First woman Doc­tor Who wants to be a role model to all

The Standard Journal - - ENTERTAINMENT - By John Carucci

NEW YORK — Jodie Whit­taker calls be­ing cast as the first woman to por­tray Doc­tor Who “a step in the right di­rec­tion” when it comes to gen­der equal­ity in Hol­ly­wood, but doesn’t feel that she’s bro­ken a glass ceil­ing be­cause there’s more work to be done.

Mo­ments be­fore the lat­est sea­son of “Doc­tor Who” de­buted in a global-wide tele­cast, Whit­taker was at New

York Comic Con with showrun­ner Chris Chib­nall, and Ex­ec­u­tive Pro­ducer Matt Strevens talk­ing about the new sea­son and the his­tor­i­cal cast­ing de­ci­sion.

“Do I think the glass ceil­ing is bro­ken? No. Do I think that this is a pos­i­tive step in the di­rec­tion of equal­ity in the rep­re­sen­ta­tion on film? Yeah. But it’s not bro­ken,” Whit­taker said.

The long-run­ning tele­vi­sion se­ries chron­i­cles the ad­ven­tures of an ex­trater­res­trial time lord who trav­els to dif­fer­ent time pe­ri­ods to help peo­ple, with­out do­ing any­thing dras­tic that may al­ter the course of his­tory.

Whit­taker be­came the 13th to play the epony­mous char­ac­ter, and ex­plains why she hopes to be a role model for every­one, re­gard­less of gen­der.

“When I was grow­ing up, there was never a ques­tion that as a girl you would look up to guys. That’s what you did. Whereas there’s a slight mythol­ogy in the sense if you’re a girl, you’re a hero for a girl, which is not the case,” she said. “And so, I think the won­der­ful thing about this is be­ing a role model for any­one, which the Doc­tor has al­ways been re­gard­less of gen­der.”

While Whit­taker was hon­ored to get the role, she noted that the cast­ing an­nounce­ment seemed like a big­ger deal than it was be­cause “gen­der be­comes im­me­di­ately ir­rel­e­vant within the show be­cause the Doc­tor is the Doc­tor.”

The ac­tress calls her­self a “New Who­vian” that be­gan watch­ing the show af­ter she got the role. What she learned from her binge watch­ing was “how in­clu­sive it is.”

On the floor of Comic Con, fans spoke pos­i­tively about this Doc­tor.

Twelve-year old Danielle Nick­el­son, dressed as Harley Quinn, was glad to see a woman in the role. “I like that they made it a woman, be­cause usu­ally nowa­days shows don’t re­ally have girls in them. It’s more like boys, like Spi­der-Man,” Nick­el­son said.

And in-be­tween prac­tic­ing moves from her fa­vorite video game, “Street Fighter,” long­time fan Lia Van­der­lin­den had her own take on ac­cept­ing the new Doc­tor.

“Es­sen­tially, ev­ery new Doc­tor is like get­ting a step­dad. Orig­i­nally, you’re like, ‘You’re not my dad, I don’t like you.’ And af­ter a while you go, ‘You’re pretty great, too.’” We can share time.”

She added: “It should be in­ter­est­ing.”

Jodie Whit­taker

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.