Chatting to The Observer at the weekend, nth Doctor John Hurt revealed his delight at being involved with the 50th anniversary, as well as describing fans as “charming”.
Currently in Hungary shooting the $150m film Hercules: The Thracian Wars with Dwayne Johnson (you probably know him better by his incredibly stupid moniker The Rock), Hurt chats about various things including new film More Than Honey, a documentary he narrates about the threat to bees (which has been going on for years, long before The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End in 2008).
Most interesting to us (beyond Hurt’s attitude to turning down work and avoiding the Soho lifestyle of old) is of course his involvement with Doctor Who. However there is more than one 50th anniversary under discussion – the actor first appeared on the big screen in 1963!
I’d never thought of that, but let’s use it! Oh yes, there’s a huge link definitely. But I had no idea that Doctor Who had got so huge; I just thought, “Brilliant, I’ll be a Doctor!” I was suddenly – what do they call it? You start “trending”. This is all new to me!
Since his surprise casting and appearance at the close of The Name of the Doctor, John Hurt has encountered fans on convention panels – something he was a little concerned about at first…
I was terrified of doing it because I thought they’d all be loonies, but they are absolutely, totally charming as anything. It’s great fun. I’m not saying it’s the healthiest thing – I don’t know whether it is or isn’t – but they are very charming.
Finally, Hurt avoided questions as to his Doctor’s nature, but took time to praise Matt Smith and David Tennant.
Of course you have to remember that the Doctors are all one person, so I’m not outside of that. I can’t talk about it, but I will say I was really impressed when I did it. Both the previous doctors – Matt Smith and David Tennant – boy, are they good at it. Whoa-wee! They are so quick, and there’s a huge amount of learning and no time to learn it in. All that fake scientific nonsense. Terribly difficult to learn.
You’ll find out more about this great actor by reading the article, available on the Guardian website.