“HE WAS an avowed Doctor Who fan as a youth - a circumstance which, though it has paid off handsomely, did no favors to his social standing back then. Due to his interest in the program, along with a general predilection for sci-fi/fantasy and an abiding fascination with the manned moon landings of the late 60s and early 70s, Capaldi was given the nickname Moon Man - not by friends, he says, but by “people who were cruel to me.”
HE COUNTED a Dalek action figure among his favorite childhood toys, playing with it for years until its protruding eye and protruding gun broke off.
HE GREW up in Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, though his paternal grandfather came from Picinisco, a small village in the Lazio region of Italy, where the elder Capaldi worked as a shepherd before immigrating to the U.K. and getting into the ice-cream business.
A FEW years ago, when Capaldi was starring in a West End adaptation of the classic Ealing film comedy The Ladykillers, he received a surprise package at the theater: a shipment of local Picinisco cheese, a gift from the village’s mayor, prideful that the grandson of a Piciniscan was headlining on the London stage.
HE ARRIVED at school in 1976, he says, looking “like Neil Young, with long hair and flares.” Then punk broke, “and we all went back to college with peroxide hair and leather trousers.”
WHILE AT art school, he co-founded a punk band called the Dreamboys, of which he was the lead singer. His band initially rejected an aspiring drummer named Craig Ferguson, the future late-night TV host. Ferguson re-auditioned, though, and made it into the group the second time around.
WHEN CAPALDI appeared in 2009 on Ferguson’s CBS talk show, the host introduced him by saying, “I’ve actually taken acid with my next guest.”
HE WON an Oscar in 1995, not in one of the acting categories but for best live-action short film. His short was called “Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life,” and featured Collins, Withnail & I star Richard E. Grant, and future Downton Abbey regular Phyllis Logan.
HIS GREATEST moment of Doctor Who fanboy-fantasy realization thus far came when he was called upon for the first time to operate the TARDIS, the homely 60s-era London police box that serves as the Doctor’s vessel for time travel. As he stood surrounded by set technicians explaining how to use it, Capaldi says, “I had to be very patient and not say to them, ‘I know exactly how to operate it. You don’t have to tell me a thing. Moon Man is here.’ ”
My favourites segments of an unconventional but precious profile. Includes what you should know about him, and what you probably didn’t know yet, though you appreciate him from quite a while.
I love the Moon Man thing, so I think I’ll call him that way from now on… Unless when I call him The Doctor! :D