Christopher Eccleston has rarely been diplomatic in discussing why he took roles in blockbuster comic book movies such as GI Joe or Thor: The Dark World. But his latest declaration about the times he grabbed glitzy Hollywood roles for the cash might just be his strongest burn yet.
An apparently very miserable Christopher Eccleson as Malekith in Thor: The Dark World. Screenshot: Marvel Studios
Speaking to The Guardian in a wide-ranging interview, Eccleston looked back on his… financially-minded past as an actor. This occasionally meant taking flashy roles in big movies – parts that Eccleston has openly admitted were taken for financial reasons rather than creative ones – which apparently meant the actor was pretty miserable during the process of making them:
Working on something like GI Joe was horrendous. I just wanted to cut my throat every day. And Thor? Just a gun in your mouth. Gone in 60 Seconds was a good experience. Nic Cage is a gentleman and fantastic actor. But GI Joe and Thor were … I really paid for being a whore those times.
Hyperbolic, but even then, Gone in 60 Seconds over Marvel? Oof.
Eccleston didn’t mince his words when it came to discussing his tumultuous exit from Doctor Who, either – a topic he’s long been reticent about since it was eventually revealed that his acrimonious exit, just a season after the show made a triumphant return in 2005 (a success in part thanks to his fantastic take on the Doctor), came off the back of fraught clashes with BBC management about the direction and production of the show.
According to Eccleston, the BBC’s handling of the situation – which included Eccleston’s departure leaking to British tabloids after the very first episode of Doctor Who‘s revival went out, and even a falsified statement from the BBC alleging to have come from Eccleston – created a situation so bad for him that he left acting in the UK behind to work in America for a period (including his guest role in the first season of Heroes):
What happened around Doctor Who almost destroyed my career. I gave them a hit show and I left with dignity and then they put me on a blacklist. I was carrying my own insecurities as it was something I had never done before and then I was abandoned, vilified in the tabloid press and blacklisted. I was told by my agent at the time: “The BBC regime is against you. You’re going to have to get out of the country and wait for regime change.” So I went away to America and I kept on working because that’s what my parents instilled in me.
Makes it a lot more understandable as to why he wouldn’t return for Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary, really. You can read the full interview with Eccleston at the link below.