Tuesday, 19 July 2016

David Tennant Treat 4 Today for Tuesday 19th July 2016

The David Tennant Treat 4 Today is an interview with David Tennant which was published online by The New York Times.

The interview was conducted in November 2015 when David Tennant was in New York City for the premiere of Marvel's Jessica Jones and was published online eight days before David Tennant debuted in the title role of Richard II at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music (BAM) for The Royal Shakespeare Company Kings And Country cycle of plays in March 2016.

The interview started by David describing when The Royal Shakespeare Company performed Hamlet in Glasgow with Mark Rylance in the tile role as "It was life-changing. I was so blown away that back I went to see it on the Saturday matinee before they left again. Because I couldn't believe it was so vivid and so extraordinary."

The New York Times then mentioned that not did the King And Country cycle of four plays commemorated the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death but also the 20th anniversary of David Tennant's Royal Shakespeare Company debut. David comment was "It has a certain symmetry to it, doesn't it? A company I'm involved with on so many levels, really, and it's been such a huge part of my life."

Talking about the person King Richard II David commented "If you are in a world where the divine right of kings is a thing, and as a child you're told, 'God has chosen you to lead these people,' and you're then surrounded by acquiescence and adulation, what does that do to you? How does that form the man you become? That's what fascinates me about trying to find a centre for who this character was."

The interview then stated that David will wear a wig of long hair for Richard II (as he did in London in January) and David explained 'It was a choice in keeping with his rarefied approach to the character. "I liked the idea that he would alight on something he found rather beautiful. He's an aesthete. If he found it rather glorious, there'd be no one to challenge that it was wrong or unacceptable or not what men did. From that, we got the idea that he would have gold leaf on his fingernails. It was looking for a few things that would set him apart, because he could. Because no one would tell him he couldn't."'

The interview took place soon after David had taken part in his first read-through for the revival of Richard II (nearly two years after the first 85 performances of the production closed). David explained "Bits of it are all there intact. And other bits, it's like I've never seen them before. My wife made a very good analogy, that it's like stripping wallpaper. Some bits just come off in a wonderful sort of pass, they just fall off the wall. And other bits, you have to pick away at for days."

The New York Times next quoted the RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran describing David as "the most professional of actors - You never catch David dropping a line, even" and said that he was not all worried about his ability to slide back into the role. When asked what David brought to the character of Richard II in particular Greg said: "He was unafraid of, which I think was fantastic, the fact that for three acts of the play he's almost intolerable. He behaves in a capricious, vain way, and it isn't really until he gets to the abdication that the man's humanity comes through. And I thought David caught that particularly well."

NYT said that David's own selection of great Richards included Derek Jacobi's, Fiona Shaw's and Ben Whishaw's in the BBC-PBS series of filmed adaptations called The Hollow Crown. "Just before I was going to do it, someone gave me a copy, and I said, 'I'll watch this,'. I should never have done that. Because Ben Whishaw is an extraordinary actor. And he does it beautifully, in ways I could never even aspire to."

The New York Times then mentioned that Broadchurch Series Three would start filming in the summer before writing about David Tennant returning to Doctor Who for the Big Finish audio plays with Catherine Tate. David said "It was surprisingly easy to slip back into that time. It could have felt more awkward than it did."

He added "I often say that the first line of the obituary has been written, because Doctor Who has such a reach. It's so loved and noticed, it's part of the cultural furniture. To be associated with that show, it'll be hard to do anything that reduces the impact of that. Which I'm fine with, by the way."

David Tennant interview in The New York Times

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