How Jodie Whittaker 'missed' fan reactions to Doctor Who role

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Jodie Whittaker was revealed as the new Doctor last month

Jodie Whittaker says she didn't see people's reactions to her becoming the first female Doctor Who, because she's not on social media.

Speaking to BBC 6 Music in her first broadcast interview since her casting was revealed, she said: "This will be a blessing and a curse.

"I've missed a lot of the fun stuff and probably the bad stuff."

The Broadchurch star also praised fans of the sci-fi series as "the most amazing, creative people".

Media caption,
Jodie Whittaker reveals how she feels about becoming the 13th Doctor

And she said she had spoken to the actors who have previously played the Doctor - although she didn't ask for advice.

"The overwhelming sense was this is such an exciting journey," she said.

"It's to be enjoyed. There's no advice you can do - no person plays this part the same. What a freeing thing it is."

Media caption,
Find out what advice Jodie received from former Time Lords

The reaction to Whittaker's casting was mostly positive - but a sizeable minority protested that the Doctor shouldn't be played by a woman.

"The people that are in this role, that we're excited by and we're passionate about, that we look up to, don't always have to tick the same box, and that's what's really incredible about it."

The actress said she managed to avoid most of the commentary.

"I've missed a lot of the fun stuff and probably the bad stuff because I'm not on any type of social media and never have been," she told Shaun Keaveny.

"So if I get something it's a mate screen grabbing something and sending it to me.

"They obviously edit... actually, sometimes they don't!" she added, joking that any negative posts sent on to her by friends left her confidence on the floor.

Media caption,
Jodie Whittaker reacts to fans dressing up as her in the new Doctor Who

She said she had seen "an amazing video" of a young girl's reaction, as she watched the trailer revealing the Doctor's new identity.

Whittaker also admitted the role "was not in the realm of possibility" when she was growing up and that getting the part was "incredibly emotional".

The 35-year-old said that when she found out her audition had been successful: "I didn't faint - I played it really cool and cried."

Image source, BBC/Red/Mark Mainz
Image caption,
Jodie Whittaker in Trust Me

She added she was looking forward to the "freedoms and fun" and the "scale of the storylines" - especially as she is going to be working with Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall, who is the new Doctor Who showrunner.

"I already know Chris - I already know how incredible he is. The direction he's going to take it is going to be amazing. I get excited by it," she said.

"I don't even know what the journey is. Every script I read will be brand new. This certainly is very different."

And in an interview with BBC News, the actor said she felt "relief" at the news of her role being "public knowledge".

She added that she'd had "a lot of fantastic advice" about the attention she would receive as the Doctor.

Media caption,
See how Jodie Whittaker was revealed as the next Time Lord

"I'm lucky because I've had a body of work, so it's not like going from anonymous to recognised.

"I've worked with David (Tennant) and other people who've been part of the Doctor Who journey.

"I knew there'd be an interest in me going to the shops - I hope it dies down as it's very boring!"

'Celebrating differences'

She said it was "really exciting" that the Doctor is now female.

"We can celebrate differences. I hope my gender isn't a fearful thing. In this (Doctor Who) world, there aren't rules."

Whittaker is also going to be seen in new BBC One series Trust Me, which starts on 8 August.

She stars as Cath Hardacre, a nurse who loses her job after she turns whistle-blower - and then steals her friend's identity as a senior doctor in an Edinburgh hospital.

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