Matthew Robert Smith originally hoped to become a professional soccer player before a serious injury in his teenage years prevented him from following that path. A drama teacher spotted his acting talent, though, and encouraged him to shift his attention to performing arts. Years later, Smith got his big break when he was hired to play the Eleventh Doctor at the age of just 26. To date, he remains the youngest actor to nab the part.
The star bowed out of the role in 2013 and his career has gone from strength to strength ever since, appearing in blockbusters, indie movies and stage plays. And, of course, as Prince Phillip in the first two seasons of Netflix’s aforementioned royal drama. In fact, he’s currently working with The Crown co-star Claire Foy again in a play called Lungs in London’s West-End.
This December, Smith looks set to feature in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. His role has been kept under wraps, but a recent leaked pic appears to reveal that he’ll be playing a blue-skinned alien with much of his face obscured (see above). It’s believed his character will have something to do with the return of Emperor Palpatine, too. In any case, he certainly seems to be playing someone important as Smith has even gone so far as to deny he’s in the film in the past.
After that, the actor will be making his comic book movie debut in Sony’s Morbius, which is part of their Spider-Man-related Marvel spinoff universe. Smith will play the villainous Loxias Crown in the film opposite Jared Leto’s Living Vampire. He accepted the role after his old Doctor Who pal Karen Gillan, herself a Marvel veteran, encouraged him to do it. Between this and Rise of Skywalker, it looks like Matt Smith‘s 37th year is going to be a big one for his career.