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Peter Capaldi gets those mad Dr Who fans. After all, he used to be one

“I was such a fan that I modelled my own signature on his, because we have the same initials,” recal..

"I was such a fan that I modelled my own signature on his, because we have the same initials," recalls Capaldi, who turned 60 last week. "He had a rather florid P, which I copied."

Before the connoisseurs of collectables start calculating the coin such a trove might fetch, Capaldi has some bad news. In his late teens, as he headed off to art school and turned his attentions to "sex and drugs and rock'n'roll" (he was briefly the lead singer of a punk band called The Bastards from Hell), he felt it was time to put aside such childish things.

"I didn't want to be a geek any more so I threw out all my geeky stuff. I had a sort of bonfire of the vanities where I got rid of all this stuff that would be great fun for me to have now. Isn't that terrible?"

Peter Capaldi as Malcolm and Chris Addison as Toby in a scene from In The Loop.

Well yes, but it's possibly what makes him so open to meeting today's fans. "I suppose I can put myself in their shoes," he concedes. "I guess I feel their pain."

Though he's taken the past year off to refuel – "Doctor Who is great, but it's a very 24/7 kind of job, and I'd been consumed by that for four years" – he's looking forward to getting back to work, and adding to the insanely long list of credits he's racked up since his screen debut in 1982.

Perhaps the most famous of those credits, apart from a certain Time Lord, is the foul-mouthed political spin doctor in the British TV series The Thick of It and the movie In the Loop. For a (presumably) different crowd, Malcolm Tucker is almost as much a cult figure as is the Doctor.

"I love Malcolm, and the further away I get from him in time, the more warmly I feel about him," says Capaldi. "He was an extraordinary creation, much more of a performance for me than Doctor Who is.

Capaldi travels to another dimension – the ground floor of his Melbourne hotel.

Photo: Jason South

"I'm a humble human being and Doctor Who is a Time Lord, so there's a great leap of imagination," he explains. "But he doesn't use as much bad language as Malcolm does, and he's not as angry as Malcolm is. With Malcolm I had to reach out for these other aspects that are not natural to me – although some of my friends would disagree."

Malcolm sprang forth from the mind of Armando Ianucci, who also created Veep and the film The Death of Stalin, and Capaldi says the pair plan to work together again. Would that be on Ianucci's film of Charles Dickens' David Copperfield perhaps?

"I can't say," he says, chuckling and looking across at his agent, who confirms that, indeed, he cannot say.

One thing he can say is that he would quite like to direct again. And why not? Though he doesn't trumpet the fact, Capaldi has an Oscar to his name, for his 1993 short Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life.

Starring Richard E. Grant as the writer struggling to craft the perfect opening line for his novel Metamorphosis, the darkly surreal comedy was his first stab at directing (he also wrote it). And you get the sense Capaldi is ever so slightly embarrassed by his beginner's luck.

"I didn't really want to be a director, I just wanted to have a go at seeing what it was like," he says.

"I didn't know they gave Oscars for short films. It just kind of threw a rather lovely spanner in the works."

Though, on reflection, it was probably a sonic screwdriver.

Supanova is at the Melbourne Showgrounds April 21-22, and the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre April 28-29. Details: supanova.com.au

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Karl Quinn

Karl has been a journalist at Fairfax Media since 1999, in a variety of writing and editing roles. Karl writes about popular culture with a particular focus on film and television.

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007 film must treat Bond girls properly, says Waller-Bridge

Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those ele..

Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those elements is set for a change in the latest adventure.

Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is working on the script for the 25th Bond film, is on a mission to make sure the movie will "treat women properly" – even if the spy does not.

Image: Cast members (l-r): Lea Seydoux, Ana de Armas, Naomie Harris and Lashana Lynch at the launch of the new Bond film

Ahead of the release of the as-yet-untitled film, Waller-Bridge told Deadline: "There's been a lot of talk about whether or not (the Bond franchise) is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women.

"I think that's b*******. I think he's absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow.

"It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly.

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"He doesn't have to. He needs to be true to this character."

Sean Connery and Mie Hama in You Only Live Twice, 1967
Image: The Bond films have been criticised for their sexism
Dr No turned Sean Connery into an international superstar
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Waller-Bridge says she intends to ensure the female characters, including those played by Lashana Lynch, Lea Seydoux and Ana de Armas, feel "like real people ".

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She added: "I just want to make sure that when they get those pages through, that Lashana, Lea and Ana open them and go, 'I can't wait to do that'.

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Sir Elton hits out at Russia for ‘cruel’ Rocketman censorship

Sir Elton John has criticised Russian censors for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic..

Sir Elton John has criticised Russian censors for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic Rocketman.

The critically acclaimed film charts the British singer's rise to fame, and its scenes of kissing and sex between men, as well as drug use, contributed to it earning a 15 certificate in the UK.

But in a bid to play down the sexuality of Sir Elton, played by actor Taron Egerton, for a conservative Russian audience, an estimated five minutes of footage was reportedly removed ahead of its debut in Moscow.

Taron Egerton on Sir Elton: 'I adore him'

The Moscow Times quoted a Russian film critic who had seen the film at its world premiere in Cannes on 16 May as saying "all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut", as well as a photo displayed during the end credits featuring Sir Elton and his husband David Furnish.

Sir Elton, 72, a prominent gay rights campaigner, released a joint statement with the makers of the film to accuse censors of being "cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people".

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"We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor Rocketman for the Russian market, a move we were unaware of until today," they said.

"That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended, is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.

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Ben Affleck steps out to drop off kids as Robert Pattinson is announced as new Batman

Ben Affleck played Batman until earlier this year (Picture: Backgrid)
Ben Affleck has been pictured ..

Ben Affleck played Batman until earlier this year (Picture: Backgrid)

Ben Affleck has been pictured performing his parental duties in Los Angeles, as his official replacement in the Batman role is announced.

The 46-year-old actor was seen in the early hours on Friday (31 May) dropping off son Samuel, seven, and daughter Seraphina, 10, to school.

Affleck has three children with ex-wife Jennifer Garner – Seraphina, Samuel and 13-year-old Violet.

On the same day the actor was pictured, it was announced Robert Pattinson will take over as Batman in a planned trilogy of movies with director Matt Reeves.

Brentwood, CA - Ben Affleck was on daddy duty this morning in Brentwood ahead of the weekend. Pictured: Ben Affleck, Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck, Samuel Garner Affleck BACKGRID USA 31 MAY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Boaz / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
Ben Affleck was on parent duties (Picture: Backgrid)

Affleck, who played Bruce Wayne in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and 2017s Justice League, stepped down from the role in January earlier this year – after being originally down to direct and star in his own film.

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Speaking about his departure in March, Affleck stated how he was never happy with the script they were planning to use.

Brentwood, CA - Ben Affleck was on daddy duty this morning in Brentwood ahead of the weekend. Pictured: Ben Affleck BACKGRID USA 31 MAY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Boaz / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
Ben Affleck has a number of roles in the pipeline (Picture: Backgrid)
Brentwood, CA - Ben Affleck was on daddy duty this morning in Brentwood ahead of the weekend. Pictured: Ben Affleck, Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck, Samuel Garner Affleck BACKGRID USA 31 MAY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Boaz / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
Ben Affleck with son Samuel and daughter Seraphina (Picture: Backgrid)

We worked on the script, I was trying to figure out how to cRead More – Source

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