Matthew Robert Smith is a British actor. He is known for his role as the 11th incarnation of the Doctor, for which he received a BAFTA award nomination. He became an actor after joining the National Youth Theatre and studying Drama and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, and became an actor in 2003, performing in various plays. Before his role in Doctor Who, Smith's first television role came in 2006 as Jim Taylor in the BBC adaptations of Philip Pullman's The Ruby in the Smoke and The Shadow in the North while his first major role in television came as Danny in the 2007 BBC series Party Animals.
Previously, he had worked towards becoming a soccer player, playing for the youth teams of Northampton Town F.C. and Leicester City F.C. After acquiring spondylosis after a serious back injury, he joined the National Youth Theater, on behest of his drama teacher. After leaving school, he studied Drama and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.