This week, David Tennant Does a Podcast with… Michael Sheen and the two Good Omens co-stars prove a highlight of the series so far.
Although most of the podcasts so far have featured David Tennant catching up with old co-stars from his various projects, this highlights a collaboration that’s incredibly fresh. So fresh, in fact, that it doesn’t even arrive on our screens until next month. The two stars have even come straight from doing a promotional photo shoot together. For the man of the hour (and a bit) is none other than the actually-quite-legendary Michael Sheen, who plays the angel Arizaphale opposite Tennant’s demonic Crowley in the upcoming Good Omens.
This might well be one of the reasons that this is the funniest and fastest moving podcasts so far. Tennant and Sheen are perfectly attuned to each other from the very start and it feels very much like a brief window into a marathon of banter that went on all day. Both are in fine form and showing a particular kind of giddiness. The sort you often see from actors in the middle of a long run of media interviews.
It also allows them to vent about their newly discovered mutual loathing of photo shoots. Not the type where you adopt a look of concern while gesturing towards the camera in costume, though. The sort where Tennant describes it “you play a kind of version of yourself,” or, as Sheen puts it, “you’re basically prostituting yourself.” Note to future photographers working with either of them: avoid phrases like “let’s have some fun with this.” No good can come of it. Nor from asking Tennant “for a bit more warmth.”
As funny as it unashamedly honest, this week’s podcast promises fantastic chemistry between the two stars of Good Omens
It’s makes for an unusually honest and forthright fifteen minutes at the start. The two actors admit to being difficult at such shoots, but also explore exactly what it is that triggers them. Apart from anything else, the description of that morning’s antics – as a self-admitted “grumpy” Sheen makes life difficult for the photographer while a Tennant who’s used to being the awkward one overcompensates (“It’s all fiiiiine…”) is hysterical.
And honestly, blistering but funny is the hallmark of Sheen’s contribution. He talks with an ironic lack of self-regard of his struggles, early in his career, to control his ego. Having failed to be “carried through the streets” as the greatest actor in history following his debut he crashed out of college in shock. While he describes the greatest acting note he ever got as coming from Fiona Shaw. “Just be careful not to enjoy yourself too much,” she told him after seeing him in one early play. He’s similarly honest when describing his occasional, but terrifying, attacks of stage fright. He even admits to that most terrible moment in any father’s life, let alone one who’s an actor. The day his daughter revealed his “doing the voices” during her bedtime story was embarrassing.
Sheen details life as remarkable as that of any public figure he’s recreated on screen
But this is also balanced by the firm impression of Sheen not only as a great actor but a fully rounded human being who has lived a remarkable life. He’s particularly touching when talking about his love of Wales. And his determination to parlay his celebrity and relative wealth into good works that go beyond a superficial endorsement. While his story of first meeting Neil Gaiman after an interview where he stuck up for the author in particular, and genre fiction and comic books in general, is an essential listen. It underlines the mix of passion, integrity, and remarkable events that sum up Sheen’s character and life.
David Tennant Does a Podcast with… Michael Sheen is the most fun and funny the podcast has been yet. But it also makes Blogtor Who even more excited for Good Omens, if that were possible.
David Tennant Does a Podcast with… is a Something Else and No Mystery productions. Good Omens will be available on Amazon Video on May 31st.