself intend to stay with the show?
I think a year at a time. I’ve signed up for this next year, with the new Doctor. It’s one of those jobs when you know when you’ve had enough. At the moment I haven’t had enough and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I’m very excited for the challenge of the new Doctor and establishing that new Doctor. So, no plans to leave as yet. But that doesn’t mean I’ll be here for 20 years. There will come that day when I think it’s time someone else had a go and it’s time I did something else.

You’re also the executive producer of Sherlock. Have you finished shooting the new series yet?
Oh, I wish! We’ve done two. But we’ve now got a small gap — a small gap? A large gap! — while Martin (Freeman) goes back to New Zealand to film a bit more of the Hobbit and then he’ll return to us. Hopefully, by that time, I’ll actually have finished the Sherlock script I’m writing and we’ll make another one.

We’ll, I’d better let you go off and do that.
[Laughs] Yeah, that might be an idea.

Steven Moffat talks more about the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special and An Adventure in Space and Time in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly.

An Adventure In Space And Time

For those of you who don’t already know, the BBC is making a docudrama (documentary? drama?  I have no idea what that means) about the team/making of Doctor Who in the 60s.  It’s called “An Adventure In Space And Time” (written by Mark Gatiss) and is supposed to be 90 minutes long, airing in November during the 50th Anniversary celebrations.

Casting is obviously completed, and photos have already come out of David Bradley as William Hartnell.

See them HERE if you’re interested.