How Game of Thrones prepared Jacob Anderson for playing a fighter pilot on Doctor Who


imageHow Game of Thrones prepared Jacob Anderson for playing a fighter pilot on Doctor Who GoT and Broadchurch actor portrays recurring character Vinder on time travel show.Jacob Anderson is making his Doctor Who debut as the recurring character Vinder on the upcoming season of the Jodie Whittaker-starring time travel show, which premieres on BBC America on Sunday.Anderson previously worked with Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall on season 1 of the crime drama Broadchurch, which also featured Whittaker.But the actor of course has previous experience in the fantasy, and monster-y, realm thanks to his portrayal of Grey Worm on Game of Thrones .So did appearing on the HBO show help prepare him for his role on Doctor Who? “It probably did prepare me a lot just in terms of the things that become normal,” he says.”People will always be like, well, Game of Thrones is tens of millions of dollars, whatever, per episode.But there were days on Game of Thrones when one of the assistant directors was dressed up like in a green suit trotting around pretending to be a horse.

[Laughs] It’s really hard to take it seriously.

That thing with the green suit, I think he had to stop doing it, because me and Nathalie Emmanuel and Amelia (Clarke) were [cracking up].So I think I was prepared in that way.” Presumably the experience also taught Anderson how to remain tight-lipped about plot details.”Yeah, but I think I’ve told you things in this interview that I wasn’t supposed to tell you,” says Anderson.”So I’m maybe a little bit out of practice!” Read that (still essentially spoiler-free) interview below.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you get the role on Doctor Who? JACOB ANDERSON: Well, the answer would be a long and storied career in acting! No, I got a call from my agent saying, “Chris Chibnall wants to talk to you.” That sounds a little bit scary.Chris Chibnall wants a word! It’s like, maybe he finally noticed the stuff you stole from the set of Broadchurch.Exactly! I couldn’t do the second and third series, maybe he wants to finally tell me off about it.[Laughs] No, it was like, “Chris Chibnall wants to talk to you about a part in Doctor Who that he’s written and he’d really like you to do it.” I was just like, “Yes! [Laughs] It would be nice to speak to Chris again, I’ve been wanting to for a while, but the answer is yes.” It’s a thing that I’ve always wanted to be a part of.And I kind of auditioned for Doctor Who in the past.But, yeah, luckily I think Chris had me in his head when he wrote the character and asked me to do it and that was it.

I was bounding around the room, I was so excited, it’s such a bucket list item for me and it’s become more than that, actually working on the show has made it so much more than a bucket list item.Now it’s just one of the most fulfilling work experiences I’ve had.But, yeah, that’s how it happened and it was a very exciting phone call to get.I’ve been waiting for that phone call for 15 years.Really, 25 years.Even I still dream of playing the Doctor and I’m not even an amateur actor.

You’d make a great Doctor! Well, thank you very much.What do you remember about the first day you were on set? I was just like a child.The first thing I did was some stills in my costume and hair and makeup.I did the stills by a green screen that’s literally next to the door of the TARDIS.I saw the blue doors and it was like I was being called to the doors.I just went straight in.I was like, “I’m sorry, I just have to do this quickly,” and just walked.I visited the TARDIS set during Peter Capaldi’s tenure as the Doctor and the great thing is it’s 360 degrees.

You can imagine that you really are traveling through space and time.Yeah.Yeah.

It’s really immersive.Like you say, it’s completely 360.So it’s a trip walking in there, if you were a fan of the series when you were younger, because it feels like you’re walking into a memory or a dream or something.I just touched everything.[Laughs] Flipped all the switches, pushed all the buttons, looked under the console.Went up the stairs, looked at what was going on around there.It was very exciting.

What can you tell us about your character? Vinder is a fighter pilot, and a very skilled fighter pilot and decorated, and he has found himself in the middle of, I think I can say, like a controversy and he finds himself stranded somewhere.Basically, he finds himself in the middle of this huge event, this huge galactic-scale event and that’s where his story begins What was it like working with Jodie Whittaker? Well, luckily for me, I’d worked with Jodie a few times so I felt very comfortable going in.

I was like, okay, I’ve got an ally in there.But I kept hearing from people that it’s just the best place to work, honestly you’re going to have the time of your life.Jodie is so the steward of the culture of that crew and cast.It’s such a family and she is so good at keeping everybody together.

It’s all hands on deck, just people putting so much love into it.

[What] I love so much is all of these things that are made out of other things.It’s something that I’ve always loved about Doctor Who.There’s a thriftiness and there’s a handmade quality to it that when you walk on set, it’s so immersive.My mode of travel, I was just like, oh, that’s a Sega Megadrive! Oh, that’s an Atari keyboard! But it’s not immediate.You’re, like, how have they turned this so beautifully into what is is now? And that spirit goes through the whole show, it goes through all of the departments, the actors are all not only are we having fun, but there’s room to explore and try things and everybody cares about making the show as good as possible.I think that all trickles down from her and Chris, obviously.So, yeah, it was so good to see her again but to see her in that role.

I don’t even mean the role of the Doctor, I mean the role of the person that’s keeping everybody together and especially given the last couple of years we’ve had and given the measures that had to be put in place obviously and rightly so.She’s amazing.I love Jolie.Jodie! I don’t even know her name! Joey Wintaker? Yeah, I love Jodie.

Is it true that you are doing the new Interview With a Vampire show (it was recently announced that Anderson is playing Louis in the AMC show)? I am, yeah.Tell us a little bit about that.[Laughs] It’s an adaptation of the Anne Rice novel of the same name and it’s very good, it’s very very good.The scripts are incredible and I’m very excited.And are you also making a film with Prevenge writer-director-star Alice Lowe? Yes, hopefully.

Alice Lowe is such a genius and, that film, I’ve never in my life read anything like it.

It’s completely singular and unique and weird and wonderful in all the best possible way.It’s called Timestalker and I’m so excited to be a part of that.

I am so angry about how underrated she is.I’ve been a fan of Alice Lowe’s since I was a teenager, since I first discovered Garth Merenghi .She’s amazing.She shot a feature film in 11 days while seven or eight months pregnant.

On top of that, she’s just a brilliant writer and director and a brilliant actor and a brilliant comedy actor.She can do anything.I’m a big fan of hers and she’s just as cool to chat to.Above, watch the trailer for the new season of Doctor Who, which premieres Sunday at 8 p.m.ET/PT on BBC America.

Sign up for Entertainment Weekly’s free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.Related content: – [Doctor Who vet Russell T.Davies returns as showrunner 12 years after his departure] – [Jodie Whittaker is leaving Doctor Who after 3 seasons] – [Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker reveals inspiration behind character’s costume].

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