On the first day of filming, Jenna Marples has spent most of her day on the sofa, waiting for her makeup.
She has always been good at putting on makeup, and when she went to see the new Doctor Who, she realised she wanted to be a black woman, so she went on a mission to find out what it was like to be white.
“I wanted to understand the experience of wearing makeup, the struggle of not knowing how to do it and the challenge of trying to be someone you feel you can be,” she says.
“You don’t really have that luxury when you are white.
I think it’s really important for people of colour to understand that it’s not something you are born with.”
For the past few months, Jenna has been filming the BBC’s new Doctor who is not white, but has a very unique look.
In the pilot episode, the Doctor discovers that he is not actually a black man, but is actually an alien, a race of people who are the only people left who have been able to survive without contact with Earth for the past 300,000 years.
In reality, the aliens are a race called the Eleventh Doctor, and the Doctor is the only one of them who can survive without a body.
“We are very proud of Jenna and we are proud of this show because it is the first time we have really taken that risk to really explore the idea of a white male Doctor,” says Jenna.
“There are so many people of color who have faced this kind of discrimination, and we wanted to make sure we really explored the idea that you are not born with this privilege, that you do not have to be comfortable with the idea, and that you can actually be someone that you truly can be.”
Jenna is not the first actress to be cast as a black character on Doctor Who.
Before her appearance, the series had cast black actors such as Nicola Bryant, who played Romana in the first three series, and Sam Neill, who also played the Elec-Doctor in the early years of the show.
The BBC chose not to cast a black Doctor in the sixth series because the series was set in a dystopian future.
In 2017, Doctor Who’s casting director David Tennant said he hoped the BBC would be more open to diversity in future episodes, and Jenna has also said that she is hoping to be seen as a “real person”.
Jenna says she loves the fact she doesn’t have the same burden of self-consciousness that other actors do, and has a hard time getting over the fact some people still feel uncomfortable asking her to do something she is uncomfortable with.
“It’s like, ‘You are a good actor, you’re not a good person, you know what I mean?'” she says, laughing.
“If you do something like, you do what you want, you don’t care.
I’m going to do this thing.
I know I’m good at it, and I love the idea I don.
I just feel like I’m a good little white woman.
I can do this.
And I can be a good actress.
I like that I’m doing this, but I can’t stop thinking about it.”
A lot of white actors and actresses have faced criticism for their looks, and for some, it has even been seen as racist.
“People have made comments about how white actors are always looking white, so I think we all have to realise that if we don’t accept that there is this expectation that we’re going to look like this, then we’re not doing ourselves justice,” says Marbles.
“And if we do not recognise that, we’re never going to be able to have the privilege of just looking at a beautiful black person and not feeling like we can be that.”
And when the Eleventys were first introduced, Jenna says that she didn’t want to be part of the Elevenys, so when she found out she would be cast, she went for it.
“They said, ‘I’ve got your face on this and you’re going into this part, you’ve got to do the part’,” she recalls.
I don, I had to think about how to put my own skin on the Elevys and what my character would look like. “
It was so hard.
I don, I had to think about how to put my own skin on the Elevys and what my character would look like.
I was like, I can put my skin on it.
I would be the only black person on it.”
Jenna’s look can be seen in some of the episodes she is currently filming, and she says she doesn’ t mind that people still think she is just doing a whitewash.
“Even when I do a scene with the Elevantys, it