Hello, I'm Matt Smith, and I'm wearing a fez!
Matt Smith is a British actor, born October 28th 1982, in the Midlands
(Northampton to be precise). He aimed to be a professional footballer, but a back injury put an end to that, and he went into acting instead.
Matt appeared in the National Theatre production of The History Boys
, which was also made into a film, but not with him in. On TV, he appeared as Jim Taylor in two adaptations of Philip Pullman
's Sally Lockhart novels, alongside Billie Piper
in the title role. He also appeared alongside her in Secret Diary of a Call Girl
, which should make for some... interesting fanvids in the years to come.
He appears in a deleted scene of In Bruges
as the younger version of Ralph Fiennes' character, and decapitates a policeman with a sabre. He stars alongside Bond girl Eva Green
in the 2010 film Womb
However, "Matt Smith (XI
)", as he's listed on IMDB
, has now been catapulted into the UK national consciousness. On January 3rd 2009, the BBC announced that he would be playing the Eleventh regeneration of the Doctor in Doctor Who
. Aged 26 when cast, he is the youngest person to ever play the Doctor.
Naturally, this is the fourth time where he's appeared on a show or TV special that Billie Piper
has been on (and with the 50th anniversary special, the fourth time they've worked together).
Shortly after the announcement, he was seen in the BBC2
three-part drama Moses Jones
, a murder mystery set in London's Ugandan community, as DS Dan Twentyman.
Like Peter Davison
, he's succeeding a beloved, loud, eccentric, and unbelievably popular Doctor, and is the youngest Doctor at the time of his entry onto the series. He's doing spectacularly well at it as well.
Extremely clumsy, as Moffat has related — just as Moffat was proposing to Piers Wenger (fellow executive producer) to run a book on how long Smith would take to break the sonic screwdriver prop, the prop man walked past...
Not much of a fan to begin with (both he and Karen Gillan
grew up in the period between 1989 and 2005 when the show was off the air), he started watching the old stories and became a big fan of Patrick Troughton
. (He called up Steven Moffat
in the middle of the night to spend twenty minutes raving about "The Tomb of the Cybermen
". Then asked for a bow tie.) To get a feel for his character, he wrote Fan Fiction
with the Doctor meeting Albert Einstein
He has the same name
as a presenter on ITV's football coverage, and over sixty cast and crew members (including eleven actors) according to IMDb.
Not well-known for his musical skills, he is nevertheless an accomplished keyboardist — and was, for one brief, shining moment, the third member of Orbital, actually playing the Doctor Who theme live at Glastonbury
The more you get to know him, the more you get the feeling he has to tone it down
to play The Doctor.
Tropes commonly associated with Doctor Eleven, er... Matt Smith, or even applicable to him in Real Life:
- Ability Over Appearance: Steven Moffat said at one point that he was getting sick of younger Doctors, and was planning to cast an actor who was at least middle-aged. In walks Matt, who was only in his mid-20's at the time, and the rest is history.
- Bow Ties Are Cool: Insisted the Doctor needed a bow tie. Trope Namer.
- Buffy Speak
I always wanted something purple, a la Pertwee
. And so now Iíve got purple tweed, and cool purpley boots and a cool purpley waistcoat and a purple bowtie and purple lining. Iíve got my purple wish.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He is, frankly, completely mad and a massive goof but also a very talented actor and the first Doctor to be nominated for an Emmy.
- The Cast Showoff: Gets to show off his football skills in the episode "The Lodger".
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander
- The Klutz: According to Steven Moffat. There was a running bet on how long it would take for Matt to break the sonic screwdriver. See the Quotes page for more.
- While filming "Let's Kill Hitler," to avoid getting it dirty, Matt took off his tuxedo jacket and put it on a table...into a glass of grape juice.
- This has become so well-known amongst his fans that when the news broke that he was going to be carrying the Olympic torch in Cardiff, the (affectionate) response was "Goodbye, Cardiff. You'll rebuild."
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Allegedly was made fun of in school for having an elbow on his face.
- Large Ham: Gives an ode to overacting in the episode "The Power of Three", and it is glorious.
- Turns it up to Eleven when playing the Cyber-Planner "Mr. Clever" persona in Nightmare in Silver.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Matt Smith vs. Matt Smith in the aforementioned Nightmare in Silver. He's also had some pretty epic battles with Who's guest stars, such as Dame Diana Rigg in The Crimson Horror.
- Meaningful Name: It's rather appropriate that IMDB attaches the Roman numeral for 11 onto his name, given he's the Eleventh Doctor.
- The Midlands
- Mr. Fanservice: There's more where this came from. In that movie, Christopher And His Kind, he has a very naked, very gay makeout session with a very hot man.
- Nice Hat: He's become fond of the bowler◊ as of late.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Zero. Matt, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill would often play a game of "uncomfortable touch" with new actors and see how far they could go. (Jonathan Ross played a round with Matt as well on his show and got in a thorough grope.)
- Throw It In: That Big Damn Kiss between the Doctor and companion Rory? Wasn't scripted.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Karen Gillan like to tease each other, and during Doctor Who Confidential, he's often seen pestering her, mimicking her Scottish accent, and sometimes chasing her around with a badger puppet. However, it's very obvious that they both care deeply for each other, and are very close friends. (This has actually been said about all four cast members on the show at the time - Matt, Karen, Arthur Darvill and Alex Kingston.)
- Wag The Director: Matt didn't feel happy in any of the outfits the Doctor Who crew put him in, and eventually insisted on trying on a bow tie and suspenders. Steven Moffat objected that an outfit like that would be more of a Doctor Who parody than anything else. As soon as Matt was in his chosen outfit, though, things fell into place and his Doctor's entire wardrobe was changed into the one we know and love about half a day before the deadline.
- The Wonka: Before he was cast as the Eleventh Doctor, Smith tried out for the role of Dr. John Watson in Sherlock. Moffat rejected him for being too 'barmy' — the Moff said he would have fit Sherlock quite well, but they'd already settled on Benedict Cumberbatch for that role.