Stage, Theatre & TV12th November 2015
The Doctor is in
If you love Doc Martin, you should enjoy this interview with Martin Clunes
He is best known for playing socially inappropriate and hopeless-in-love anti-heroes. From Gary Strang in Men Behaving Badly to the eponymous lead in Doc Martin. The real Martin Clunes however, is far more charming and lucky in love...
“I get a lot of criticism in my own home for taking an interest in peoples’ medical conditions,” says actor Martin Clunes, who for the past eleven years has been wooing fans worldwide with his role as Dr Martin Bamford, “Particularly their medications, I always want to know what they’ve been prescribed. My daughter in particular always says ‘You’re not a doctor! Shut up.’”
The sweet and affable comedy has been a surprisingly huge hit worldwide, with many foreign adaptations and a devout American fan base who refer to themselves as, ‘The Clunatics.’ Set in the fictional Cornish village of Portwenn, Clunes plays a brilliant surgeon who after developing haemophobia (fear of blood), is forced to quit his job and take one as a general practitioner in the sleepy, seaside town. The shows charm comes from the juxtaposition of cheery, local folk and the grumpy, socially inept doctor whom they are constantly trying to win over.
“It’s always much more fun to do something that’s awkward or complicated, otherwise it’s quite undramatic,” says Clunes on the doctor’s ongoing romance with the lovely, local schoolmistress Louisa (Caroline Catz). The pair have tempted and teased their audience for seven seasons now with their complicated, on/off romance. A dramatic vice that Clunes insists has been vital to the continuation of the show, saying, “People always say to me ‘come on, get back together’, and if we had done it years ago we’d have to have to do something else for the telly.”
In his private life, Clunes is partial to a quiet life in the country on his farm in Devon. Living with his wife Philippa, who is a producer on Doc Martin, and their teenage daughter Emily, the family have a fully working farm and several ‘heavy horses’. He is the president of the British Horse Society and says that life on the farm is ‘totally engaging’ and defines who they are.
On the subject of his family, Clunes is open and warm, the picture of a man who is truly content, although he does joke that his daughter steers clear of his work saying, “She studiously avoids anything we do. She doesn’t watch Doc Martin - when Sigourney Weaver came (cameoing in a recent episode) we went out for supper at Rick Steins and Emily came with us and when I said, ‘Do you want to watch the episode?’ she said, ‘No I’m alright.’”
With the seventh season of Doc Martin finished, Clunes is looking forward to a year off, and except for perhaps an Australian version of his travel documentary, Islands of Britain his diary is joyously clear, leaving plenty of time for other pursuits that are close to his heart: “I don’t have a great deal planned. I’ve been doing really well with big horses, I’ve got two Clydesdales who I’ve started riding, so I’m really happy not to work.”
Series 7 of Doc Martin comes to DVD on 16 November 2015 from RLJ Entertainment’s Acorn Label
Interview published with kind permission of the InterviewHub
Article by SL First Entertainment Team
posted in Entertainment / Stage, Theatre & TV
12th November 2015