British actor Hayley Atwell is stepping back from her previously professed eagerness to step into the shoes of Doctor Who. The 35-year-old who said that she wants to take on the role of the time-traveling doctor is now taking back her words explaining that she realized that the gig is not really right for her.
Since news broke out in January that current Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi, is giving up his access to TARDIS by the end of season 10, a lot of talk regarding who should take over the mantle have gone around the internet. Obviously, everyone has their own casting frontrunner, but Atwell seemed to be very serious about wanting to nab the role. Even before Capaldi’s announcement, she had been vocal about the possibility of taking on the role and be the first female Doctor Who in its long TV history.
Now, it seems that something has changed in Atwell with regard to wanting to play Doctor Who. During her appearance at the Heroes and Villains Fanfest in London, which Geek Feed covered, she says that playing the British pop-culture icon is not her thing. She even rooted for co-Londoner Phoebe Waller-Bridge to eventually take on the role after Capaldi.
“I don’t want to play it. No. It’s just not my thing, but I really respect it. I’m a big fan of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, though. She plays the lead in Fleabag. There were talks of her being the next Doctor, and she’s so funny and eccentric and unique; she’d be great. I can’t really see anyone other than her playing it.”
Atwell would have been a great casting role for the next iteration of Doctor Who given her past experience in playing adventurous and hardball characters like Peggy Carter in the famed Captain America films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She then reprised the same role in her own spinoff TV show Agent Carter for two seasons. She could have brought the same energy and sass to her personal take on such a beloved character and make it her own in a way that opens up a lot of doors for other female actors to take on the same mantle in the future.
Even with Atwell no longer interesting in the job, there is a roster of other talented actors who could be the next Doctor Who, including the previously mentioned Waller-Bridge. Other fan frontrunners this time include Tilda Swinton, Maxine Peake, and Olivia Coleman.
BBC has thus far remained mum on the issue of who is going to be the next Doctor Who. But despite the clamor for a female-led variation of the show, it is more likely that the broadcasting station is leaning toward casting another male actor for the part.
Doctor Who continues next Saturday with ‘The Lie of the Land’ @9pm on BBC America.
Sources: Geek Feed