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Smith has said of his character: "The Doctor is excited and fascinated by the tiniest of things. In 2007, Smith appeared as Henry in the Polly Stenham play That Face at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs in Chelsea.The play transferred to the Duke of York's Theatre in the West End in 2008 and became Smith's second role there.Extending his repertoire into West End theatre, he has since performed in the stage adaptation of Swimming with Sharks with Christian Slater, Smith's first television role came in 2006 as Jim Taylor in the BBC adaptations of Philip Pullman's The Ruby in the Smoke and The Shadow in the North, while his first major role in television came as Danny in the 2007 BBC series Party Animals.Smith, who was announced as the eleventh incarnation of the Doctor in January 2009, is the youngest person to play the character in the British television series.His brother, Scott, a public affairs consultant, is played by Andrew Buchan.Within the series' narrative, he attempts to balance his affections for Kirsty Mac Kenzie (Andrea Riseborough), his intern, while trying to prevent Porter's imminent decline.
Smith additionally auditioned for the role of John Watson in the Moffat-created Sherlock, undergoing auditions at the same time; he was unsuccessful, as Moffat believed his eccentric acting style was closer to Holmes, whose role had already been given to Benedict Cumberbatch. During Smith's tenure in On the Shore of the Wide World, the play transferred to the Royal National Theatre in London.
The BBC were cautious about casting him because they felt that a 26-year-old could not play the Doctor adequately; Wenger shared the same sentiment but thought Smith had proven his acting quality in Party Animals, which Wenger thought highlighted Smith's "mercurial qualities". After finishing the play, he took on the role of Lockwood, a pupil in the Alan Bennett play The History Boys.
Smith is the first Doctor to be nominated for a BAFTA for Best Actor. After The History Boys, he acted in the teen play Burn/Chatroom/Citizenship and with Christian Slater in Swimming with Sharks, the latter being his West End début.
That Face focuses primarily upon alcohol and drug addiction in an upper-middle-class family after the paternal figure in the family leaves.
As Henry, Smith portrayed an aspiring artist who left school to take care of his mother.
In Party Animals, Smith portrays Danny Foster, a parliamentary researcher to Jo Porter (Raquel Cassidy), a Labour politician and junior Home Office minister.