David Tennant has admitted sudden fame made him “very vulnerable” and said he sought help from a therapist after Doctor Who transformed him into a household name.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, the star said he was “intimidated and scared” when his iconic television role made him the centre of attention whenever he walked into a room.
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He took on the title role in the BBC’s sci-fi flagship in 2005 and said he found the attention unnerving.
“The way you imagine it’s going to be is not the way it is at all,” he said. “It’s much more exposing, and the imaginative leap you’ve had that it will give you status or make you invulnerable is all wrong.
“It makes you very vulnerable, and very raw.”
The Broadchurch actor confessed that he “wasn’t coping” with his new life and sought therapy with “a very lovely older lady who was very calm and normal and just helped me cope with it”.
He said he imagined that a famous person who turned heads entering the room would feel “powerful”, but said his experience was very different.
“When you are that person, you walk into a room and everyone turns their head and whispers, and you feel like you’re being squashed.
“You feel intimidated, and you feel scared, actually.”
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The 48-year-old Scot is currently promoting the new TV series Good Omens, adapted from a book by Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett.
Tennant stars as the demon Crowley in the Amazon Prime series, alongside Michael Sheen as angel Aziraphale.
Tennant, who also earned plaudits as the villain in superhero series Jessica Jones, is frequently voted as the best Doctor Who lead of all time.
He played the role from 2005 until 2010, returning for one-off 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor in 2013.
Good Omens will be released via Amazon Prime on 31 May, with BBC Two set to air the series later in the year.