Lily James reacts to Jodie Whittaker's casting in 'Doctor Who'

The 'Baby Driver' actress weighs in on what it means to have a woman finally take over the traditionally male role

By Andrea Tim | Published: 17 Jul 2017

Lily on 'Doctor Who'
Former 'Doctor Who' star Matt Smith and Lily James (Photo: Burberry)

Jodie Whittaker being cast as the 13th Doctor in BBC1 series Doctor Who is a huge step in opening up traditionally male roles to female actors (your move, Bond). Jodie's Doctor will be the first time the character has regenerated into a female form.

Not unaware of this monumental moment for the British TV series is Lily James, the star of Baby Driver (interesting fact: she is also dating Matt Smith, who played the 11th Doctor for three seasons).

"I'm so excited about Jodie; we actually went to the [Guildhall School of Music and Drama] at different times," Lily said this morning at the Baby Driver press conference in Kuala Lumpur. "I've always been a real fan of hers, I think she's the perfect person to take on the role."

Since its inception in 1963, the lead character in Doctor Who has always been male. Even his arch-nemesis, the Master, has had a female incarnation who was played by Michelle Gomez.

"I think having a woman [in the Doctor's role] is just spectacular, and it's about time," Lily added. "I think everyone was ready, that everyone was feeling like 'I can't wait'. I think it's brilliant. Jodie's going to bring new life, and new energy and hopefully just blow open the audience even further than she already has."

Lily's character Debora in Baby Driver is just one of two female supporting roles – the other is Eiza González's Darling. They may not be the criminal masterminds in the film, but to Lily, they also contribute to the landscape of strong female characters on film.

"On one hand, you've got Debbie who is sort of a loyal girl that wants to hit the road, and then you've got Darling who's shooting double machine guns and is totally badass and gangster," Lily explained. "I think you've got two very different, brilliant women in the film and so I think it's really well represented – it's a really bold kind of show."


Girls @eizagonzalez #babydriver

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Baby Driver opens in cinemas today.

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