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Richard E Grant - The Doctor.
Sherlock in space
How are you approaching the role of the Doctor?
I think I must be the only actor who’s never seen Doctor Who, or read it. I’m completely a virgin to it so I don’t know whether that’s a disadvantage or an advantage - that will be for other people to decide. It’s struck me that it’s Sherlock Holmes in outer space. That’s what it seems to be like. I don’t know whether that’s accurate or inaccurate, but you just follow the script.
Into the future
Where would you travel if you had a TARDIS?
Oh the future. I think a tendency that almost inevitably you have is to think, ‘Who would you have as your ideal dinner guests?’ or ‘Who would you be if you went back to Egyptian times?' You’d be a Pharaoh, you wouldn’t be some poor slave hauling rock across the desert. I think the standard of living and the way that we live now, certainly in the West, is so sophisticated compared to anything that’s gone before that I would definitely like to live to at least 120 and see what the future’s like.
What’s been your favourite moment of the recording?
We haven’t been doing it in sequence – we jump around a lot. I think hearing everyone else doing the Shalka screams and the various sound effects and things. That’s more enjoyable than anything that I’ve done.
An actor's life
What's it been like working with Sir Derek Jacobi?
I worked with him in Gosford Park so I’d met him before and I knew Diana Quick. I think it’s like anything, it’s actors sitting around telling stories of past humiliations and things that are common to most actor’s lives - bad reviews, unemployment, the worst people you’ve ever worked with, the most monstrous egos. All that stuff provided daily entertainment, and bonding.
What has been the most unusual role in your career?
This one, because I have no idea what the thing looks like. When I’ve done animated things before you’re given a storyboard or a sketch of what the character that you’re doing looks like, whereas in this one they’re basing it on our faces, and because we don’t know what the costumes look like, I’m totally in the dark.
Do you have any interest in science fiction or fantasy?
I think it’s very cinematic and 2001 is - I still think is a kind of bench mark, all time science fiction classic film. I don’t think it’s been bettered.
Are you a Kubrick fan?
Yeah, a big Kubrick fan and I had read Arthur C Clarke’s book before I saw it but that’s the only science fiction book I’ve ever read, so I’m a hopeless interviewee in terms of science fiction and the future I’m afraid.
What do you think the future holds?
A lot of science fiction has said that the future’s going to be everybody with large heads, small feet and wearing space age suits. We’ve reached the time that all that was predicted 50 or 60 years ago - that’s not where we’re going to be going.
With Nails 2
Are you planning on writing a second autobiography?
No. I think that because the diary begins with the first film I ever made, there was a kind of natural arc of going on, from total inexperience, being wide-eyed and in Babylon kind of thing, and so you as a reader go through a similar kind of journey. I think that once you’ve done it then the second volume is diminishing returns, really.