DWO interviews Doctor Who Actor, Calvin Dean, regarding his role as 'Ha-Ha' in the Neil Gaiman-penned, Doctor Who episode; 'Nightmare In Silver', as well as his career as an actor.
'Nightmare In Silver' sees your Doctor Who acting debut, but you've previously had an appearance in the Doctor Who spin off 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' as a Slitheen as well. What was it like working with the SJA team, and how do the two productions vary?
My SJA experience was very brief. Unfortunately I didn't actually get to be the Slitheen as that was performed by Jimmy Vee. I had one scene as the “human” Slitheen and the rest was Jimmy with my voice. It was a great experience though and to work with the great Liz Sladen was a joy. I also got to meet David Tennant and K-9...not sure which was more exciting!
SJA and DW are very similar in lots of ways. Some of the crew were the same and of course both produced in Cardiff. The big difference is the new Roath Lock studios which are huge and very impressive! The size of the studios is vast and I nearly wandered onto the Casualty set one day by mistake. Watch out for Ha-Ha in next weeks Casualty!
You play the curiously titled 'Ha-Ha' in 'Nightmare In Silver'. Without giving too much away, could you tell us a bit more about your character and what it was like working with Neil Gaiman's script?
Ha-Ha has been one of my most favourite characters to play in my career so far. Neil writes such great roles for character actors and it was so much fun. Neil's scripts all read like massive movies and you can never quite believe that it was shot in only 13 days.
Each member of the platoon have totally different characteristics and we had to be told on a few occasions to rain it in slightly as we would get carried away. I wanted Ha-Ha to have a slight Action Man feel to him which made it even funnier as my physical physique clearly isn't very Action Man like! Although I can see a new line of chubby Action Men figures being released soon!
Were you a fan of Doctor Who before you got a part, and if so, what is your earliest memory and do you have a particular favourite Story and Doctor?
To be honest, I wasn't a die hard fan. I've known Matt Smith for over 10 years so when he took over I watched his first series, then I missed all of Series 6. When I got the job I watched all of Series 7 Part 1 whilst traveling to and from Cardiff. Of course, I'm now a big fan. My earliest memories of Doctor Who must have been re-runs during the 90's. I remember Tom Baker a lot. The Cybermen really freaked me out. Even now I find them a bit creepy (especially with their new powers!).
Are there any other TV shows you would like to be a part of and do you have any other projects coming up?
I'll take whatever comes along! I love jobs which involve a little bit of comedy, but I would also like to be in more serious drama like Broadchurch. I seem to have a face for horror though. I think some of the best TV is being made in America at the minute so giving it a go over there is on my to-do list. I filmed a movie called Passengers recently which will hopefully be out later this year.
Finally, if you could take a round trip in the TARDIS anywhere in time and space, where would you go and why?
Wow. Hard question. Part of me would love to see dinosaurs, but only if Richard Attenborough was with me (obsessed with Jurassic Park as a child). I would also want to go and watch Laurel and Hardy filming some of their classics and go to Hollywood back in the heyday. I get travel sickness though, so I don't think time travel would be for me... unless Matt Smith was there to comfort me.
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