Follow Us on Twitter

Venus - Jodie Whittaker interview

Jodie Whittaker in Venus

Interview by Rob Carnevale

JODIE Whittaker talks about appearing in Venus as her feature film debut and being cast alongside screen legends Peter O’Toole and Leslie Phillips…

Q. One minute your studying your craft as an emerging actress and the next you’re on screen with Peter O’Toole and Leslie Phillips… Were you ever intimidated?
Jodie Whittaker: I was really only nervous in the final audition. I can’t remember it and if anyone had recorded it I think I’d just be embarrassed at how overwhelmed I was by everything. But I think the scariest thing is the name. Their names carry so much worth. Without the person to know, that can be kind of intimidating. But after the first day it was just really good fun.

Q. You’re currently appearing in Bash at Trafalgar Studios in London’s West End, which is a very different role to Venus. How did you approach the two roles and how different was it working with a young cast as opposed to an older one?
Jodie Whittaker: I think it’s the writing that’s so different. You can’t really compare Neil LaBute and Hanif Kureishi. The approach is done for you; if you just speak it then it’s all there. A lot of Bash is actually to do with technique, it’s stylized, so it’s quite difficult to compare the two. Venus is very naturalistic. There’s such a huge difference between theatre and film and I had no idea of how different they were until this.

Q. What’s different?
Jodie Whittaker: The basic thing for me was that I didn’t understand the technical terms. I remember shouting a lot on the first day because the camera was miles away. I couldn’t get my head around the fact that I was wearing a microphone and it didn’t matter that the camera was miles away. Things like continuity, or hitting your mark, or it’s a dirty shot, that was alien terminology. The technique is so different.

Q. Jodie can you talk about the poster for the film a little bit? How easy was it to recreate?
Jodie Whittaker: It’s quite elegant in comparison to another one where I wasn’t drinking. The bottle was resting on my calf and, in the mirror, you could see me pulling one of the worst faces ever. I thought they were going to pick that one because it was so unattractive. I didn’t remember it being so similar to the painting of Venus. But when I saw it, they’d literally got such an amazing replica.

Q. What did your family think when they saw the poster?
Jodie Whittaker: They thought it was hilarious. We did a tour. It was outside Holloway Odeon and I was on a bus going to my mate’s house and I didn’t know. It was in October. When I saw it I screamed and spoke really loudly on my phone so that everyone knew! Then my mum and dad were coming down that week and we passed it in the car, so I had to get out and stand next to it, have my picture taken and so forth. I was very excited.

Read our review

Read our interview with Peter O’Toole