Matt Smith talks Daemon Targaryen and Doctor Who roles at Middle East Film and Comic Con

The British actor gave a shout-out to Pedro Pascal’s new HBO show, ‘The Last of Us’

British actor Matt Smith attended a panel at the Middle East Film and Comic Con in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI:March 4 British actor Matt Smith, the star behind fan-favorite roles such as Daemon Targaryen (“House of the Dragon”) and Doctor Who, said he was relieved that fans enjoyed the “Game of Thrones” prequel series, at a Middle East Film and Comic Con panel in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

“I think you’re always just relieved that people enjoy it. We were coming off the back of a show that had enormous success. And we were never going to be able to recreate the dizzy heights of (‘Game of Thrones’). We tried to create something original. And in it, there are characters that I think you can get a hold of. So it’s more relief than anything,” Smith said.

The actor took a moment to give a shout-out to another successful HBO series, “The Last of Us,” starring Pedro Pascal and “Game of Thrones” star Bella Ramsey.

“Speaking of which, has anyone been watching ‘The Last of Us’?” Smith asked. “That’s good, isn’t it? What a cool show that is. Brilliant, brilliant. I’ve been enjoying that. But at 7pm at night.”

The “7pm” quip was an earlier reference to Smith’s shock when he was informed that fans in the Middle East wake up at 4am-5am to catch “House of the Dragon” to avoid spoilers.

“What about work? What are you all doing with your lives?” Smith laughed when he heard about the early morning television-watching. “You get up at 5 in the morning. You wouldn’t just wait till the evening that night when you got home from work? You nutters! Oh wow. Well, I’m going to have a word and see if we can get it on a more convenient time here.”

The actor also went back to discuss his “Doctor Who” role, where he played the Eleventh Doctor for three seasons, after David Tennant bowed out from the show.

When a fan asked if he’d always been a follower of the show, Smith replied that he missed it when he was younger but fell in love with the character when he read the script of his first episode.

“I read the first episode and I was like, ‘Wow, he’s the most amazing character in the world,’ and fell in love with it and then subsequently went back and watched every episode,” said Smith, adding that he became a “super fan.”

When asked to compare the two roles, Daemon and Doctor Who, and how they challenged him as an actor, Smith said: “Well, they’re both really challenging parts, which is one thing. Doctor Who is an amazing thing to get to play, because you get to be really close to the notion of time travel every day, which is just a wonderful thing to think about constantly. And he is the most wonderful character. And, so, to sort of carry that around with you is pretty amazing.”

“And, then, it’s cool being Damien, because I get to ride a dragon, wear a cool, long wig and be a Targaryen. So, they’re both real gifts that I feel very pleased with and both represent completely different challenges,” he said.

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