Doctor Who star Jenna Louise Coleman reveals Matt Smith urged her to watch old movies for on-screen chemistry tips!
Fans of Doctor Who will of course know that the Doctor’s latest sidekick is former Emmerdale star Jenna Louise Coleman, and of course, being the show’s newbie, Jenna’s keen to do whatever it takes to make her character truly memorable…
And to that end, Jenna had some tips from Matt Smith, who of course plays the Doctor, about creating an on-screen chemistry between the Time Lord and Clara Oswin – Jenna’s character – which included watching old movies that feature great romances.
Among his suggestions for her viewing list were films starring legends Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.
Speaking to SFX magazine, Jenna said, “When I started on Doctor Who Matt said to me ‘Watch Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy films!’
“We were talking about our dynamic and trying to figure it out, realising we were a double act.
“It’s trying to find each other’s rhythm. So watching things like Spencer Tracy films really feed into that.”
Jenna, who also starred in ITV drama Titanic, added, “Matt always said it’s about physically finding our rhythm.
“In a way the whole thing is like a dance, and the moment we started dancing together and finding that rhythm is when it worked.
“When I joined, Caro the producer said to me, ‘This show is really like no other, because you don’t sit down to have a chat, you don’t get to know these characters in that way, you are literally creating a character and creating a relationship as you’re running down a corridor’…
“You’re always running away from something or running to something, and it’s all about that momentum and that pace.”
During the interview, Jenna also revealed that at one point, she considered a career in dance rather than TV.
She explained, “Dance was my main passion when I was young.
“It was totally my life from when I was about four years old to when I was doing my A levels.
“I was doing semi-professional dance school in the evenings until I got to the point where time-wise I had to make a decision, and my evenings were then spent doing play rehearsals with a theatre company, and the dance got less and less.
“It was a choice that I made. On Doctor Who I’ve had to do all kinds of things where I’m in vortexes and the camera’s moving around you, so it actually comes in really, really handy.
“And also having an awareness of your body and how it moves. I had to do a bit in the Christmas special where I fell backwards off a cloud…
“I’ve done quite a few of my own stunts where you’re like falling backwards onto mattresses and things like that.
“So, yeah, I totally think that I’m a professional stuntperson now.”
The new series of Doctor Who starts on March 30 on BBC1, but for now, here’s a look at the new series’ trailer…