Bill Nighy Turned Down the Chance to Star in Doctor Who

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Bill Nighy Turned Down the Chance to Star in <i>Doctor Who</i>

Earlier this month, it was announced that Peter Capaldi would tackle the role of the 12th Doctor, succeeding Matt Smith and following in the steps of decades of Doctors before him.

Come December, Whovians will be able to see Capaldi’s debut during the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas special. But it turns out, things could have traveled through a totally different wormhole, and we could have ended up seeing another version of the Time Lord.

In an interview with the Daily Express, Love Actually and Underworld star Bill Nighy revealed that he was once offered the chance to play the Time Lord, but declined the opportunity. However, he kept pretty mum on the details.

“I won’t tell you when because the rule is that you are not allowed to say you turned that job down because it’s disrespectful to whoever did it,” Nighy said. “I will say that I was approached. But I didn’t want to be the Doctor. No disrespect to Doctor Who or anything, I just think that it comes with too much baggage.”

But Nighy approves of the show’s choice of Capaldi as the new Doctor. “He’s a marvelous actor. He’ll be very good as the Doctor. He’ll bring a lot of wit and dry humour. He’s elegant and he looks great,” he said.

The 63-year-old actor can be seen in the rom-com About Time as well as in the upcoming I, Frankenstein early next year. Nighy was also one of our 12 suggestions for actors who should get the chance to board the TARDIS.