Imagine how it must feel to be cast in the lead role of Doctor Who, a cultural institution and one of the biggest TV acting jobs in the world. What’s more, imagine being the first woman to get the part, breaking through glass ceilings in the process. It’d be pretty overwhelming, right? Unsurprisingly, Jodie Whittaker got pretty emotional when she found out she’d been chosen to become the Thirteenth Doctor.
While speaking as a guest on The Graham Norton Show to promote the upcoming eleventh season of the series, Whittaker revealed the moment that she discovered she’d got the job. Hilariously, she recalls being told important information about the practicalities of the role when all she wanted to do was go and spill the beans.
“I went to what I thought was just a final audition and a chat with all the grownups. I was being all steely and when they told me the part was mine, I just started crying. They started telling me lots of important things about the role and all I could think was, ‘I really want to WhatsApp someone’.”
The actress then went on to speak more generally on what it’s like to be the first female Doctor, explaining that she does feel a mix of “joy, fear, and responsibility to the fans.” That said, she believes it’s “ridiculous” that the gender issue is “such a big deal in 2018.” However, she also feels a certain amount of pride in the fact that she’s the first woman to steer the TARDIS. “I can always say I was the first,” she said.
After first appearing for a cameo at the end of Doctor Who‘s 2017 Christmas special, Whittaker makes her full debut as Time Lord No. 13 when the extended hour-long premiere, “The Woman Who Fell To Earth,” arrives in just over a week’s time on Sunday, October 7th.