Interview with Tom Price
The first time I saw you on television it was as PC Andy Davidson in Torchwood, but you’re actually also a stand up comedian, what came first in your career, the acting or the comedy?
Tom: Acting. But I always got cast as the funny part. So then comedy was a natural monster born from the husk of a frustrated actor. I find it hard to do anything serious without people laughing. It’s a nightmare when you’re angry. Which, obviously, I never am. Apart from when Kai Owen calls me all the time. One a day! It’s not much to ask for a bit of down-time.
I love the outtakes from Torchwood and most especially the blooper reel from Adrift where Andy asks if he could join Torchwood, and as the cameras roll he says Captain Andy. Creases me up every time, but it’s led me to think that over the years Andy has come up the ranks to Sgt, but do you think he will ever get a position within Torchwood itself, or will he always be on the outside looking in?
Tom: His role is on the outside looking in. Like a strange man in a mac. But it’s a police uniform instead.
Sgt Andy Davidson has a lovely Welsh accent so it came as a bit of a shock to me to hear that you don’t actually have a Welsh accent. I was born and brought up in N. Wales and I still don’t have a Welsh accent unless I put it on, but I was surrounded by English speaking people so I guess it was never going to happen, was this the same for you?
Tom: Yes. I come from a small border town called Monmouth. It’s always been a source of dispute as to its origins. People often used to say you were either Welsh, English, or from Monmouthshire. I would go with that, but we’d have a RUBBISH rugby team.
Aside from the Torchwood audio stories have you ever narrated or appeared in any other audio dramas that we can look out for?
Tom: Big Finish just did a thing with Chase Masterson and I was in that. Lovely times.
The Scum Also Rises was a tv movie in 2007 where you played Billy, can you tell us anything about this film and your role within it?
Tom: This was a 30 minute sitcom pilot. It was fairly terrible, despite having a great cast. Much like Torchwood’s episode “Meat”.
You played the role of Tim Rice in the film Holy Flying Circus (2011) a 90 minute BBC comedy film about the television debate over Monty Python’s Life of Brian (one of my favourite Python films), how did the role come about and were you a fan of Monty Python prior to landing the role, and did you have to research a lot on Tim Rice beforehand?
Tom: Massive fan. I’m not such a huge fan of Tim Rice now I’ve learnt he’s a UKIP supporter. But up until then I certainly was. It was a joy to play someone whose name is so similar to mine. Apparently Kai’s already a shoe-in for the biopic of Welsh rugby player Ken Owens.
There are always a lot of sad moments in Torchwood, there is always someone dying somewhere, but I have to say that the moment when your character sat with that girl who had nobody when the Miracle ended, was fantastic. Do storylines in the series ever get to you, like when you’re playing the role, do the scripts often affect you (tearfully)?
Tom: I was super jet-lagged when I was doing that scene, so anything was making me tear-up a bit. It was touching, yes. It’s odd how sometimes these scenes sneak up on you and you can really find yourself emoting. Much like in Adrift when Gwen bogs off in that boat. I stood on that shore and cried for three days. The producer had to come and talk me down.
How often do you make it to the Torchwood Cons and are you going to any this year?
Tom: Just got back from Gallifrey in LA. That was ace. I enjoy going but I only tend to do these about once a year. So keep your eyes peeled!
What got you into acting and who is or was your greatest influence when starting out?
Tom: I wanted to be James Bond so I could kiss ladies. So I guess my biggest acting influence is Roger Moore. I am also a long-time admirer of Harold Bishop. I often act a lot like him. I’m not even slightly joking.
Comedy is all about timing – when you’re doing your stand up how much work do you put into your act and what do you cover, and where can we find you performing?
Tom: Follow me on that Twitter: @pricetom. All updates there.
When you’re not on set or on stage how do you chill out, relax or are you still formulating ideas for whichever project you’re working on?
Tom: I read a lot of crime thrillers and history books. When I’m not being distracted by my dog or wife or child.
The Torchwood novels often give the character a lot better scenes than we see on the actual series, would you have liked to have seen Andy deal with the zombies in ‘Bay of the Dead’ if it had been made into an episode of Torchwood?
Tom: Yes that would have been fun. He would have run away and they would have won. You don’t see that enough. Poor zombies.
Are you a console or a computer Gamer and if so which games do you enjoy playing?
Tom: I have an Xbox 360. Love COD and FIFA, I do.
If you could play any character in any genre who would it be and who would be your leading lady, and who would be your arch nemesis?
Tom: Jesus! Uh….Jesus? I’d like to play Jesus alongside Eve Myles as Mary Magdalene. I would also very much like to see John reprising his role as God.
Putting yourself into Andy mode for a minute or two, given that Andy holds a torch for Gwen do you think as Andy, that had the right circumstances been there, that he would have stood a chance with her, or is it more of a fantasy of Andy’s that he’d have someone like Gwen?
Tom: Andy is now settled and happily married with a lovely lady he met online. Via a Torchwood lookalike website. Say no more.
Are you involved in any new projects or programmes or Radio shows that we can look out for, or that you can share with us?
Tom: So much going on at the moment. I’m hosting a new weekly topical show on Radio Wales starting in September, called The Leak. I am also producing a comedy panel show for them with Nick Hancock hosting, and I’m helping to develop a sitcom for R Wales too. On top of that I’m thinking of maybe going to Edinburgh this year. Watch this space…
Are you a fan of action heroes, super heroes from comics and books and which are your favourites, and would you ever like to be a super hero in a film? Lots of Marvel ones out at the moment, I quite like the look of Guardians of the Galaxy out in August.
Tom: I love Iron Man. I think Andy is v similar. Maybe Stainless Steel Man?
Do you have a website where the fans can follow you at?
Who do we need to contact, write to in order to obtain a signed photo of you as Sgt Andy, or as yourself?
Tom: @pricetom is my twitter. I’m with independent talent for all that other stuff.
Questions from fans
Mickie Newton: Hi Tom what did you most enjoy about playing Andy?
Tom: The uniform was a thrill!! And the free food
Doreen Freitag: Which TW season is his favourite Andy season? Also thank you for playing Andy so emotional in MD. I really liked him there. The moment Andy was there for the lonely dying girl was heart-breakingly played by him.
Tom: Children of Earth! And thanks for your kind kind words Doreen
Claudia Lindner: Would Tom have liked Andy to have joined TW (the team, I mean) at some point?
Tom: Nope. He belongs on the outside. In the rain. With a grin on his slightly confused and miserable face.
Pauline Howard: Hi Tom what was it like working with Eve Myles on Torchwood
Tom: Nightmare. She kept trying to French Kiss me
Annika Gabriella Brink: Would he be prepared to put the uniform back on if there ever were a new season of Torchwood.
Tom: Yes, of course!
Kirsty Price: Is he ever going to become Captain Andy?
Tom: I already am, in my pants! Sorry – heart. In my heart.
Molly Lyons: What was it like working with Eve and John, and what were they like on set?
Tom:. Friendly, inclusive and spontaneous. And loud. I would recommend it to anyone who likes to see a range of sanities on display.
©BBC Torchwood 2006