Prince, Doctor, Daemon. MATT SMITH and his most important roles

Matt Smith turns 40.

Dawid Myśliwiec

28 October 2022

The first time I saw Matt Smith on screen – and it was probably in Ryan Gosling’s Lost River – I thought to myself: this guy has evil written all over his face. And although the actor, born exactly 40 years ago in the British town of Northampton, has gained popularity with thoroughly positive and highly iconic roles, he comes off best when playing the bad guys. Is the actor the leading villain of modern cinema and television? Check it out for yourself – here are Matt Smith’s best roles!

The Eleventh Doctor

It’s impossible not to start with the role that essentially put Smith on the acting map. Ba, according to Digital Spy, it is Matt, who is gifted with an extremely distinct jaw, who turns out to be the most appreciated by fans when it comes iconic role of Doctor Who! I’ll admit that I  am not too familiar with the series about the Time Lord – I remember a few episodes with Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Peter Capaldi – but I am well aware of the widespread hype that accompanied the casting of the then little-known Matt Smith in the role of Doctor Who. At the time, he was 28 years old, which made him the youngest actor to play a Time Lord. What’s more, in 2011 he became the first actor to play the role to be nominated for the BAFTA Television Awards, while in 2012 and 2014 he won Best Actor award at the National Television Awards.

Prince Philip (The Crown)

The Crown Season 1

Netflix’s hugely popular series about the recently deceased British Queen Elizabeth II gave us a number of great acting performances, led, of course, by the three female lead players: Claire Foy, Olivia Colman and Imelda Staunton. But plenty of praise was heaped on Matt Smith as the first actor to embody Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, playing the role of the husband of first the princess and then Queen Elizabeth. This creation earned him a Primetime Emmy nomination – interestingly, his successor in the role of Prince Philip, Tobias Menzies, was also nominated for it, although neither of them ultimately received the award. In The Crown, however, Matt Smith confirmed his acting aspirations, successfully tackling dramatic repertoire.

Jack (Last Night in Soho, dir. Edgar Wright)

I can’t help the feeling that Last Night in Soho is an outrageously underrated film. This beautifully made horror film, carried by two wonderful female roles – Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomasin McKenzie – is a work that gives an exceptionally powerful message, drawing attention to the subjective treatment of women and their exploitation by men. Using the convention of horror, Wright paints a truly terrifying story in which the beautiful Sandie falls prey to a real predator, Jack, played bravuraly by Matt Smith. And it is in this role that he proves that as “the bad guy” he is sometimes the most convincing – his character is the epitome of all the negative qualities that can be found in a man. Jack is an exemplification of the worst male offenses against women. And Smith has managed to flawlessly portray this monster.

Robert Mapplethorpe (Mapplethorpe, dir. Ondi Timoner)

A 100 percent British man playing a 100 percent New Yorker from Queens? It might not have worked, but… it did, very much so! Matt Smith’s role of the legendary photographer, known for his highly sophisticated, though often controversial black-and-white portraits, wowed critics around the world. In Mapplethorpe’s biopic, made in a raw, quasi-documentary form (director Ondi Timoner is first and foremost a documentary filmmaker), Smith shines in full, capturing all the distinctive traits of the famous photographer – including his pursuit of fame.

Prince Daemon Targaryen (House of the Dragon)

This role probably doesn’t need much introduction – in the just-concluded first season of House of the Dragon, Prince Daemon Targaryen was one of the main characters, at first positioned as the main antagonist, which, however, became less and less obvious with each successive episode. Matt Smith, one of the most prominent members of the cast, created a character that was complex, ambiguous, but also perhaps not fully understood – although this is no longer his fault, but that of the screenwriters. Matt Smith in the role of Prince Daemon Targaryen is, in my opinion, one of the few accurate casting decisions of the show.

Dawid Myśliwiec

Dawid Myśliwiec

Always in "watching", "about to watch" or "just watched" mode. Once I've put my daughter to bed, I sit down in front of the screen and disappear - sometimes losing myself in some American black crime story, and sometimes just absorbing the latest Netflix movie. For the past 12 years, I have been blogging with varying intensity at MyśliwiecOglą

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