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His drama teacher persisted, and eventually persuaded him to join the National Youth Theatre in London.
After leaving school, Smith studied drama and creative writing at the University of East Anglia, graduating in 2005.
Smith initially aspired to be a professional footballer, but spondylolysis forced him out of the sport.
After joining the National Youth Theatre and studying Drama and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, he became an actor in 2003, performing in plays like Murder in the Cathedral, Fresh Kills, The History Boys, and On the Shore of the Wide World in London theatres.
That Face focuses primarily upon alcohol and drug addiction in an upper-middle-class family after the paternal figure in the family leaves.
As Henry, Smith portrayed an aspiring artist who left school to take care of his mother.
The production team, consisting of the incoming producer, Steven Moffat, and BBC Wales Head of Drama and executive producer, Piers Wenger, immediately singled him out based on his performance. On the morning of , Smith carried the Olympic torch in Cardiff, an activity which was noted by Doctor Who fans for its resemblance to a 2006 episode of the show in which the Doctor carried the torch.
His role in the latter earned him an agent and his first professional jobs, Fresh Kills and On the Shore of the Wide World.His brother, Scott, a public affairs consultant, is played by Andrew Buchan.Within the series' narrative, he attempts to balance his affections for Kirsty Mac Kenzie (Andrea Riseborough), his intern, while trying to prevent Porter's imminent decline.As soon as Matt walked through the door, and blew us away with a bold and brand new take on the Time Lord, we knew we had our man." Smith was a relatively unknown actor compared to the actors then speculated about possibly taking on the role, who included Paterson Joseph, David Morrissey, Sean Pertwee, James Nesbitt, Russell Tovey, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Robert Carlyle, and Billie Piper.Smith was one of the earliest actors to audition for the role, performing on the first day. He's open to every single facet of the universe." In June 2010, Smith appeared on stage with Orbital, and performed with them a version of the Doctor Who theme, at the Glastonbury Festival.After a serious back injury ruined this career, his drama teacher introduced him to acting by signing him up as the tenth juror in an adaptation of Twelve Angry Men without his consent.Although he took part in the play, he refused to attend a drama festival for which his teacher had also signed him up, as he saw himself as a football player and did not view acting as socially acceptable.In Party Animals, Smith portrays Danny Foster, a parliamentary researcher to Jo Porter (Raquel Cassidy), a Labour politician and junior Home Office minister.At 26 years old, Danny is described as an intelligent but timid "politics geek" who should have moved on from researching at his age.The character was drawn into politics by his father and his own political drive.He defended his character's age by characterising him as being loyal to Porter, instead of being incompetent.