Matt Smith shares doubts about taking Doctor Who and House of the Dragon roles

Matt Smith has opened up about having doubts over accepting roles in Doctor Who and House of the Dragon.

The actor, 41, played the Eleventh Doctor from 2010 to 2013. He also portrays the sadistic antihero Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon, which returns for its second season on Sky Atlantic on Monday (17 June).

Speaking in a new interview with The Guardian about his doubts over House of the Dragon’s potential to live up to the legacy of the original Game of Thrones series, he said: “I had the same feeling when I took Doctor Who. And my agent was like: ‘You’re doing it!’ Thank God I did. It changed my life. To this day, it is just the most brilliant of jobs.”

Asked why he hesitated so much, he added: “The way to make an actor unhappy is to give them a job, because there’s self-reflection. Like can I enjoy it? My dad used to say to me when I told him I wasn’t enjoying this or that aspect of work: ‘Bloody hell, son. It’s work. It’s not meant to be enjoyable all the f***ing time. Get on with it.’”

Smith, who lives in London, also said he sometimes regrets not following his Doctor Who co-star Karen Gillan to the US, to pursue his dreams of becoming a movie star.

“I was gonna move over there,” he said. “Sometimes I look back, and maybe I should have literally just gone after her. And then things happened. I got in a relationship here and I ended up staying.”

His past relationships include model Daisy Lowe and actor Lily James.

Smith was the Doctor from 2010 to 2013 (BBC)
Smith was the Doctor from 2010 to 2013 (BBC)

The Independent gave the new season of House of the Dragon four stars, with critic Louis Chilton writing of the four episodes made available: “Scheming, betrayal, and political game-playing: these are House of the Dragon’s bread and butter, and – in lieu of the usual sex, which is conspicuously scant for now – also where most of the spice can be found.

“The writing is always something of a disorienting stew, an attempt to mix HBO coarseness with faux-medieval syntax. ‘His faith is in steel and bone; he has not the long view,’ one character augustly observes at one point. At another, a grubby assassin remarks that he knows the terrain ‘better than the shape of my own c**k’. OK then.”

Meanwhile, read the latest recap of Doctor Who, in which Ncuti Gatwa now stars as the Time Lord, here.