David Tennant: “I grew up on Marvel comics… it’s very exciting to be part of their empire”

The former Doctor Who star speaks exclusively to RadioTimes.com about his new role in AKA Jessica Jones, where he keeps all his Radio Times covers and how he doesn't tell anyone the secrets of Broadchurch

David Tennant has revealed he was a comic book fan growing up, and that starring in his own Marvel TV series is a fantasy come true.


“I grew up on Marvel comics, so it’s very exciting to be part of their ever expanding entertainment empire,” he exclusively told RadioTimes.com at last night’s Radio Times Covers Party. “It’s great. I love the movies, I love the TV shows, so I’m very pleased to be part of one.”

Announced on Monday, his role as Kilgrave in AKA Jessica Jones marks the former Doctor Who actor’s entrance into the Marvel universe, which crosses films and TV programmes. For Tennant, it’s the fulfilment of a childhood dream.

“I grew up an absolute devotee to the worlds of Marvel, so the fact that they’ve expanded now into TV and film is a fact that I fantasised about when I was younger. So now to be part of it, to be on the other side of it is a thrill.” 

In the comics, Kilgrave is known as The Purple Man, because he’s purple. It hasn’t been confirmed whether Tennant will be donning purple make-up (although it’s a good look for him) but we can’t help but notice the colour of his tie…

“I don’t know what you are referring to,” he teases.

OK, fine, he’s not going to answer that. How does he feel playing a villain?

“Who says it’s a villain? Make no assumptions. I’m saying nothing.”

Executive producer Melissa Rosenberg. That’s who says Kilgrave is a villain, David.

Yes, it seems Tennant is back to keeping secrets: “I’ve found myself in another world which I can answer no questions about.” It’s a skill he honed on murder mystery Broadchurch, currently showing its second series. “I tell nobody nothing,” he boasts. ““I don’t mind the shutting up. I was in Scotland last night and I watched the last episode go out with my family. My niece was shouting all sorts of theories… some of which were quite prescient, some of which were very wide of the mark.”

If even his family don’t get the inside scoop, we have no chance. He’s devious, that David Tennant.


Devious like a supervillain.