HO HO WHO!
Nick Frost is Father Christmas
Does it feel like a biggie when the call comes to do Doctor Who?
Yeah, of course – and a Christmas episode too. Had I dropped hints to Steven [ Moffat]? No, never. I’m not like that. I like to get a job because I was the right person for it, not because I’d followed Steven home from work and sat outside his apartment. I met him when we did Tintin. The BBC do a big Worldwide thing in Liverpool each year, and I went this year because of Mr Sloane. And I saw him there really cutting a rug. A big hip- hop track dropped and he just went crazy. I took my glasses off. He can move. I thought wow, we have a shared interest in hip- hop, so I’m in.
Did you have to keep your casting secret?
I’m not good with secrets at the best of times. I was alright, I didn’t say anything. I was close a few times. Having that kind of information… you just think “I’m going to tweet it! I’m going to tweet it! I can’t not tweet it! Send!” But yeah, they implant like an exploding bomblet in your neck, and whenever something gets retweeted more than 800 times Steven sets it off.
What’s your take on Santa?
He’s a bit cockney, actually. He’s a bit of a geezer, he’s a bit hard, and then his alter- ego is “Ho ho ho!”. In his interactions with the Doctor there’s a weird sense that they kind of know each other. It’s never remarked upon, but they certainly had beef in the past, they have some kind of issue with each other. It’s like Maggie Simpson and the one- eyebrow baby… they just don’t like each other, which is funny to play. I’ve tried to make him funny and charming, but he also has a weird edge to him. It’s such a weird thing. I’ve got tiny little glasses as well and they’re actually Richard Attenborough’s glasses that he wore in The Miracle On 34th Street. I think I’m just channeling his energy through those spectacles. I’m having a real issue in that I haven’t shown my son any pictures of me as Father Christmas because I think it would blow his mind. He’s three.
How is it sharing scenes with Peter Capaldi?
He’s great. He’s exactly what the Doctor should be. He’s manic and cross and passionate and clever and funny. That’s what I want on a Saturday. He’s got such a beautiful face, and his eyes are so incredible. And he’s a real giggler – who knew that? He said he’s only corpsed twice in the series but I managed to get him every day!
Have you had any fanboy moments on set?
Oh god, yeah. I had a couple of scenes off so I was having a little snoop around. I turned a corner and there was a Weeping Angel, right outside a toilet… It was so creepy. I thought “I want to do a wee, but what if I come out and it’s moved slightly?”
And you look the part…
I never knew that I’d look so good as Father Christmas. Frosty the Snowman. A jolly happy soul.