David Warner, best known for his roles in Titanic, The Omen, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Planet of the Apes and TRON, shared his experiences, acting history and his opinions on competing for acting roles with the audience at Comic Con in Cardiff earlier in 2014.
Q:‘Who do you admire most out of your fellow actors?’
“What I admire about my fellow – I’m in a very interesting group, of my age group, of competition, (which is not the question you asked) but my competition at the moment when we compete for parts – and that’s why I don’t do so many anymore – are, my age group: Patrick Stewart, Ian Mckellen, Michael Gambon, John Hurt… well, you know what I mean?
As we get older there aren’t so many parts for people like us. But these are all people that I know and I admire. I have no problem with admiring my contemparys even though they might get the jobs that I might want, cause I’ve been round long enough to know that that’s how business works. They’re the top of the list, they all have higher profiles, and even if I was in fact more right for the part it doesn’t work that I would get it.
What I admire about the people I see or I’m merely acquainted with, and not because of their acting talent, but actors who do things other than act. Quite a few that I know write; they paint, compose – Anthony Hopkins composes music, Michael Gambon can fly a plane. Simon Callow who does – he’s the one person who I’d actually rather like to be because he can do so much. And this has got nothing now to do with the acting, or whether I, or what kind of actor he is, I mean, that’s what I look for now (in my envy and my jealousy and all those kind of things – I mean we all have). Thinking, ‘Boy! They can do all that!’, you know, even drive a car! People who can drive!
So there’s not one particular name I could say, that was the person I could really admire. Everybody I’ve worked with, everybody I know has something that I wish I had. And I don’t.”
Q: Can you tell us anything interesting about when you were in Time
"Yes, there are lots of interesting things about Time Bandits. Those of you who saw it, could imagine I wore a very uncomfortable costume, if you remember. This is going to be brief, and not rude.
If you remember I had long nails. Okay? Can you imagine going to the bathroom? So, I had to stop shooting every time, take off the fingernails – both sets – stop shooting, go, and then I had to come back, embarrassed, put them on again…
I didn't win any acting awards, and that’s cool, I have no problem with that, my ego’s too intact. But, I would have loved to have won an award for Time Bandits, so that I could have thanked all the little people."
Q: Did you ever want to play the Doctor?
“At Big Finish I’ve played Doctor Who twice. And, in fact, one of them that I did, the person who was playing one of the tiny Scottish supporting roles was David Tennant – before he became the Doctor. So I was the Doctor before David Tennant. And Mark Gatiss was the Master. It was great to be eventually asked to play the Doctor! There were rumours going round a few years ago that I turned down Doctor Who (it’s been on the internet or something). Years ago, I don’t know which transition it was, my agent called and said, ‘Would I be interested in going to a meeting about the possibility of playing Doctor Who?’ But I wasn’t free, so no; I never turned down Doctor Who."
David Warner - On his Dream Job: