Like a true geek, David runs his own website/forum called dGeek so naturally I had to ask how important the site is to him, especially as an actor and self promotion.
David Hewlett: As an actor you need to have your own official site and I can’t stand those sort of, what I call catalogue sites where there’s just photos of you standing around and my favourite colour is blue. I find on websites the things that have always worked for me are things like forums, discussion forums, and we started doing some promotion for A Dogs Breakfast the movie and created a website for that and people started to interact with that site.
So when the movie got taken over by MGM, we really weren’t required as much, so I decided to move it in a different direction so dGeek is basically where I hoping to go with it. Similar to Top Geek is just a place for us to go, I mean geeks, theres so many different aspects to geekdom and I’m a nerd in so many different ways, and I feel like I want to find out what other people are in to, I like to be ahead of the curve on these things and the best way to do that is just be around and talk. dGeek will most likely just turn into a forum, people will be able to chat, I’ll be around and I’ll listen, but it won’t just be about me, I’m very uncomfortable with it just being about me, it would be very dull.
For many, David Hewlett is Rodney McKay from Stargate Atlantis but there is a movie called Clutch, which is one of my favourite independant movies so I had to ask for his thoughts on the movie whilst I had the chance!
David Hewlett: I loved Clutch and nobody saw it. Chris Grisler wrote and directed it and it’s just great. It was a film center film out of Toronto. I’d worked with Film Center before and I was a little nervous of doing another, they are really low budget, gotta film them quick and often first time directors and stuff but I read the script for Clutch and met Chris and he’s just brilliant, I’m not sure what he’s doing now.
He played with new media and the internet stuff. He’s and interesting guy, one of those incredibly smart funny people, I’d get home and go ‘hey that’s really funny I finally got it’. I never got to do a rock and roll movie, like Snatch, like those Brit Pulp films it was like Cunuck pop. It was just a fun film and I loved doing it.
Nothing proves your geek more than a love for Doctor Who...
David Hewlett: I got into it in the John Pertwee years, way back cos I’m old, so I got me into it with John Pertwee and then really as I grew up it was Tom Baker – like omg, he’s so good, he was the classic doctor to me, I find I like what they’ve done with the new doctor but for me it’s still a bit campy for me, I guess because when I was a kid I took it so seriously - its so fun to watch now and go like oh god it was really goofy.
I love what Tennant does, he’s fantastic and I really liked Ecclestone as well, the first season because again he was very serious – the key there is they are both good actors, they’ve both done a good job and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the new guy does. But favourite episode – Blink – because for me it was going back to the days when Doctor Who was scary, but the guy who that wrote that is the guy looking after it now, and he’s fantastic, his writing is just amazing and I’m so glad its moving in that direction. Obviously one day I would love to be involved, I’ve always said if I’m not the doctor I don’t want to be involved but that may change. (top g33k note to Doctor Who suits: PLEASE MAKE THIS HAPPEN... thanks xx)
Ok, so let's get down to business....
How would you describe a geek?
DH: Anyone who has that slightly scary focus on one thing. It’s almost like a childlike focus on one thing, whether it’s collecting, building model railways, dungeons and dragons, whatever, films. I love geek cos it impies a stereotype, but I like to think of it as an almost childlike wonder of things. What I love about nerds or geeks is that they wanna pull things apart and see how they work, I was never all that good at putting them back together again, but I love that childlike interest in what make things tick and determination to collect all of those star wars figures or whatever. I collected, in my late teens, all the doctor who books and I read them a couple of times.
How much do you relate to people who are obsessed with projects you have worked on?
DH: It’s always harder with projects you’re involved in. Theres very little magic to the stuff you worked on, I always say theres one thing to love films, it’s another thing to make films because it becomes a job, it takes away some of the mystery. But there is definitely some things I understand, Stargate, I understand, the good thing was that I came in late so there was already a great mystic and legend built around it and then I got to be a part of it, so that helps but its fun to watch, like with Cube, same thing watching people build up the mystery around it, take an interest in it.
So to what extent do you encouraged people who show enthusiasm in your work?
DH: Well I hope I do quite a bit, I mean it was incredibly helpful and kind of people with A Dogs Breaksfast, my feeling is the way the film and tv industry is moving, and Sanctury is a good example, it was a show and they basically went to the fans and said lets show us how much you like this and it turned into something and it succeeded very well, and it was the same with A Dogs Breakfast and I like to think we helped it in that regard because we basically went to the fans and said look we’ve made this movie, we’d love you to see it and anyone interested in helping, whatever you’ve got, we’ll take it.
People were amazing and again that was the geeks, and I want to keep in touch because I think we can help each other and I hope in the near future – how great would it be to be able to say ‘hey we’re going to do this, how can you helps us, what do you want to do, what do you want to see. We’re our own audience in a way, geeks are our own audience so its up to us to take an interest.
Have you found any positives to acquiring a fanbase within the industry?
DH: Oh god yeah, it’s huge. I don’t feel so alone, being an actor, director, writer it’s such an odd thing, you spend all your time alone and then you’re thrown onto a set and its like ok. Knowing theres people out there with the same interests, and share the same passions for films and nerdom and sci-fi stuff, I mean it really helps and its fun and I love the internet for that. You definitely get some scary people too, people have no inhabitations.
Have you been obsessed yourself?
DH: Oh god I’m so bad, everything, electronics nerd, computer programming nerd, doctor who nerd, model railway nerd – I had a bit train set in my room, everything. I have a stamp collection, a coin collection, I couldn’t have been less cool. I spent most of my life trying to be cool but once you give up on that you just be yourself, and that’s what being a geek is, being yourself . And in a strange way Geeks have a reputation for being terrible with people and in a way we are, but in another way we are more real than a lot of other people.
It was an absolute joy to interview David Hewlett and have a genuine 'top g33k' as our first official interviewee, this interview took place in January 2010.
David Hewlett is an English born Canadian Actor who has appeared as a regular on Stargate Atlantis as well as the films 'The Cube', 'Splice' and my personal favourite 'Clutch'.