The actor on becoming a podcaster, the ‘too PC’ Doctor Who backlash and stealing Neil Tennant’s surname
David Tennant, 47, was born David McDonald in West Lothian. Aged three, he told his parents he wanted to become an actor because of Doctor Who. He studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama before a series of stage roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2005, he fulfilled his childhood dream when he was cast as the 10th Doctor, a role he played for five years. Subsequent screen credits have included Broadchurch, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Marvel’s Jessica Jones. He’s married to actor Georgia Moffett and they have four children. He has just launched a new interview podcast series, David Tennant Does a Podcast With…, featuring indepth conversations with cultural figures such as Olivia Colman and Whoopi Goldberg.
You’ve described your new podcast as “slightly inexplicable”. How did it come about?
It happened accidentally, starting with a conversation with my agent about my predilection for podcasts. Before I knew what was happening, I was in a production meeting, postulating who might take part. The people I asked were keen, so suddenly I had to do it. It’s been interesting to have this other life. A side-hustle.
You’ve joked that maybe it’s a midlife crisis. Is it?
If it is, it’s less destructive than running off with a go-go dancer or buying a sports car. I’m 50 in a handful of years, which feels like a preposterous thing to say. In my head, I’m 30 at most.
Was there a particular podcast that inspired yours?
Alec Baldwin’s Here’s the Thing. It’s not his day job either, yet he does it incredibly well, probably because he’s so cool and fearless. I’m neither of those things, but I liked the way he sat down, often with people he knows or has a connection to, for a rambling, freeform interview that is often very revealing.