Friday, June 15, 2018

Jodie Whittaker

Jodie Whittaker, Toronto, Sept. 9, 2006

THE NEW DOCTOR WHO. To be fair, I couldn't have known this when I shot these portraits of Jodie Whittaker, a young English actress promoting her first role onscreen at the film festival. The show had only been revived a year earlier with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, and people were talking more about his northern accent than the possibility of a female Doctor.

Whittaker was just twenty-four when she arrived at the festival with Venus, and she couldn't have asked for a more noteworthy debut with Peter O'Toole as her co-star. I might have been a bit disappointed that I wouldn't get a chance to photograph O'Toole - he'd been on my "List" since I'd first come up with one, but I'm not sure if he even bothered making an appearance at the festival that year.

Jodie Whittaker, Toronto, Sept. 9, 2006

I didn't know anything about Jodie Whittaker when she walked into the press suite at the Intercontinental on Bloor, but I remember that she was tall and taking the whole film festival thing in her stride. If she reminded me of anyone, it was probably Cate Blanchett, when I'd photographed her at the film festival eight years previous, though Whittaker was far more confident in front of my camera.

Photographing someone like Whittaker is a challenge, since they don't arrive with any sort of persona you can work with or play against. You have to look them square in the eye and just let them react to you and the situation of being photographed. Jodie Whittaker held her ground remarkably well, at least according to what I see in these shots. A bit of time-traveling insight would have been useful, of course, as I'm sure I'd have had more ideas about photographing the Thirteenth Doctor.

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