Jodie Whittaker talks fans, acting and social media with The Sunday Times

Today’s Sunday Times features an exclusive interview with Jodie Whittaker, the Thirteenth (and now current!) Doctor. Here are some of the highlights from the interview.

Starting off the interview, Whittaker immediately spoke about the attention she’s started receiving from fans and how she copes with it:

“People have been absolutely lovely so far. The other week in Cardiff I could see this little lad plucking up the courage to talk to me so I made it easier, ‘You all right, mate?’ So, I know it made his morning. I’m actually fine with that. People are lovely, but I am very private, which is possible as long as you stick to certain things. I still get on the Tube, but I might start wearing a hat.”

She’s also notes how grateful she is for the opportunity and how taking the lead role in the show will undoubtedly affect her life:

“I think I have been really lucky. Doctor Who definitely puts me on a level where if I go into a meeting I probably don’t have to say what I have been doing for the past few months.”

Whittaker revealed that David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor was her favourite Doctor, mainly because she knows him from working together. However, she admits that she wasn’t really a big fan of the show before she took the role, saying:

“It’s wonderful and I absolutely love it. As a family we didn’t watch it except at other people’s houses. But I was much more aware of it when it came back with Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant [who co-starred with Whittaker in Broadchurch] and Matt Smith.”

This didn’t stop her in the audition though:

“I went to the audition excited, but I always walk into the room with an attitude of ‘I sound like this, I look like this, but, believe me, I can do it’.”

Talking about how she feels being the Doctor, she also reiterated her message to the fans:

“It feels completely overwhelming; as an actor, as a woman, as a feminist, as a human, as someone who wants to continually challenge themselves and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be. I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender because this is a really exciting time and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.”

The interview also looks at Whittaker’s younger days and how she started out in acting:

“I was brought up in a household where you were celebrated for what you could do and you were never shamed for the things you struggled with. There was no part of my upbringing that suggested I needed to focus and get a proper job. There was no telling me what I wanted to do was ridiculous or unrealistic.”

Finally, she revealed why she is steering clear of social media these days:

“I don’t want to know what people think about me. Sometimes when I am really passionate I would love to throw my voice, but perhaps I am too argumentative and would say something immediately offensive.”

The full interview is available to read in today’s copy of the Sunday Times or on the Times website here.