Look at us, Peter Capaldi hasn’t filmed a single scene as Doctor Who and we’re already talking about his ‘life before Doctor Who’. In Capaldi’s case, though, the examination of circumstance prior to his recent ‘promotion’ in the acting world is a story worth telling.

See, actors’ lives are normally eulogised, even in movies, played by actors themselves, as things of beauty; the fast cars, champagne, glitzy premieres and mansions are all part of the job. And this is true, but only for George Clooney, really, and that’s mainly to do with his beard.

Even the reverse fortunes actors face is romanticized: living in squalor, scraping up enough money for a bottle of wine and a bus ticket to the next audition. It’s all made to look like the most glamorous thing ever, and not a nice man and woman thinking about selling their moderately nice house because of a money shortage.

That’s what Capaldi’s life was like before The Thick of It Came along, which acted as a catalyst for other work to roll in, or, put simply, for people to start realizing that he’s a fine actor. Dr. Who was always his dream, but he had to ply his trade as a spin-doctor on the BBC’s political-satire comedy first.

“One year was so bad for me and my wife that we were going to have to sell our house until Elaine decided to change career and earn some money,” Capaldi explained to the Daily Record. “What I’ve learnt being an actor is that you’ve got to be lucky. I got less lucky and nobody was interested. If a part came up it would be for the main corpse’s friend’s brother who was having problems with his marriage,” he explained in a Malcolm Tucker-esque way.

Now, though, at 55, Capaldi is living a life-long dream to portray a childhood hero. Dr. Who is arguably even more popular now than it was in the 1970’s – when Capaldi was a scamp.  And who could begrudge him a chance at fighting the universe’s evils, huh?

Peter CapaldiCapaldi is set to make a darker Doctor, but he'll still be funny