I turned down Doctor Who – Capaldi

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Published: Monday 17th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi has revealed he once turned down the chance to audition for the central role – because he was convinced he had no chance.

The actor said he was asked by his agent to try out for the Doctor when show chiefs were casting for a 1996 movie, which saw Paul McGann take the role.

But speaking for the first time about the missed opportunity today, he said he could not have coped with the disappointment if he had tried and failed.

Capaldi eventually landed the part late last year and appeared in his first full series this year, replacing Matt Smith in the latest run of the family sci-fi hit.

He was asked to head to the auditions when the BBC attempted to revive the programme with a feature-length TV film.

But he admitted today: “I knew I wouldn’t get it – I loved the show so much that I didn’t want to have anything to do with it unless it was going to be me.

“I just didn’t want to have the disappointment to go through all the palaver and the jumping through hoops for something I would never get because I knew it was an American pilot and they would go for somebody who was well-known and Paul was and he was fantastic, so I said ‘No, I won’t come along’.

“I said to my agent: tell them thank you very much but I don’t want to go along,” he added, speaking at the DVD launch of the eighth series of Doctor Who today.

The opportunity arose shortly after he won a best short film Oscar for the movie he directed and wrote, Franz Kafka’s It’s A Wonderful Life.

Current show boss Steven Moffat admitted it was the first time he had heard that Capaldi previously turned down the chance to try out for the role.

Capaldi has been a fan of the series since childhood and famously wrote to Radio Times praising the magazine’s special edition published to mark the show’s 10th anniversary.

The DVD is being released by BBC Worldwide on November 24.

Moffat also disclosed that another prominent figure from the recent series had initially turned down a role in the show.

Actress Michelle Gomez – who was revealed to be a female incarnation of enduring villain The Master, now known as Missy, at the climax of the series – had also rejected a part because she had been too “busy” at the time.

Moffat said he soon realised she had been offered the wrong role, although he would not say which part.

Admitting he realised he had made an error, he said: “I thought that’s so wrong, she should be Missy, but the part with the offer had already gone out. And then she turned it down – she said she was busy.

“Then she sent me an email saying ‘I’m really sorry to turn it down, please keep me in mind for another part’ and I thought ‘this is meant to be’, and so I just said it had to be Michelle – unusually adamant for me, I’m usually much more consensus-driven than that. ‘No, we’re not exactly talking to anybody else – that is exactly who is going to be Missy’.

“She said in her email, something like, if you ever need somebody with a razor-cheekboned villainess, then it’s me’, I said ‘fine, you can’t back out of it’.”

Published: Monday 17th November 2014 by The News Editor

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