David Tennant appeared on Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review Show on BBC Radio 5 Live today to talk about The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists. He was interviewed by presenter Simon Mayo, while co-presenter Mark Kermode contributed remotely from a studio in Memphis. David was more conservatively dressed today – no sign of the trousers of debateable colour, but instead he arrived wearing a blue and white striped shirt, tight jeans and his grey jacket with black trim collar.
David said that he had actually been involved with the Pirates! Movie for a ling time, and had still been working on Doctor Who when he first heard of the offer. He talked a lot about the recording process, again explaining how most of the dialogue was taped without his co-stars but with an actor hired to read in the other lines, although he had done days in the studio with Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman and Imelda Staunton. David agreed that his version of Charles Darwin was probably not historically accurate, but was more of a fantasyDarwin. He had to give him a different voice to his own. “Charles Darwin was never from Paisley” he said. David talked a bit about his active vocal recording style and why he acts out the movements to achieve the many vocal sounds required for the script. “I suppose I don’t have the imagination to do it any other way” he added, with typical self-depreciation.
He described his Darwin model, which he had seen and held for the first time only about a year ago. David said they were no longer made of plasticine, but something else. “Stuff” he said authoritatively. He also explained that the models contained an ‘exoskeleton’ before becoming slightly confused. “No, what’s the opposite of exoskeleton? An inoskeleton?” “A skeleton?” suggested Mayo, helpfully.
Kermode posed the question on how David thought the movie would do in the US, and whether it would be deemed successful. David replied that success would be measured on how much money the film made compared to its fairly modest costs (only $60 million, which is a fraction of a big blockbuster with as many stars), and that it would be fairly certain to make that back in the territories that it was a surefire hit.
He added that there was an incredible amount of animation work involved and the work was going on right up till the last minute. He had not seen the finished product until fairly recently because the animators work the characters’ mouths to the voice track, so his work was an early part of the process. However he was called back a couple of times to redo lines where the filmmakers had decided that they wanted a slightly different delivery. He had also been back to record some tracks for the DVD extras, which would have specially animated features.
The inevitable question was posed about the rumoured Doctor Who movie, and whether David would be up for an appearance. David tactfully refused to answer the question, saying that it was a rumour that had got out of hand, and he would be reluctant to reply as whatever he said would then become a headline. David also correctly identified Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150AD as the best Doctor Who movie made to date as “It’s got Bernard Cribbins in it”
Asked about his future projects, David spoke a little about the Postman Pat movie. He wasn’t able to give much information, but confirmed that his character was a brand new one and he had based the voice on classic 1970’s Scots actor Iain Cuthbertson! He also said that his new BBC1 drama True Love would be coming to screens in a couple of weeks.
Simon rounded up the interview by praising one of David’s little talked about roles, that of Arthur Stanley Eddington in Einstein and Eddington. David also, during the course of the interview, confirmed that he would be taking part in the Sport Relief Mile, although he did not say which one or whether the Sauce Bottle costume would be in any way involved!
Mayo and Kermode continued to praise David and his talents for some time after he left the studio.
The show will shortly be available to listen again via BBC iPlayer and can also be later today.