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Exclusive Interview: 'TORCHWOOD'S' GARETH DAVID-LLOYD TALKS ABOUT LOVING CAPTAIN JACK

The actor also reveals he's become a recent BUFFY convert and keeps up with his DOCTOR WHO too

By SEAN ELLIOTT, Senior Editor
Published 3/31/2008


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Gareth David-Lloyd started on TORCHWOOD as the secretarial coffee man lanto with a hidden Cyberwoman girlfriend in the basement. His character was tormented and had more than his fair share of secrets that he kept from the team. Now in the second season Ianto has taken his relationship with Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and his character has developed an extremely wry sense of humor with a habit of zinging one-liners in tight situations.

In what completes the TORCHWOOD team interviews, iF MAGAZINE uncovers more about Ianto’s character than is seen on the surface and found out how David-Lloyd became a recent BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER convert.


 
iF MAGAZINE: How do you feel about the changes the writers have made with Ianto from Series One to Series Two?
 
GARETH DAVID-LLOYD: It’s great! From Series One, towards the end I think that the changes that we see in series two had already been started being brought into the character, so it was a natural progression of how Ianto was changing. The dark secrets he had been keeping from the team were now out in the open by the end of the series, and he had always had a flirtation with Jack which I thought was going to develop. This season it’s much more relaxed and he’s not all about keeping secrets, he’s about Torchwood and Jack -- he’s found his meaning and his place so his dry humor comes out a lot more and he’s happier.
 
iF: Did they ever give you an arc for Ianto so you at least knew what direction you were going to be heading with him?
 
DAVID-LLOYD: No, things just sort of developed organically and you get ideas in your head as you’re doing it and you see things as a logical place for relationships with characters to go. You see it coming and as an actor you can share ideas and discuss with the writers and the other actors and sometimes influence where things are going to end up, it just depends.
 
iF: You’ve had two very different relationships on this show to play; one with Lisa the Cyberwoman and now with John Barrowman as Captain Jack. Can you talk about some of the fun that playing such a completely different scope of love interests has provided you?
 
DAVID-LLOYD: Working with Caroline [Chekizie] the actress that played the Cyberwoman, was very different because she was covered in metal and you never really saw much domesticity. [Laughs] The happy times in their lives had already been and gone. Acting with John is a very different and you see a lot of different scenarios when things are tense and then when things are chatty and flirty and there’s such a scope to play with there. It’s a completely different experience really. Working with John as an actor, he makes us all laugh and cuts us up but he’s really just a consummate professional to work with.
 
iF: We’ve seen pretty much everyone else in bed on this show, are we ever going to see Ianto and Jack?
 
DAVID-LLOYD: Maybe they’ve haven’t gotten to that. [Laughs] Hold out and they will get what they want this season.

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iF: If you had to pick one thing that you gotten to do with Ianto on TORCHWOOD what would it be?
 
DAVID-LLOYD: Generally, I really like the new action version of Ianto, where he’s running around with stun guns and doing stunts and stuff like that. I just think I love the great witticisms that the writers have been giving me to say. Each time I get a script I wonder, ‘what’s he going to say this time?’ [Laughs] I’m really a fan of the writing and I always wonder what quip Ianto is going to come up with. But, really the action and the humor are taking an equal place for me. 
 
iF: This series you had guest actors like Freema Agyemen and Alan Dale com on for episodes, how is it when new people come onto the show?
 
DAVID LLOYD: It’s great because everyone that has come on has been really lovely and brilliant. I can imagine other TV shows have problems when guest stars come on board and have s**t personalities and there are conflicts, but we’ve been really lucky in the sense that we’ve had people like Alan Dale who is just an amazing professional actor, James Marsters who I had a lot of fun with, and Freema who is really lovely.
 
iF: Were you a BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER fan before James Marsters, who played Spike on the series, came aboard?
 
DAVID-LLOYD: I had seen a few episodes before I met James, and now I’m going back from the beginning and discovering what a great show that was!
 
iF: So did James come on and convert the TORCHWOOD cast to watch BUFFY if they hadn’t?
 
DAVID-LLOYD: [Laughs] I think so yeah.
 
iF: Where would you like for Ianto to go in terms of character development?
 
DAVID-LLOYD: I don’t want him to go anywhere I want him to stay right where he is at the moment. No, but seriously, I’d like to see them service some more of the darker aspects of his personality. I’d like to see more of his anguish and darkness played out, and maybe it will as he takes another steps towards maturing and manhood, because I still think there is a part of him that is quite bottled up and festering in the bottom of his soul somewhere.
 
iF: Ianto always seems to be in a suit and tie, will he ever get to wear more casul clothes to work?
 
DAVID LLOYD: Not really while working in Torchwood or in the hub, but you will get to see him in some more relaxed attire this series.
 
iF: I always figured that would get really hot running around in a suit and tie while a lot of the other actors are dressed in T-Shirts and jeans.
 
DAVID-LLOYD: [Laughs] Yeah, but I’m used to it now. Although, when we’ve had a break from filming it takes some getting used to when we come back. I’m not that smart of a dresser all the time so it takes me a while walking around in suits before it feels normal and then by then end I don’t even notice.
 
iF: In interviewing all of the actors from TORCHWOOD, I get the feeling that all of you have a lot of fun at work and there is so much behind the scenes craziness that you guys just have a blast when you’re together.
 
DAVID-LLOYD: [Laughs] Of course there is a lot of craziness. It’s like working any job like at a call center. No one knows what happens on the other end of the phone when you put the receiver down. That’s a work thing and a camaraderie thing that comes from enjoying the people that you work with. I don’t think there’s anything too outrageous or damaging that goes on there. I think we’re all legally still safe.
 
iF: Were you a DOCTOR WHO fan or a Science Fiction fan before you joined TORCHWOOD?
 
DAVID LLOYD: I was a big STAR TREK fan in my teenage years. I’ve got every single NEXT GENERATION episode on long play VHS around here somewhere. [Laughs] When I was younger, there was a big break for us in the UK when DOCTOR WHO wasn’t on, so I wasn’t a collector of the old episodes. I did get into it when it started again with Christopher Eccelston a few years back.
 
iF: Do you keep up with DOCTOR WHO current episode to see what is going on with the series that runs parallel to yours in terms of story?
 
DAVID-LLOYD: Yes, we all watch it. I think we’re all expected to watch it. I don’t think they’d like us saying we didn’t understand something because we weren’t watching DOCTOR WHO. [Laughs] Regardless, when the show started I started watching it so I watch it because I like it. I keep track of where there are any crossovers or references.
 
iF: How do you feel about all of the TORCHWOOD merchandise and toys and things that are hitting the market?
 
DAVID LLOYD: I think it’s absolutely brilliant. I’ve always wanted an action figure of myself, and I think most of my ex-girlfriends would like one as well so they can stick pins in it. It’s going to be exciting.
 


Reader Comments

Gypsy from Northwest USA sez....
"I think most of my ex-girlfriends would like one as well so they can stick pins in it." Wow, what kind of pins do you have there in the UK that can stick into hard plastic action figures? Seriously...GDL is the funniest interviewee I've read in a long time. I wish there were a couple of Ianto action figures, because I'd love to have an action!Ianto one AND a coffee!Ianto one. (Complete with teeny little espresso machine and china cups.)
4/1/2008 1:01:53 PM

Eda from virginia. sez....
i never knew that had action figures..now i want one.. gareth is an awsome actor ....he seems pretty funny too.
4/1/2008 12:22:26 PM

emily from north yorkshire sez....
lol i want a ianto action figure i do have to say the writers are brilliant with the little one liners they give ianto i always look forward to seeing what he says every episode :) your brilliant Gareth and happy birthday (even though its a bit late)
4/1/2008 12:05:15 PM

Tsui Snark from %$#@! weeks behind the UK sez....
Action figure line: funny. Mr. Lloyd should be given some sort of shiny statuette (I'm thinking a re-purposed regional cheerleading trophy) and a round of cheers for making the most from a small pocketful of quips and reaction shots. It's one thing to steal a scene, it's another to hijack a whole series.
3/31/2008 10:32:29 PM

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