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Matt Smith Reflects on the Price of Fame: “Doctor Who Was Quite Discombobulating”

Being thrust into the limelight is a daunting thing for anyone, let alone when starring in one of the best known franchises in the world, so it’s interesting to hear Matt Smith, who played the Eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who, reflect on how he deals with such fame.

The 41-year-old actor, currently starring at the Duke of York’s theatre, London, for An Enemy of the People (from 6th February to 6th April), says his friendships keep him grounded:

“Yeah, my two best friends, Alex and Nick. We lived in the same street as children. They’ve been very important to me in my life. Especially when you get a job like Doctor Who, which thrusts you overnight into a completely different atmosphere. It’s quite discombobulating. Suddenly, people recognise you.”

Indeed, it sounds as if he thinks fame isn’t really for him, but it’s a useful way of doing what you want to do. He goes on:

“I’m a firm believer in trying to commit to keeping things as everyday as possible. I had a nice talk with the cab driver on the way here. ‘What are you up to?’ he asked. I was listening to Talk Radio. I said: ’What do you mean? I’m off to work.’ And he said: ‘I know that, but what are you doing?’ I was, like: ’Oh, sorry mate, of course…’”

Matt played the Eleventh Doctor between 2010 and 2013, Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary year, with a cameo in Peter Capaldi’s first full episode, Deep Breath, too.

And since then, his career has included some hits — like The Crown and House of the Dragon — alongside a few misses. Nonetheless, Smith is consistently great, and it’s wonderful to hear he’s still grounded and committed to the arts.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Matt Smith Reflects on the Price of Fame: “Doctor Who Was Quite Discombobulating”

by Philip Bates time to read: 1 min
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