Jodie promises new Doctor Who s11 is "so much fun"

Justin Harp

From Digital Spy

Jodie Whittaker is best known for gritty shows like Broadchurch and Trust Me, but she's assured Marie Claire that she's definitely ready to have some "fun" with her first series of Doctor Who.


The Thirteenth Doctor actress is now just a month away from launching the show's 11th series with her official debut in 'The Woman Who Fell to Earth', and is starting to chat about what fans can expect.

Perhaps most interestingly, Jodie was urged by new showrunner Chris Chibnall not to watch any of her Doctor Who predecessors before auditioning in order to bring an entirely new interpretation.

"Doctor Who wasn't something that was on TV in my house when I was growing up, so I thought I'd have to cane it before the first audition and watch every single episode," she remembered. "Thankfully, Chris [Chibnall, the producer] said, 'I don't want you to. I want you to come in with fresh eyes and bring what you would do in this environment'."

Once she got the audition out of the way, what appealed most to Jodie about the role of The Doctor was that it wouldn't be defined along gender lines like every other part she'd ever played.

"I knew that there would be a huge amount of people it would be a shock for," she said. "But this job celebrates change more than any other role – you have a physical regeneration, so casting [a woman] supports that story and doesn't go against the rules of the show in any way.

"I'm playing a Time Lord who's essentially an alien and inhabits different bodies and this one is female. The best thing for me though is that, for the first time in my life, I am not playing a stereotypical woman because as much as I approach everything as an actor, I am continually labelled by the female version of that character.

"I recently had someone ask me, 'Are you playing it as a girl or a boy?' I replied, 'I'm just playing it.' This is the most freeing role because there are no rules."

Jodie also had a message for fans who may be concerned about her interpretation of The Doctor, given that her previous work has mostly been in more gritty dramas.

"[My previous roles] may be what [Doctor Who] fans were nervous of – they've only seen me be serious or heavy in energy and that isn't necessarily the mercurial Doctor," she admitted. "When you play troubled people, it pushes you beyond your emotional boundaries and there's an exhaustion because you've sat in this heaviness.

"But with this role, I'm continually running about and jumping and playing, so I bound off into the weekend like a maniac. I'm like, 'Come on, I'm awake!' I'm probably an absolute pain in the arse. There's a weird euphoria and that's why it's been so much fun.

"I've never laughed so much in my life, every day. I adore the companions [Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole]. I'm blessed to be given three people I now consider family members to go on this journey with."

To read the feature in full, see the October issue of Marie Claire, out today (September 6). Also available as a digital edition through Apple Newsstand.

Doctor Who will move to Sunday nights starting on October 7 on BBC One in the UK, with the series airing on BBC America in the US. Watch a trailer below:


Want up-to-the-minute entertainment news and features? Just hit 'Like' on our Digital Spy Facebook page and 'Follow' on our @digitalspy Instagram and Twitter account.

('You Might Also Like',)