Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category
Nicole • January 27, 2013

Fittingly, for an actress who last year debuted as a time- and space-hopping adventurer in Doctor Who, Jenna-Louise Coleman is thinking about multiple universes. She recently saw Constellations in the West End, a play that took on the idea of there being infinite dimensions – other worlds in which everything that can happen does happen. Sitting in a London cafe, she reasons: if parallel worlds exist, there’s one in which I live in Hollywood and play an Australian in a sitcom, cracking terrible jokes about dingoes.

It almost happened: “Even though my Aussie accent is appalling,” says Coleman, 26, who got to the final auditions for the sitcom job, in Los Angeles in 2011, before being called back to England to appear in the ITV drama Titanic. That job opened up a seam of British work – a part in Stephen Poliakoff’s drama Dancing on the Edge, a role in Doctor Who – that hasn’t let up since. The Poliakoff is an ensemble piece about 1930s jazz musicians. Meanwhile, she has made two meaty Doctor Who cameos to date, including a show-stealing appearance at Christmas, and will be the Doctor’s official companion in the next series. Coleman’s character is a woman called Oswin, who exists (uh-oh) across multiple dimensions.

It was all less complicated when she started out. At the age of 11, she went to an open audition in her home town of Blackpool and got a part in the musical Summer Holiday, starring Darren Day. “I played an Italian bridesmaid,” says Coleman, who remembers being paid £30 a week, plus a gift of Debenhams vouchers from Day at the end. At 19, she joined the cast of Emmerdale and for three years played a troublemaker called Jasmine. (Final scene: off to prison for committing murder with a chair leg.) “As a first job I’m grateful for it,” she says. “Though by the end I was quite restless. It was a brilliant experience. But I was ready to leave when I did.”

Post-Emmerdale, things looked bleak. She went six months without work (“There wasn’t any sniffiness in auditions about my soap background – I couldn’t get auditions”) and at one point she tried to get into Rada, unsuccessfully. “It was strange to turn around at 23 and think, I haven’t gone to university, I’ve missed out on that. And, shit, I don’t think I’m ever going to get another job.” She moved to LA to try her luck and ended up doing “two or three auditions a day”, which broke her duck. British jobs followed.

In Poliakoff’s drama, Coleman plays “a steely young girl with an extreme ambition in a man’s world. She wants to be a journalist.” It completes a circle back to her soap days, where at one point her bad-girl character became a tabloid reporter. If there is a parallel world in which Coleman stayed in LA, doing dingo jokes, there’s another in which she hung around on Emmerdale… She’s better off here, no doubt, in our present dimension.


Nicole • December 19, 2012

Jenna-Louise Coleman has already embraced her role as a companion. During a recent interview at BBC America’s Manhattan offices, she offered insight about her character and her relationship with The Doctor, and weighed in on Clara’s soufflé obsession, driving a spaceship, her Bond Girl moment and Christmas traditions.

Can you share a moment when you felt the enormity of stepping into this popular world?
You see “it” everywhere and you’re used to it, like I was used to seeing Matt’s face all over the place. But, when I was auditioning, being sat on the Tube and you see the posters, and it was always like he was pointing at me . … (But) there’s not very much time to analyze as you go. It is only now that I feel like I’ve just been playing with all my mates for the last couple of months, and then suddenly, I’m like, “but people are going to see this,” you know?

What would you like to add to the legacy of the show as Oswin/Clara?
I like that it’s not plain sailing. Like (executive producer Steven Moffat) was saying, it’s not very interesting if you come in and it’s like this friendship straight away. He’s been very clever in creating a mystery, because, no matter what, it’s always going to be hard to bring in somebody else into the show, when Matt, Karen and Arthur started out together, and you’re used to seeing them on screen together.

How would you define your character’s relationship with The Doctor?
I like that she holds her own. You know, The Doctor’s this amazing man, and she’s like, “You know, cool. I think you’re amazing, but so am I.” So, it’s a nice double act.

Has Karen offered advice on joining the show?
She’s been really supportive. … She came to the screening in New York City with Matt, and when Oswin was on screen, she texted me saying it was great. (But) from interviews I’ve seen of Karen, she was saying she didn’t want to, because she wanted me to have my own experience. I did want to be like, “What do I need to know? Tell me everything!” But she’s been really cool about it.

There was never a realized romance between The Doctor and Karen’s Amy, but your character gets flirtatious straight away, right?
It’s been interesting how it’s changed Matt’s Doctor. There is a natural bounce between them, and a flirtation, and attraction. But, again, they’ve always got this friction because they’re a bit magnetic and drawn to each other, but she can’t quite figure him out. He’s got loads of secrets and he’s always looking at her, trying to figure her out.

Can you tell me about the first meeting between you and Matt?
He’s with the same agency as me, so my agent said, “You’re going to be reading with Matt and he’s lovely. He’ll take care of you.” I walked into the room and he’s just like, “Heeeeyyyyy,” and gave me a big hug. He really helped me out in the audition. I’ve read with other actors in auditions before, but Matt really got involved so it was like we were both auditioning together almost.

This is an iconic franchise, but are there other big franchises you’d want to step into?
Totally! I’d love to be a Bond Girl. I did have my Bond Girl moment — well, what I thought was going to be, but it was very much a “Doctor Who” version. Like being on the back of a motorbike, but then we’ve got the goggles and the hat, so it was like “Doctor Who’s” take on James Bond.

Have you played with any cool sci-fi gadgets on the show, like the TARDIS?
There are certain parts of the TARDIS which I love. We’ve got these new kind-of rolly balls, which is my favorite. But my character got to drive the TARDIS at one point!

In the long list of “Doctor Who” monsters, what’s your favorite?
The Weeping Angels. It’s the concept (that they only move when you aren’t looking at them). But there’s one at the end of this season — it’s a new monster, and I’d say you have to wait and see that. That one is my favorite, so far.

One of the things we know about your character is her love of soufflé. Have you tried making one?
I had to be baking one in a scene recently. So I got the Google up and tried to figure out exactly how to do it, take it kind of really seriously to make sure I’ve got, like, the whisking right. But maybe that’s what I should do over Christmas.

Is it odd returning to a “normal” world after living in The Doctor’s?
“This” life is so exciting on a daily basis. Everything’s so dramatic every day, and it’s the end of the world every week. You’re either running or there’s a snow machine or rain machine, or you’re in a harness and you’re on wires. … On an off day, I find that I get bored quickly, like, “Where’s the Cybermen?”

The “Doctor Who Christmas Special” is something of a tradition — do you have others you’ll keep?

There are 13 of my family going to a cottage, so we’ll be there watching. It’s one of my grandmum’s favorite shows, so it’s big for her. But normally I get home from London and I haven’t seen my family for a little while, and me and my mum always wrap the presents the night before with a glass of Bailey’s. That’s my favorite tradition at Christmastime.

What did your grandmother say when she learned you got this role?
I auditioned for Amy’s best mate in it, and was pretty close to getting the part, and my grandma was absolutely devastated I didn’t. So, we came back around, and I don’t think she can believe it, actually. It is quite surreal for her, and she’s quite looking forward to meeting Matt.

What do you anticipate that encounter being like?
My grandma’s going to mess up his hair. She’s going to be patting him and hugging him, and Matt’s going to have really messy hair for the rest of the night.


Nicole • December 18, 2012

Dr Who, aka Matt Smith, and his new assistant companion Jenna-Louise Coleman drop by the Radio 1 Breakfast show and answer listeners questions. Find out how Matt gets his quiff to stay put, what the most annoying question to be asked is and what Dr Who wants in his Christmas stocking!

Nicole • December 08, 2012

Doctor Who returns to BBC One at 5.15pm, Christmas Day in the spectacular adventure, The Snowmen. We’ve seen the trailer and various shots from it but they’ve just made us more intrigued! So we recently caught up with Steven Moffat and the cast in order to find out more about this year’s seasonal special…


JENNA-LOUISE COLEMAN, who plays Clara in The Snowmen, made a surprise appearance in Asylum of the Daleks, so fans have already met the new companion… Or have they? We caught up with Jenna-Louise and tried to get some answers!

Q: What we can expect from your character, Clara?
Jenna-Louise Coleman: She is from the Victorian era and [she’s] a mysterious one… Very down to earth, but feisty and curious, too, with numerous jobs…

Q: Okay… We’ve been told we first glimpse Clara in the ‘Rose and Crown’ pub where she’s a barmaid, but after meeting the Doctor she soon sets about following him…
J-LC: He has the answers to her questions. She isn’t intimidated by the Doctor… she finds him amazing and ridiculous. But she is on her own mission and lives by her own means – she is very resourceful.

Q: You started filming Doctor Who earlier this year… How have you found the job so far?
J-LC: Every day is really surprising. For the last two years I have mainly been doing period dramas, so to be thrown in to this world with loads of CGI is very different. Whole new sets are built in the space of a couple of weeks. For this episode we had snow machines and it does make you feel like a big kid!


Nicole • December 07, 2012