When Jodie Whittaker was announced as the new star of Doctor Who last summer, fans rejoiced to see her join the Whoniverse – but little did they know she’d actually almost joined the cast of the BBC sci-fi series once before, when she went for a role in Matt Smith’s first series back in 2010.
“I obviously didn’t get it!” Whittaker laughed when we brought this up during the premiere of her first episode as the Thirteenth Doctor, adding that she “can’t remember” exactly what the part she was going for was (though we have a few ideas).
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However, she was sure of one thing – today she’s pretty glad that the whole thing never worked out.
“I think I just put myself on tape but I didn’t get it,” Whittaker told RadioTimes.com in an exclusive red carpet interview (above).
“But thank goodness I sent some message-in-a-bottle tape [and] didn’t get it, and then now…because I might have [ruled myself out]!”
“And you don’t remember what episode it was? Or the character?” new showrunner Chris Chibnall asked his star.
“Well no because I don’t know if I was sent the whole episode [script],” Whittaker explained.
“I wouldn’t have been a big deal enough then to be sent the WHOLE of the episode!”
Thankfully, Whittaker’s NEXT attempt at landing a Doctor Who role went a lot better – though she admitted there were points when she had her doubts whether she’d be able to do any better this time round either.
“There were many moments where there were doubts, like ‘have I shown enough, is there more they need to see?’” she told us.
“But the thing that was the most revealing thing for me during the audition process was that I absolutely love this.
“I’d never done anything that even touched the sides of being similar to the kind of scenes I was doing in the auditions, or the kind of work that I’ve done in the series.
“And there’s a nervousness about auditioning, but what I couldn’t believe was when I walked out of the room how much fun it had been. And that made me want it even more.”
All in all, we’re inclined to agree that it’s a good thing she never got the callback in 2010…
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 on Sunday 7th October