David Tennant reveals casting decision that transformed career before 'life-changing' Doctor Who role

Virgin Radio

16 Feb 2024, 11:52

David Tennant smiling on a BAFTA red carpet and David Tennant as the Doctor in Doctor Who


David Tennant has opened up about the casting decision which he thinks led the way to him receiving his “life-changing” role in Doctor Who.

The actor revealed the interesting fact when speaking exclusively with virginradio.co.uk ahead of his time hosting the EE BAFTA Film Awards this Sunday (18th February). 

2024’s ceremony marks five years since the awards show unveiled a new BAFTA award to recognise Best Casting - an award the Oscars have announced it will be introducing to its ceremonies from 2026.

Asked which casting decision was the most transformative for his career, Tennant diplomatically replied: “It’s very hard to plot… when [people] look at what you do objectively, they assume there’s one moment when everything changed, and of course, that’s never [the case]... one job leads to another much more gradually and organically.”

However, the Doctor Who and Broadchurch star still continued by revealing: “The first big TV job I did was something called Takin’ Over the Asylum, and that moved things in a slightly different direction for me.

“That was down to the director [David Blair] who cast me and who had used me in two tiny Scottish things and then decided he was going to give me this sort of, you know, second lead in this amazing BBC Scotland drama. So that was a big moment,” he shared.

One decision which followed this and which Tennant believes was also very influential on his career was him being cast in the BBC’s Anthony Trollope adaptation He Knew He Was Right. “[That] directly led to a show called Blackpool, which directly led to a show called Casanova, which directly led to everything I’ve done since, probably,” he said.

Casanova certainly inspired David Tennant’s casting in Series 2 of Russell T Davies’s 2005 Doctor Who reboot, which sky-rocketed the actor to nationwide fame.

Speaking about returning to the role of the Doctor in 2023’s 60th anniversary specials, Tennant shared: “[That] was a huge thing, to return to something that had meant so much, and had been such a wonderful, life changing moment.”

The EE BAFTA Film Awards 2024, hosted by David Tennant, will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 7pm on Sunday, 18th February.