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“It’s so much more than a role. It’s a whole world. And it’s the most exciting world to be in.” Doctor Who star, Jodie Whittaker, spoke to The Big Issue

“Of all the things to happen, you can’t get more exciting than Russell T Davies coming back. It couldn’t be in safer hands. And Ncuti Gatwa doesn’t need any advice from me – he is far more qualified than me. He is absolutely amazing.”

Jodie Whittaker Doctor Who interview

Jodie Whittaker is coming to the end of her time as the Doctor. Original image by BBC Studios/James Pardon/Matt Burlem​

British actress, Jodie Whittaker, spoke to The Big Issue about her time as the 13th incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who.

Actress, Jodie Whittaker, arrived late to her interview with The Big Issue, explaining: “I’m doing fine. I just need to keep a better diary. I should have come up with a really cool excuse, like some rock and roll thing I was doing. But alas, no.”

She continued: “One of the best things about doing Doctor Who was that I knew where I had to be every day. I knew I’d be in every scene, every single day, all the time, for a whole year. So I never had to write anything down. Now I’m on maternity leave, I’m a lady of leisure in absolute chaos.”

On becoming the Doctor, Jodie previously explained that she had wanted to bring inclusivity and hope to the role: I suppose I can’t take much credit for most of it, because that is down to the writing. But that was the overriding feeling of The Doctor I wanted to bring. And I feel I was given that opportunity, and that this show, at this time, represents everything I wanted it to be.”

The episode Rosa got a lot of criticism and was accused of “wokery”,  on this Jodie said: “Whichever angle you look at it, racism is horrific. And wrong. So to me that’s not political, that’s a fact. It was amazing to bring that story to a younger generation that might not have done it at school or who might know who Rosa Parks is but not the details. You never want to appear as if the Doctor is getting credit for something that has nothing to do with them – it’s actually real people in history. But Rosa felt very special to all of us.”

Jodie “In real life I can be quite fidgety and a bit manic and all those things that I often have to rein in to find a natural stillness in the characters I play. Not this time. I had to take it and dial it up for the Doctor – and Chris was brilliant at pushing me in that direction.”

She continued: “My opening line was ‘brilliant’. And it has been. And my dialogue in the regeneration is just really perfect.  Chris has really married the optimism with the loneliness and the sadness that comes with having such hope and then such loss as that hope is dashed. I didn’t know it was going to emotionally challenge me so much.”

Jodie added: “It’s so much more than a role. It’s a whole world. And it’s the most exciting world to be in.”

On whether she has been supported in the role Jodie said: “100 per cent. A million per cent. Any regrets? None. I would have loved it if my last season had been me, Mandip and John [Bishop], plus Brad[ley Walsh] and Tosin [Cole]. When those guys left I found it really heartbreaking – it was like breaking up the band. But then we got a great new band member. So it’s not a regret, just a petulant child who doesn’t like change!”

On the new series, Jodie Whittaker said: “Of all the things to happen, you can’t get more exciting than Russell T Davies coming back. It couldn’t be in safer hands. And Ncuti Gatwa doesn’t need any advice from me – he is far more qualified than me. He is absolutely amazing.”

Jodie concluded: “I got caught up in the euphoria of it all like everyone else. But that’s the beauty of this job. You get to hand it on. And you get to discover, like a fan, where it is going to go next. And now I will get to watch it without being stressed out about whether I nail a speech or if anyone can understand my accent. I’ll get to watch something I love from the safety of my living room.”

Read the full interview in The Big Issue Magazine, out now.  You can buy a copy from your local vendor or by taking out a subscription at www.bigissue.com/subscribe.

If you are interested in selling The Big Issue, or finding out more about what being a vendor involves, please visit: www.bigissue.com/become-a-vendor/

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