Tommy Knight (Dr. Who) stars in the new horror comedy slasher Stitches, playing a boy who has a tragic birthday party and finds himself and his guests terrorized by a killer clown out for revenge. We talked to him at the LA premier about frights, fans, and death defying stunts.
What was the scariest movie moment for you as a child?
I watched The Exorcist when I was a proper baby, I was maybe six. Mom and Dad had no idea that it was on, just sneaking down in the middle of the night to put on the telly and it had just started so I sat down and watched it and it scared me for months and months! I went back and watched this maybe about two years ago and it’s almost more of a comedy now in comparison to how scary I remembered it.
What’s something that you’re personally afraid of?
I don’t know, I’m more of a person where if something scares me I get a buzz from it, I get excited. I don’t know whether that’s fear or stupidity on my part but I love that!
What is one of your favorite moments from on the set of Stitches?
There was a bit that was cut where Tommy is on a bicycle and Stitches the Clown stabs the bike seat and I jump up and I grab onto a tree branch and then Stitches goes over a cliff on his tricycle. There was a whole sequence where I get onto the tree branch, and I’m all harnessed up and there was a stunt man there for the day. That was my first proper stunt, hanging on a tree branch over a 20-30ft drop.
What’s something people might not know about you?
There’s a number of scenes in the film where I ride off on a bicycle. When I was offered the job I hadn’t actually told Conner that I’ve never owned a bicycle before. I had to learn just for this. I bike a lot in the film so it was quite a demanding feat. It’s not that wobbly but you can tell I’m a bit of a Newbert, ha!
You also of course have appeared on Dr. Who, what’s it like being on such an iconic show?
It was pretty awesome! When I started doing this I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and then you do a few episodes in the Who Universe, the fandom behind it is so intense! The amount of people that have come up to me asking for my autograph, I’ve been to conventions, I got to meet so many fans! Everybody that’s part of that is so nice too! I was so honored that they recognized me as part of it, it’s quite a historical thing!
You were also in the Sarah Jane chronicles, what’s it like making the transition into your first time doing horror?
I don’t think there is too much of a difference, like in the way that me and Connor discussed playing the character Tommy we didn’t want to make it like a wink-wink kind of thing, “Play it like you’re genuinely terrified, you be the straight man and play it as sensible as you can”. If anything being on a horror set it’s so much more light hearted because during your scenes you’re so intense and pent up that as soon as they yell cut all you want is to do is have a laugh, so it makes the whole vibe on set so much warmer than on something like a comedy where you’re happy on set and when you are through it sort of drains you of all your happiness and you are spent and feel empty inside. I found that interesting.
By Laura Gaddy