When Jodie Whittaker was first announced to be playing the Thirteenth Doctor last July, the world was left gobsmacked by the groundbreaking casting. But how exactly did the actress land the coveted lead role in Doctor Who?
Well, as part of their coverage of the upcoming season 11, EW spoke to Whittaker about her upcoming run on the show and explained that she was initially surprised to get the offer to audition. The star recalled that she was speaking with new showrunner Chris Chibnall, who she previously worked with on crime drama Broadchurch, about his Doctor Who gig. He then turned the conversation around by inquiring if she’d like to be up for the part of the next incarnation of the Time Lord. It didn’t take long for Whittaker to respond, either, as she told the outlet the following:
“It was hilarious because, I was going, ‘Are you looking forward to starting your new job?’ And he said, ‘It’s interesting that you bring that up. Would this be a part you’d consider auditioning for?’ It took me [just] a second to go, ‘I’m throwing my hat in the ring.’”
As for what the audition involved, Whittaker revealed that she read from some specially-written script pages that mostly included what she terms “sci-fi gobbledygook,” which the actress admits she found surprisingly fun to tackle. One scene in particular had her pretending to defuse a bomb. “I had an iPhone, wires, in a box,” Whittaker explained. “I pretended to defuse something, and I loved it.”
EP Matt Strevens also told EW that the production team “saw a few actresses for the part,” but Whittaker made a special impression on them.
“She was just so compelling. In a way, it was a no-brainer. The fact that we were casting a female Doctor disappeared really quickly from our minds. We were just casting the Doctor and she felt like our Doctor.”
Chibnall himself, who was responsible for Whittaker auditioning in the first place, has utter faith in her as the right choice for the Thirteenth Doctor, telling EW that casting her “was the easiest decision I made in my whole career.”
We still don’t know exactly where Jodie Whittaker will take the Doctor, but her co-star Mandip Gill has already compared her performance to Matt Smith’s Doctor. That’s certainly exciting to hear, and we’ll likely find out more about what’s in store next weekend at the show’s Comic-Con panel on Thursday, 19th.