The Best Jodie Whittaker Quotes From Comic-Con 2018
The new 'Doctor Who' expertly addressed what it's like to play the beloved character 'as a woman.'
During Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA, Jodie Whittaker fielded questions galore about her role as the first female Doctor Who. With every response, her stance grew clearer: Gender really doesn't mean that much to her, especially where her career is concerned. Instead, she shared an important message: "Women" shouldn't be seen as a genre in TV and film. We agree.
In July 2017, Whittaker's involvement in the classic BBC series was announced. Since then, conversation has revolved around her gender. How will a woman cope with the show's conflicts? How will a "woman's touch" influence the series? The obsession with her femininity has bulldozed far more important topics, like her acting ability or what she'll bring to the table as an individual. Comic-Con was her first opportunity to change the narrative, and she did a splendid job.
"This is a show for everyone, but I think us three sitting here didn't have [people who looked like us on television] when we were growing up," she said of co-stars Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, and herself. "It's 2018. The fact that we're having these conversations now... it'll be really exciting when women aren't treated as a genre, you know? Just as a cast member. Just because you lead a show doesn't mean it's for women, which always happens, within it. And so when you've been thrust into a kind of genderless role, it's like, this is incredible, but let's not have this conversation."
"I don't approach it as, 'How would a woman play this role?' because I just am one and I don't know if a guy has ever gone, 'How would a guy play this role?'" she explained. "You just are, and it's your own point of view. So essentially, my energy, my approach to this is coming from a very instinctive place. It feels genderless to me because it's never been engrained in that specific way, a woman behaves in a specific way or a man behaves in a specific way. The best thing about the doctor is I'm not playing either. I'm an alien. There's really no rules. And I've got two hearts, so I can do whatever I want."
"I wasn't sure how the reaction would land, and it seemed positive," Whittaker shared. "I think, actually, being the first woman to play the Doctor is incredibly liberating."
"The most wonderful thing [about being Doctor Who] is you regenerate, so you can bring everything you, everything from previously, you can make it your own and also stay loyal to it," she said. "And casting a woman doesn't change that."
We can't blame fans for being curious. After all, the Doctor was male for over five decades. For generations, viewers have known the alien as a "him." But during the show's press conference, showrunner Chris Chibnall said the switch was "perhaps overdue."
See the thirteenth Doctor in action soon.