Interview with Justin Walters
In the episode Countrycide, you played one of the villagers pictured in Helen Sherman’s kitchen. I remember spotting your scowling face, least I think you were scowling. How did that role come about and how did you feel playing the role of a cannibal – even though you weren’t actually cannibalising anybody, but how was it received by your family?
Justin: The role came about when I actually got a phone call out of the blue and was called up to the set the next day. The location base was in Cardiff so we where driven out into the Brecon beacons where they filmed some exterior shots in an old quarry, then a day or so after we had to film the interiors of the house where all of us are sitting round the table this was in the same set as the hub. I am the cannibal who gets shot after Maxine, its my leg that get shot in the scene. That was a scary one to do, as I am not used to using squibs and you have to be so careful and fall the right way. As they are a mini explosive as pointed out to me by Danny Hargreaves so that did shock me, but was put at ease by him and the stunt coordinator Nick. I really enjoyed the part and it still holds a place in my top fave EPs. My family enjoyed it.
In Doctor Who Rise of the Cybermen you played the role of the bodyguard to the President of Great Britain. Was it easier getting roles within Doctor Who at that time, and have you played any roles in the latest episodes of Who?
Justin: At the time of Doctor Who I was just getting back in to acting as I had taken a break after drama school and wanted to make a little money before acting, so to get the call about Doctor Who I really couldn't say no, I haven't been in any other eps due to continuity.
Those two roles weren’t speaking parts, have you taken roles where you have a speaking part?
Justin: Yes I had a lead role in a short film called the money tree and also role in Daziel and Pascoe as bobby the doorman, Also a role in a welsh language series called Yr Pris as part of the brotherhood run by the late Philip Madoc. Which was a great series. Which I still haven't actually watched. As sometimes I really don't like watching myself on screen.
Are there any funny moments during filming on Who and Torchwood that you can share with us?
Justin: Funny well the scenes were filmed in a house in Penarth and what you don’t see is the foot of snow that fell during the night the cybermen burst through the window so they had to clear all the snow before filming that scene and also the one when they are standing outside in front of the doctor. Also I can tell you that the special chair that the late great Roger Lloyd Pack uses had to be specially built due to Roger breaking his foot before it came to filming The rise of the Cybermen.
During scenes there can be a lot of hanging around, what did you used to do to pass the time between takes?
Justin: I usually have a book or paper to read or sometimes usually chat with other folk. It was the days before android phones. So no selfies with David Tennant or Billie Piper then.
Have you worked in other parts of the industry, such as lighting, cameraman, director, etc?.
Justin: I am afraid I haven't, I took nearly 7 years out of acting to have a family, but I did do script writing to keep my mind flowing.
On your CV you’ve listed Skateboarding, have you ever taken a role where skateboarding was involved and do you have any links to clips where we can see your moves on the board? (I’m very good at falling without any grace whatsoever on a skateboard, and don’t get me started on rollerskates)
Justin: No thank god. Too old now and probably take me longer to heal these days.
Other than playing a cannibal in Torchwood have you played any other gruesome roles?
Justin: I haven't as yet I usually play the serious one.
Do macabre roles fascinate you or are you quite squeamish? Do you come from an acting family?
Justin: I am not squeamish and macabre roles do challenge me. I do like to push the boundaries and psyche to the most. Well on my Dads side yes there are actors. One is my relations is Daniel Evans who is now the the director of Sheffield theatre. But has had roles in many a TV, Film and theatre. Doctor who he played Daniel Llewellyn in the 2005 Christmas special, He has just directed The Full Monty stage show which starts a run in the west end in Feb and is a brilliant show.
Do you have a favourite actor/actress you’d love to appear with in a film/tv/play?
Justin: Indeed I do Christina Ricci has always been a favourite of mine. Also would love to act with David Tennant again a very talented actor.
Who is your favourite all time actor and have you ever had the opportunity of meeting any of your favourite actors?
Justin: I don't have a favourite as such due to every actor/actress as they are all talented in different ways.
Do you ever go to any of the Torchwood or Who Cons when they’re on?
Justin: I haven't I am afraid due to family commitment.
Will you be going to the Starfury event in April?
Justin: It actually depends if I am filming around that time.
When you’re not acting what do you do to relax?
Justin: I used to actually drive a coach for Edwards Coaches while in between Jobs which I actually enjoyed doing while not acting.
What are you favourite tv programmes and which do you avidly watch and talk about more than others?
Justin: Peppa pig due to my 2 year old watching it. :-)
Are you a whiz in the kitchen or are you more of a take-out guy?
Justin: Love my cooking, there is nothing like preparing and cooking a meal done by hand.
If you weren’t an actor, what other career might you have followed?
Justin: Actually it would have been animation as many moons ago I had a chance to work for Walt Disney and sadly turned it down.
What was the last book you read?
Justin: The Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett. Cannot beat him on his discworld series.
In the Doctor Who episode you were up against Cybermen but what are your ultimate favourite WHO monsters/aliens?
Justin: Has to be the Daleks as they are the most funny humour wise and disturbing monsters ever
Who is your favourite Doctor and who was your first growing up?
Justin: David Tennant is my favourite as he brought something new and exciting to the Doctor and Peter Davison was the one while growing up.
If you had the opportunity of playing the Doctor, who would you want as your companion and where would you like the Tardis to take you on adventures?
Justin: Well my companion would be my mum so we could go and see my dad again and bring all the great memories flooding back.
A lot of people are mad daft on football and very patriotic about who they support, are you the same or do you merely (like me) view the score draws to see who beat or lost against your team and are happy to leave it at that?
Justin: Don't follow football sorry to all you footy fans.
How far have you travelled to play a part?
Justin: Well I have travelled to a parallel earth for the role in Doctor Who. That was a strange journey.
Are you working on any projects at the moment that you can share with us?
Justin: I have just auditioned for a role in an American SciFi Film which I cannot disclose. But it does really read like a blockbuster film. Plus I hope that they do think of bringing Torchwood back.
Scott Lewis: What made you get into acting? Was it something you did from a young age and if not why did you put it off until later in life?
Justin: Hi Scott, I always knew I wanted to be in the industry but it took me a long time to find out I wanted to be an actor. Back many years ago I got asked to act in a film and that is what made me decide, after a short stint in drama school I haven't looked back since and no other job actually fulfils me like acting.
And the last word from Justin...
I would like to Thank all at Project: Torchwood and the Fans for keeping such a great series alive in everyone's mind and maybe your voices will bring it back. The cast and crew of Torchwood and Doctor Who you were the best to work with and to my agent Veronica Lazar at Avanti Talent Management and to Simon Davies and Stuart Issac and all at Edwards Coaches for being so understanding towards my acting career
©BBC Doctor Who 1963
©BBC Torchwood 2006