How Eve Myles almost missed out on her Torchwood role

Contributed by
Dec 16, 2012

Most of us Torchwood fans fell in love with Eve Myles' no-nonsense, kick-ass, gun-toting character Gwen Cooper when the series began back in 2006. But did you know the actress almost missed out on her famous Torchwood role?

Yep. She did. And it's something no one really knew about until now.

How is that? Let's rev this up a bit.

In an interview with SFX, Eve Myles revealed that a few years back—when Doctor Who was being rebooted for TV by Russell T Davies—she almost missed out on a guest-starring role in the Who season-one episode called "The Unquiet Dead."

"I wasn't meant to do 'The Unquiet Dead'. I don't think anyone knows that. I was booked in for another job. I was meant to be doing theatre and my agent said, 'They want to see you for a part for Doctor Who but it's clashing with this job.' And I said 'Well, it's Doctor Who!' It's like the biggest show in the world and they're bringing it back and Chris [Eccleston] is one of my favourite actors of all time — he's wonderful.

"So I did the audition, and it went okay, I think. My boyfriend picked me up and he said, 'You have changed, haven't you, since the audition? Do you know what you're wearing?' I looked down, and I'd auditioned for Gwyneth, this lovely, sweet girl who saves the world and speaks very lovely Welsh, wearing an, 'I Support Nudist Colonies' T-shirt, with two naked women making out. I just went, 'Well, I've blown that.'

"Two days later I got the offer, and my agent said, 'Right this is a conundrum — you're also booked on this theatre job. What are we going to do?' And I said, 'Well I don't want to let anybody down, I don't want one job to be more important that the other.' So she said, 'Right, we're gonna work for Doctor Who,' and I said, 'Great, thank God!' because that was what I really wanted.' So my agent asked the play if they'd let me go, and they didn't think twice. They said, 'This is a huge opportunity for you and you've got to do it.'

"But not once did I think to myself that Russell T Davies had got his eyes on me to play Gwen Cooper in his new series... Never. But it was the biggest audition of my life. I was just hoping to God I didn't let him down."

So if it wasn't for her guest-starring turn in "The Unquiet Dead," Myles may never have been cast as Gwen Cooper on Torchwood.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

(via SFX)