Sylvester McCoy Q&A at Pop Con
Sylvester McCoy was a guest at Indy Pop Con, and we got the chance to listen to him talk about Doctor Who, and The Hobbit.
Sylvester started the Q&A by playing the spoons with a couple of young kids. So fans had to wonder, “Where did you learn to play the spoons?”
In prison. Actually what happened was, I joined a group, my very first job. Everybody played a musical instrument, and I didn’t. I was in a pub one night, a guy was playing the spoons, and I said, “How do you do that?” and he said, “This is how you do it.”, I did it, and that was it. I became a spoon player.
About Doctor Who:
I went to see about working on Doctor Who, and it was a sunny day in England, I wore a straw hat. The producer said to me, “Wow. I love that hat. I’d like to have that in Doctor Who.” I said, “Well if it’s in Doctor Who, I go with it.” That’s how I got the job really. So I started off with the hat, then I wanted a big jacket, with pockets for paraphernalia, and a place to keep my script so I could look at it quickly. I wanted it to be more like a linen jacket, that was floppy, but they gave me one that was not so floppy. I thought the vest was a bit much, it was overstating the question marks, that was the producers idea. I got a scarf in memory of the one the 4th Doctor wore. The hanky was my idea, as well as the question mark umbrella.
Some of the first monsters I worked with were Tetraps, they were batlike creatures, with three eyes, and they used to hang upside down. I felt bad for the actors who were in the costumes, it gets very hot. We were doing scenes, and I was underneath the bats, and they were dripping on me. Eww, bat drip. It’s not nice.
(When asked about favorite monsters) We had the cat people in an episode, and it was really hot, one girl couldn’t take it anymore so she ripped off her costume and was running over a sand dune. She forgot she was only wearing a thong, so that’s one of my favorite ones.
I like the idea they have gone back to a mature Doctor, and Peter Capaldi is a great actor. When I was younger and I watched Doctor Who, I thought it was great. There are many young superheroes, but there are very few old superheroes. It seemed to be rather important, especially in our anglo-saxon world where we’re not very kind to our old people. In England anyway, they stick them in homes. That’s why I keep coming to America, so they don’t get me!
So suddenly the Doctors are younger, and they hire Matt Smith, a twelve year old! But when I saw Matt Smith, I thought he was amazing. When I was doing it there was no hanky panky, but now there’s a lot of hanky panky with the young Doctors and their companions. But it would be a bit iffy with the older Doctor and the young companion. So I don’t know what would happen with that, well actually I’m looking forward to it.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s mother was in the very first episode I did of Doctor Who. So I got to know her. Benedict was a young teenager, and he came to visit, so I got to know him. I think he’s brilliant, especially watching him in Sherlock!
About The Hobbit:
Now I’m an old wizard, with poo down my face. It’s a shitty job.
I wanted to play the spoons in the Hobbit, so I had wooden ones, because they would fit the scenes better than modern spoons. I had my case, with the wooden spoons in them, so I would walk around the studio past Peter Jackson, holding my case, then suddenly he said, “Hey! What’s in there?”, because he has a boyish sensibility, and he liked the look of it. So I opened it up, and took out the wooden spoons, and he said, “Oh, we’ve got to have that in the Hobbit.”, but then that never happened. But if you watch the DVD extras, you’ll see I’m trying to convince him by playing the spoons around Peter.
Random Tidbits & Antics:
- Sylvester learned to line dance 22 years ago in Indianapolis, IN.
- He calls modern Doctor Who “21st Century” Doctor Who.
- Walked the floor asking questions, then had one little girl follow him around for a bit.
- Has his staff from The Hobbit at home.
- Weeping angles freak him out.