David Morrissey

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    • David: (On working with green screens) The difficulty for me is green screen - trying to create a relationship with something that isn't there. It's just a man holding a scaffolding pole with a tennis ball on the end, it's a weird process.

    • David: (On working with David Tennant again for "The Next Doctor") We kept thinking we were going to burst into singing and dancing at any minute. We'd had such a great time on Blackpool, we had great roles and me and him had a laugh. Me, him and Sarah Parish - who's also done her Doctor Who stint - we all got on really well and I think that's reflected in the show. When you're doing something that's that leftfield, with singing and dancing, you've got to have that big element of trust among the actors and that's what we had. So it was great to be reunited with him. He hasn't changed at all. Although he's this major star now, he's got his feet firmly on the ground. I'm full of admiration for him.

    • David: (Explaining how badly his "funny" comment saying he was too sexy to be on screen with Colin Firth in "Girl With A Pearl Earring" were taken) That is one of the stupidest things I've ever said. I forgot irony doesn't work in interviews, definitely not in print, and I stupidly said this stupid thing. I apologise to everyone concerned, particularly Colin Firth, who is the sexiest man in the world.

    • David: (On his impression of London when he first moved there) I had no money and London seemed unfriendly. But that changed when I started going out with a girl from London, who showed me what it could be. Now I really use London, and I absolutely love it.

    • David: (On Nicolas Cage) It's amazing meeting someone who grew up in LA. It's like meeting someone from a mining town when you know nothing about mining. Obviously, I know a bit about film-making, but growing up, his whole life was film. At one point I mentioned to him that the relationship between Corelli and Weber [the sympathetic German officer, played by Morrissey] had a Colonel Blimp element to it, and he instantly reeled off the credits of Colonel Blimp.

    • David: (On starring in the 2007 television adaptation of "Sense and Sensibility") When my agent sent the script, I thought: 'Do we really need another Jane Austen?' Then I read it and it was just brilliant. In the book, there aren't many scenes involving the male characters, but Andrew changed that.

    • David: (On what Esther, his wife, has taught him) The thing I've got from Esther most of all is self-discipline. I always have to go out to work even if it's just a desk somewhere or an office or the British Library. So I've always found it amazing the way, as a novelist, she goes to work at home. She has a timetable she sticks to every day. You literally see someone working through a different problem in the story, and finding different ways to get in. She's taught me to take your work seriously even if you're at home.

    • David: (The formula to a successful actor's career according to him) The main key for me is to always find the truth of the character, and to find where that is and stay with that. Choosing good scripts is handy. Also, just having a commitment to your work which is total in trying to find the truth of the character you are playing, and that will come through. I think the worst thing, actually, would be to start to see yourself as a personality, rather than an actor. Just stay true to yourself as an actor and choose characters that you want to explore.

    • David: (On being in Baton Rouge (Louisiana) during hurricane Katrina) It was a real bonding thing for us as a crew and actually not just as a crew. I mean it was interesting being there, watching on TV, and seeing how the world was perceiving it and getting calls from England and stuff like that. But in Baton Rouge which was effectively untouched by the hurricane itself, they had to deal with a refugee problem. There was a massive sense of solidarity in that town, I thought. People were opening their homes to people that they didn't know, and I was really impressed by that. My experience in Baton Rouge was one of solidarity and community really, and so I was really impressed by that.

    • David: (On taking a Southern accent for the movie "The Reaping") It wasn't like I was doing it in the studio in private or something. I was able to immerse myself down there with the people and stuff and hang around with their locals and stuff like that, so I was able to hear it every day of my life down there. It wasn't as hard as it would have been somewhere else really, and I had an accent coach who worked really hard with me, and I've done accents before, you know.

    • David: (About the stigma that comes with being from Liverpool) There is a bit of a stereotypical Liverpool person. I get it all the time. Even now when I talk to people they say, make sure you check your hubcaps because he's from Liverpool, make sure your radio's still in the car when you leave because he's from Liverpool. It's very real.

    • David: (On how being a director has changed his outlook as an actor too) I think any actor should have a good knowledge about what everybody does on set, so that you're not somebody who just feels that because you're there it's happening. It's actually happening despite you being there with all this great work behind the camera. And I'm very much more appreciative of that as an actor now. Also I think I can be a help to directors in the sense that if they're under pressure I feel I'm somebody they can come to and say 'listen I'm going to have to put these three scenes together - we're not going to have time to just do one of them this afternoon, we'll have to do all three' and you're able to say ok - I understand you wouldn't have to make that decision if it wasn't being forced on you.

    • David: (On how much "One Summer" has influenced his fellow actor and his fans in general) I get it in retrospect. Because at the time I wasn't aware of that at all. In Liverpool I remember it being very big, but in a cultish sort of way. A lot of young kids liked it - and again people of my age. It sort of captured the imagination. But never in my wildest dreams did I think that other people in the rest of the country were having that reaction as well. Then I came down to London and to drama school and people in drama school said to me they'd watched it and thought it was fantastic. So I hadn't really understood the impact that it had had. Really it wasn't until - you know over the years it was the one thing that people kept coming back at me and saying 'Oh I remember you when you did that and that was great' and with all the work I've done since - I get letters from people saying how much they've enjoyed that, and that they'd know of me since I was in One Summer. It's so weird you know. Obviously it's had - the website has proved it - it's stuck in people's minds.

    • David: (Answering a question if him and his wife discuss Sigmund Freud - her great-grandfather - and his works) My conversations with my wife tend to revolve around who's picking up the kids. Although for years I was aware of some sort of lineage thing. But now whenever I hear 'Freud' its always about my wife, and not some guy with a grey beard and glasses.

    • David: (On "One Summer" his first television role) I can trace everything back to that point. The series did very well, and from that day on I had a currency. I became David Morrissey, not just that guy.

    • David: (On why his personal life doesn't have to inform in all his performances) If the writing's strong enough, you shouldn't have to draw on bad experiences, but the thing for me is that I have played a lot of people who are going down the toilet, or seem to have major problems. I got to a point where I said to my agent, 'I'd like to do some comedy!' And the next thing you know I get Blackpool, this fucking singing and dancing thing. And even in that, though I loved doing it, my character's having a fucking nervous breakdown! But then I like characters that sort of kick me up the arse.

    • David: (On his father's death when he was only a teenager) It never goes away, the death of a parent when you're a kid.

    • David: (Commenting on his busy schedule and how hard it is to do everything he wants to do) If it was making me miserable, I'd get out, but it doesn't! It fuels me! That's why I'm taking on more things, because I feel that it's actually fucking great!

    • David: (On discussing a role for "Our Mutual Friend" with his friend and director of the miniseries Julian Farino who did cast him as Bradley Headstone) I told my friend, Julian Farino, who was the director, 'Oh I love that book, I'd be great as Eugene Wrayburn.' He said, 'No, I'm thinking of you for Bradley Headstone.' And I said, 'Don't be ridiculous, that's not me.' But then I read the script and thought, 'Actually this isn't a bad part.' He (Bradley Headstone) is seen as a mad villain, but in fact he's just an unloved person who keeps on getting it wrong. I could see what a big issue was for him, which eventually tips him over into madness.

    • David: (On the opinion he has about drama school while attending it and how his opinion has changed through the years) I had an inverted snobbery about it. I thought they were trying to change me in a way that I didn't want to change. I thought they were trying to make me into a bland person. They wanted me to speak RP, to do the Alexander technique, so that I could walk in any way, and I resisted that, stupidly, because I just thought, 'I want to be the guy I am, I've got things to say.' Which was all bollocks.

    • David: (About being cast in "Basic Instinct 2") Before I went to the interview, I never saw myself in a film like that, and then I read it and I just thought it was a great script. I had to fly to LA to meet Sharon Stone and I was playing all these mind games with myself all the way there, thinking, well, I don't want it anyway. But when I got it, I was really excited.

    • David: (On which actor who portrayed The Doctor in "Doctor Who" influenced his performance in the show) When I look at Tom Baker and William Hartnell, there's a truth to their performances; Patrick Troughton as well. They never saw it as a genre show or a children's show.

    • David: (On why he chose to take a role in "Doctor Who") Even before reading the script, I was attracted to this part, Doctor Who is great. They've asked me to do stuff before, but because of other commitments I was unable to. Then this came along: the Christmas special (2008), which has added kudos and an amazing character. Well, the ultimate character, really. But a tragic character, too. Something terrible has happened to him. Over the course of the episode, bits of what happened are revealed...

    • David: (On his character the Duke of Norfolk in "The Other Boleyn Girl") He wasn't just a politician, he was also a decorated soldier, he was someone who fought with greats and honours and he was very loyal to the crown and that's the other thing. He believed in England, he believed in the ascendancy of Henry and his offspring. The whole crisis is caused by Henry not being able to have a male heir. And I think in his political mind anything he could do to help that, he sees as a good thing, of course it would help himself as well.

    • David: (On appearing on the 2008 Christmas special of "Doctor Who") I play a character called The Doctor – a man who believes himself to be a Time Lord. It was great to be on board, because I'm a huge fan of the programme and of David Tennant. As for any talk of me taking over as the next Doctor, well, if or when they do choose someone, they would have to totally different to David, which I am!

    • David:(On why he's making a stage comeback with "In the Dark Dark House" after not doing a play since 1999) For two reasons. I've thought about doing theatre again for some time. My last stage play was back in 1999, when I was with Colin Firth in Richard Greenberg's play Three Days of Rain, which was part of the Donmar Warehouse's American Imports season. Since then, I turned offers down for personal reasons rather than play reasons. I also have three kids and these things would come along during the summer when we wanted to get away from London on holiday as a family. But it's mainly because I'm a big Neil LaBute fan.

    • David Morrissey: (about his role as Ripley Holden in the BBC musical drama "Blackpool") Ripley is a man who wakes up in the morning and says, 'You're a winner'. And what that means is that everyone else is a loser.

    • David Morrissey: I always work from back-story, that's what I always do, so you get a character, and you think 'OK, who's this guy, before the story starts?' I always do a back-story, which is either from his parents or even further back sometimes.

    • David Morrissey: The reason I wanted to start directing is that as an actor I felt I came into a job late. There's a whole team of people who have been working on it for months before you start. You have this really intense period of filming and then you leave it, knowing that the director will work on it for another few months. I always felt slightly frustrated because I wanted to be with the piece a lot longer.

    • David Morrissey: The person I'm in love with is Esther and the least interesting thing about her is her surname. It's the person in front of me who's got me entranced.

    • David Morrissey: (About playing the lead role in the BBC musical drama "Blackpool") It really was a realisation of an ambition of mine to sing and dance. I never thought I could do it, and now I'm dreading every wedding I go to.

    • David Morrissey: I must say when I was a kid, before I got introduced to Brando and De Niro or any of those, it was Gene Kelly and the musicals that really inspired me to look at films in a different way.

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