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‘Doctor Who’ Star Jodie Whittaker on New Role: Actors ‘Don’t Always Have to Tick the Same Box’

In her first broadcast interview since landing the lead role in “Doctor Who,” Jodie Whitaker has said she has been given advice by some of the previous actors to have played the Doctor, and added that new head writer and executive producer Chris Chibnall will take the sci-fi series in an amazing direction.

Speaking on BBC radio station 6 Music, Whittaker addressed the reaction to her being the first woman to take the lead role in the show on a permanent basis. “The people that are in these roles that we are excited by, are passionate about, or look up to, don’t always have to tick the same box, and that’s what’s really incredible about it,” she said.

Whittaker was unveiled as the new lead in “Doctor Who” last month. Outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat has since reacted angrily to the negative reaction, in some quarters, to casting a woman in the role, a move that was welcomed by other “Doctor Who” actors.

The “Broadcurch” star said that she had not tuned into the social media storm over her landing the role in the long-running BBC series. “I’ve missed a lot of the fun stuff, and probably the bad stuff because I am not on any type of social media and never have been,” she said.

Speaking about Chibnall’s vision for “Doctor Who” as he takes over from Moffat, the new Doctor said he will bring a fan’s perspective. “He’s come from the fan point of view, so the direction he’s going to take it in is going to be amazing,” she said.

Previous Doctors, although it is not clear which ones, have also offered the new time lord/mistress/lady words of advice. “I’ve spoken to a few, and the overwhelming sense is ‘this is such an exciting journey that you are about to go on, and it’s to be enjoyed,’” Whittaker said, adding: “There’s no advice you can give because no person plays the part the same.”

Whittaker replaces Peter Capaldi, who leaves “Doctor Who” this Christmas. Before Whittaker starts on the show, she will be on screen in BBC drama “Trust,” in which she plays a nurse trying to start a new life in the wake of a scandal. It launches August 8.

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