Matt Smith

Matt Smith talks House of the Dragon and leaving Doctor Who

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The actor opens up about playing princes and a (Time) Lord. 

While we’ve been obsessing over ‘The Power of the Doctor’ and its gallery of returning faces this weekend, House of the Dragon has just concluded its first season.

House of the Dragon - Matt Smith

As Prince Daemon, former Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith has won acclaim for a magnetic performance in the Game of Thrones prequel show.

Interviewed by the LA Times, principally about his role as the Dragon riding prince, Smith opened up a little about his feelings on Doctor Who. He considered the differences between playing the Time Lord and the chaotic prince:

“The pressure that came with Doctor Who is extraordinary. On this, you’re sharing it with like 10 other actors. Doctor Who is Doctor Who, Hamlet is Hamlet, you know? I was 26 [when I was cast] and I don’t know if I’ll ever feel pressure like that again. In Britain, anyway, the focus on that job is enormous.”

Matt Smith as The Eleventh Doctor

“[House of the Dragon] is a huge global franchise, or so they tell me, but I just go to work in a studio in Watford and try to get the lines in the right order. I think that everyone who leaves Doctor Who will forever miss Doctor Who, because it doesn’t get any better. He is the most glorious character. To live with the idea of being able to time travel is f—ing amazing. It’s limitless. It’s a tough part to leave.”

There’s plenty more in the interview, in which he also talks about laughing through intimate scenes, learning to speak High Valyrian and playing Prince Phillip on The Crown.

“Regenerating is tough”

Speaking recently at the Motor City Comic Con, Smith also expressed mixed feelings about his regeneration story too saying:

“Well, look, it’s always hard leaving that show because it’s such a wonderful part to leave. I knew I had to leave, really, but part of you goes, ‘Oh, I could stay for a bit.’ Regenerating is tough… was it the best episode it could be? I dunno. Maybe, maybe not.”

“But I thought Steven [Moffat] wrote some really great stuff. And it was nice, I had Jenna [Coleman] and Karen [Gillan] there as the two companions and stuff, so yeah. Look, I was proud of the body of work up to that point. But I think everything can always be better.”

House of the Dragon Season 2 is currently filming.

As to whether we might see Matt Smith return for Doctor Who’s 60th Anniversary Specials alongside David Tennant… who knows?