Becoming David Tennant: The Art of Cosplay

Back in late 2016, there was a small buzz around Portland, OR when news got out that Dean Devlin and David Tennant scheduled to be in town for the filming of their new thriller, Bad Samaritan.

Bad Samaritan (2018) ©Electric Entertainment
Bad Samaritan (2018) ©Electric Entertainment

The Librarians and Leverage creator teams up with the former Time Lord and Broadchurch star; the buzz was real. Locals were needed for all sorts of opportunities, Eric Coy jumped the chance.

Eric served as Tennant’s stand-in for his character of Cale Erendreich. The Vancouver (WA) native computer production employee knows a thing or two about looking like Mr. Tennant. I had an opportunity to sit down and chat with Eric about his experience on set.

Eric Coy as Cale Erendreich (Bad Samaritan) ©Christelle Morgan Photography
Eric Coy cosplay as Cale Erendreich (Bad Samaritan) ©Christelle Morgan Photography

It all started with a cosplay, the 10th Doctor cosplay. Eric is known amongst cosplay community as the guy who looks like David Tennant’s 10th Doctor.

The first person who told me I look like David Tennant was Michael Rooker. He catcalled me from across the show floor said, ‘hey! Look at that motherf*****! He looks just like f***ing Doctor Who!’ (laugh)”

Eric Coy as the 10th Doctor ©Christelle Morgan Photography
Eric Coy cosplay as the 10th Doctor ©Christelle Morgan Photography

With similar built and features to David Tennant’s, Eric was encouraged to be a part of the production. Through a friend of his wife’s who is an extras casting agent, Eric’s picture was placed in front of the right people. He was quickly informed that he got the job.

Eric Coy as Cale Erendreich (Bad Samaritan) ©Christelle Morgan Photography
Eric Coy cosplay as Cale Erendreich (Bad Samaritan) ©Christelle Morgan Photography

Eric was hired to be Mr. Tennant’s stand-in. His main responsibility was to be there in Tennant’s place for the lighting, camera positioning, and scene testing before Tennant himself does his actual takes. Eric was there to witness the talented Scottish actor does what he does best.

I remembered not to fangirl. I tried to be professional. I was terrified to talk to anyone because I’m afraid they’re going to throw me out”, recalled Eric.

Eric Coy and his wife, Christelle Morgan with David Tennant at Emerald City Comic Con. Photo Courtesy of Eric Coy
Eric Coy and his wife, Christelle Morgan with David Tennant at Emerald City Comic Con. Photo Courtesy of Eric Coy

Even though Eric’s stand-in gig lasted only 13 hours but he got to spend the day watching Tennant beat the living hell out of Derek (Carlito Olivero) His experience on set was something Eric will cherish for a long time.

It’s just fun watching David work. He gets so into the scene, watching him kill a guy and he just came out smiling. As soon as they need him back on set and boom! He’s a serial killer again. Holy crap! This guy can act!

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Eric Coy with Dean Devlin. Photo courtesy of Eric Coy.

As for Dean Devlin, Eric recalls feeling a bit intimidating but that quickly went away once he got to meet the man himself.

He was very excited about my cosplay and it was then I learned that he was a huge Doctor Who nerd. It was very encouraging. He’s a sweetheart and very supportive

Eric continued to cosplay after his duty on Bad Samaritan was over. He was the world’s first Cale Erendreich cosplayer and one of the very few for that matter. He has a few other David Tennant cosplay ideas and one of them is Drostan Hynd from Call of Duty WWII Zombie.

Eric Coy and 2GeekyChicks’ Jeri Yuttayong
Eric Coy and 2GeekyChicks’ Jeri Yuttayong

Eric is very active at comic convention scenes as a variety of David Tennant’s characters. He expressed to me that he would love to work in film business full time because he had so much fun on Bad Samaritan set. When asked if Dean Devlin decides to film more of his projects in Portland, Eric wasted no time to tell me that he will totally jump that chance.

Thank you, Eric, for the lovely chat.

Follow Eric’s journey on Twitter and Instagram.

All photographs are courtesy of Christelle Morgan, taken and copyrighted by Christelle Morgan Photography.