The Lowdown: Things You Didn’t Know About Matt Smith

January 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

So, the 11th Doctor Who is Matt Smith. Wait…wait, what? Doctor who, exactly? Oh. Cool. He looks like he sleeps in a coffin, but that’s cool, right? Right?

Anyway, Matt Smith it is, and the expectations for him are rocketing as more and more journalists plumb the depths of Google and discover his impressive credentials in the West End and on some of the best British TV of the last few years. A lot of people are talking about Olivier nominations and five star performances, so we thought we’d bring you this: TRIVIA!

1. Smith was originally planning to be a professional footballer, and played in the youth teams of Northampton, Nottingham Forest and Leicester City before a serious back injury left his career stuck in the mud.

2. He was so in demand early in his career that he was forced to come to an agreement with his university so that he could graduate without attending lectures.

3. His sister is a professional dancer who recently took part in the Take That world tour. Laura Jayne Smith has also danced with Westlife, Blue, Craig David and Rachel Stevens as well as starring in Eric Pydz’s aerobotica video for Call On Me.

4. Visited Brazil with playwright Polly Stenham (That Face), who is also Harry Treadaway’s girlfriend, for a two week holiday. He ended up staying six weeks and falling in love. He says “it’s a bloody nightmare because she’s 6,000 miles away”. Love hurts, man.

5. As well as football, Smith flirted with an academic career in history. “I’ve always found history fascinating. It’s amazing these real life stories can stand the test of time.”

6. He met actors Harry and Luke Treadaway when they were all at the National Youth Theatre together. The rules were strict, and they’d been lectured on “not having sex with people and stuff”, so Matt was leaning out of the window for a cigarette. He saw Harry’s head pop out of a window next door to do the same, followed by his twin Luke. They’ve been firm friends ever since.

7. He is the youngest ever Doctor Who, but is only three years younger than Peter Davison at the time. Davison was 29 when he was cast as the Timelord, whilst Smith is 26.

8. Smith has worked with Hollywood hellraiser Christian Slater twice. His first professional role was opposite Slater in Fresh Kills, and they later worked together in Swimming With Sharks. When asked about the latter he said that Slater was a “good guy” but Smith was less than comfortable with his position in a West End star vehicle.

9. Matt Smith’s generic name contributed to the general nonplussed reaction to his casting as the Doctor. There are 41 Matt Smiths on IMDb. The new, 11th Doctor is Matt Smith (XI). COINCIDENCE ALERT!

10. Paddy Power bookies paid out £5,000 to the 15 people who backed Smith to become the new Doctor. 10 of those 15 were from the same area where Smith’s dad lives, and Smith’s dad was the only person he told about the role prior to the official announcement. Shady dealings…

By Chris Harding