A Doctor unlike any other, she’s already made history as the first female Doctor but who is Jodie Whittaker?
Born in 1982 in Huddersfield, Whittaker dreamed of becoming an actor from an early age. After leaving school at 16, she completed a Btec in performing arts before attending Guildhall School of Music and Drama – where she was joined by Hayley Atwell and Michelle Dockery.
After graduating, she was cast alongside Peter O’Toole in the 2006 movie Venus, where she played an aspiring model who becomes the object of affection for the elderly O’Toole, who received his eighth and final Oscar nomination for the role. The part gave her an early opportunity to demonstrated a grasp of multi-faceted characters when she artfully revealed a darker side to her outward naivety.
From there on out, the parts came thick and fast: she was cast as blond secretary Beverly in the largely forgotten St Trinian’s movies; appeared alongside Viggo Mortensen in The Good, about a German literature professor caught up in the rise of Nazism in the 1940s; featured in Marchlands which told the story of three families living in the same house across separate time periods who are all linked by a young girl who died in mysterious circumstances; and became the object of obsession for Andy Serkis in Liam’s Story in BBC One’s anthology series Accused, co-written by Jimmy McGovern – the series also featured the Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston.
She first caught the eye of sci-fi fans in 2011 sci-fi comedy film Attack the Block where she played trainee nurse heroine Samantha who defends a London housing estate from an alien invasion alongside co-stars John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Nick Frost, who, of course, played Santa Claus in 2014’s Christmas Special, Last Christmas.
In the same year, she appeared in Charlie Brooker’s sci-fi anthology TV series, Black Mirror, in the acclaimed episode The Entire History of You, where she played an unfaithful wife caught in her husband’s technology-infused paranoia.
Whittaker’s highest profile role was undoubtedly Beth Latimer, the grief-stricken but resilient mother in Broadchurch, which was created by Doctor Who’s new showrunner Chris Chibnall, where she appeared opposite the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant.
Speaking of the enormous emotional strain the role put on her, she told The Independent (via The Telegraph) in 2014:
“It was brilliantly difficult. A part like that, where you know, unfortunately, thank God it’s a small percentage of people, but there are people who have [gone through], and do have to go through, something as horrific as that, so you commit to it and throw yourself in, but you know that you are the one who at the end of the day can have a glass of wine and put it to one side.”
The actress has most recently finished shooting Paddy Considine’s Journeyman, as well as new BBC drama series Trust Me.