In Fox’s new miniseries “Gracepoint,” Scottish actor David Tennant plays Emmett Carver, a detective on the hunt for the killer of an 11-year-old boy.
The casting of Tennant in the lead is a bit unusual since he plays the same lead role on the British version of the show, “Broadchurch,” which inspired the American series.
During a conference call with the actor, Tennant says it’s a topic that comes up again and again but it wasn’t weird at all to reprise his UK character in the US.
“I keep being asked, ‘Was it odd to tell the same story again?’ Of course, from a theatre background it’s not at all, it’s what you do eight times a week,” said Tennant. “In fact, I was doing it in a whole new set of circumstances, surrounded by completely different actors, at times telling completely different parts of the story.”
The biggest difference between Tennant’s characters in the two versions — other than a name change from Alec Hardy to Emmett Carver — is the actor’s foreign American accent. “Doctor Who” fans have become accustomed to a British sounding Tennant on the BBC series.
“I just tried to play each scene as it came,” explained Tennant. ” I didn’t want to be self-consciously quirky about it. I didn’t want to re-create something for the sake of [it] or reinvent something for the sake of reinventing it. I didn’t think he’s got to be different, I’ll give him a limp or a funny hat or a lisp. I just wanted to tell the story. I just approached each scene as openly as I could, and tried to tell that story as honestly and as well as I could. I think that’s all you can ever really do.”
“It would be sort of self-conscious, and just a bit odd for me to be setting out to do something that the script didn’t support,” he added. “Inevitably things then do become different, because you’re playing even scenes that are very similar with very different actors, so you’re reacting to what they are giving you, you’re responding to the different environment that you’re in.”
“Gracepoint” airs Thursday evenings at 9 p.m. on Fox.
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