Published on January 3rd, 2009 | by Christian Cawley
Who is…Matt Smith?
Eleventh Doctor Who Matt Smith is just 26, and hails from Northampton. A back injury forced his early retirement from professional football while he was just 16.
Following this injury and with encouragement from teacher Jerry Hardingham, Matt decided to join the National Youth Theatre.
Matt first gained attention at the Royal Court Theatre when cast in the play Fresh Kills, directed by Wilson Milam. Already a stalwart of the National Youth Theatre, his performance at the Court led to a variety of theatrical experiences at the National Theatre: in the award-winning History Boys (directed by Nick Hytner), On The Shore Of The Wide World (directed by Sarah Frankcom) and also in the acclaimed trio of plays Burn / Citizenship / Chatroom (directed by Anna Mackmin).
These roles led to Matt appearing alongside Billie Piper in Phillip Pullman’s period detective stories, The Ruby In The Smoke and The Shadow In The North on BBC One in which he played Jim, right-hand man to Billie’s detective heroine Sally Lockhart.
He later moved on to the lead role of Danny in the BBC Two series Party Animals, a brilliantly observed drama set in the decadent and greedy world of young politicians, and in a dazzling return to the Royal Court in 2007, Matt played Henry in Polly Stenham’s award-winning first play That Face. It was this performance that gained Matt Smith an Evening Standard Best Newcomer nomination.
Matt Smith has also appeared opposite Christian Slater in Swimming With Sharks, Mike Leslie’s West End adaptation of the 1994 Hollywood film.
More recent screen roles include The Street on BBC One, and Matt has recently completed work on Moses Jones for BBC Two in which he plays lead character of Dan Twentyman.