The not so great out­doors:

David Ten­nant and Jen­nifer Garner (right) share their feel­ings about the great out­doors in the build-up to their new com­edy about camp­ing, screen­ing on SoHo2. Jane Mulk­er­rins re­ports.

The TV Guide - - CONTENTS -

Broadchurch star goes Camp­ing.

“Ial­ways as­sumed I would hate camp­ing be­cause I do quite like home com­forts. I like a shower and clean un­der­crack­ers (un­der­pants),” muses David Ten­nant, the star of Broadchurch, Jes­sica Jones and a for­mer in­car­na­tion of Dr Who.

“I re­ally have only been proper camp­ing once,” ad­mits the Scot­tish ac­tor. “And it was a dis­as­ter. I went to a mu­sic fes­ti­val and we got rained on and I woke up the next morn­ing with rivers of wa­ter run­ning down ei­ther side of the tent we were in. And it didn’t im­prove for the whole four or five days.

“I re­sisted briefly,” he con­tin­ues, of the soggy tent ex­pe­ri­ence. “But then I just sur­ren­dered and went feral. So, I’m not a nat­u­ral camper, but there is an area of me that once I can ac­cess it, I can just say, ‘You know what, I’m just not go­ing to shower for five days’, and quite en­joy it.”

But Ten­nant’s co-star, Hol­ly­wood A-lis­ter Jen­nifer Garner, thinks of her­self as a much more com­pe­tent can­vas-dweller.

“I com­pletely love camp­ing,” she en­thuses. “I love camp­ing in a group. I love what you wear when you’re camp­ing.”

She ad­mits, how­ever, that, “The camp­ing I do most of­ten is in the back­yard, with ac­cess to a re­frig­er­a­tor and a stove, and wine. That’s prob­a­bly glamp­ing, isn’t it?”

Her al­ter ego in SoHo2’s new series Camp­ing would, no doubt, also con­sider this cheat­ing.

Writ­ten and pro­duced by Lena Dun­ham and Jenni Kon­ner, who wrote and di­rected Girls, Camp­ing is an­other com­edy skew­er­ing the se­ri­ously self-in­volved, with the out­doors added this time.

Garner plays Kathryn McSor­leyJod­dell, a high-main­te­nance, up­tight mi­cro-man­ager, who has or­gan­ised a week­end camp­ing trip to cel­e­brate the 45th birth­day of her nerdy hus­band, Wal­ter (Ten­nant).

Things quickly go awry, as friends and fam­ily mem­bers turn up with­out their re­spec­tive spouses, or with kids (in con­tra­ven­tion of Kathryn’s no-kids rule), while oth­ers bring new lovers into the in­ti­mate group­ing.

The show is based on a Bri­tish series of the same name, which was writ­ten by Ju­lia Davis, but Kon­ner and Dun­ham made the US ver­sion very much their own, most no­tably mak­ing Kathryn – who has had a hys­terec­tomy and is liv­ing with chronic pain, and a vul­ner­a­ble pelvic floor – a lit­tle more sym­pa­thetic.

“When I watched the Bri­tish ver­sion, I thought the per­for­mances were bril­liant,” says Garner. “But I thought, ‘Oh, I can’t play this. She’s too un­re­lent­ing, she’s too shrill, she’s just too nasty.’

“I couldn’t un­der­stand why she was the way she was. But the way that Jenni and Lena wrote her, she un­folds just a lit­tle dol­lop of who she is and why she is the way she is, over time, and now, to me, she is the hero of her own story.”

Much of Kathryn’s ex­haust­ing de­mands and so­cial awk­ward­ness are also soft­ened by the like­abil­ity of Garner her­self, who ad­mits there are as­pects of the char­ac­ter to which she re­lates. “I do love a folder and an or­gan­iser – I have a pa­per plan­ner, yes,” she con­fesses. The series rep­re­sents a TV re­turn for Garner, who rose to fame in the drama Alias, be­fore mov­ing to film. “I have al­ways said that I looked for­ward to go­ing back to TV,” she says. “I love the fa­mil­ial feel on set. I love get­ting a new script. If peo­ple have been of­fer­ing me things on TV in re­cent years, I cer­tainly haven’t known about it. Be­ing the lead in a sin­gle-lead 22-episode show though – I don’t think that I could do it any more.” That’s why an eight-part, half-hour com­edy shot in Los Angeles, how­ever, suited her per­fectly. For Ten­nant, mean­while, the ap­peal of the show was, in large part, Wal­ter’s weed­i­ness in the face of his pushy, he­li­copter wife and mother’s fuss­ing. “You can only play so many psy­chopaths with­out tak­ing it home,” he says. “It was lovely to play some­one who is sweet and open-hearted and long-suf­fer­ing and pos­si­bly most like the real me that I’ve ever done. “The phys­i­cal man­i­fes­ta­tion of Walt is how I feel in­side so much more than some sort of sharp-suited psy­cho­pathic vil­lain. So it was hugely ap­peal­ing to get into his head space and bucket hat.”

“You can only play so many psy­chopaths with­out tak­ing it home.”

– David Ten­nant

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