Ncuti Gatwa will officially play the Fourteenth Doctor on Doctor Who. It’s a huge career opportunity, but it also means a kind of celebrity only a select few have known. Simu Liu, who is starring with Gatwa in the upcoming Barbie movie, shared some interesting info about how Gatwa’s life changed after he secured the role.
Per Variety, Liu is on a tour to promote his new book We Were Dreamers. In conversation with The Matrix Resurrections star Jessica Henwick, Liu talked all about finding out that Gatwa had landed the role of a lifetime. “[He] didn’t tell anyone a thing,” Liu said. “And then all of a sudden over the weekend he was announced. We came to work on Monday we were like ‘Dude, how long have you been holding this in for?’ And he’s like, ‘Two months.’”
I would have combusted. He had to get security in and around not only his place of residence but the places of residence of his entire family.
That sounds intense, although Liu can surely relate to some of it; as the title character in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, he’s had to keep a few secrets himself. “I’m not a great secrets guy when it comes to this stuff,” Liu said. “[Kevin Feige] was like, ‘We’re gonna fly you to Comic-Con in San Diego in four days, just keep your mouth shut until then. We want to be able to surprise the whole world when we announce you at Comic-Con, like, don’t ruin the moment.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, sure.’ He was like, ‘No seriously, don’t tell your parents, don’t tell your friends. Don’t tell anyone.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah.’ And then I immediately called my best friend. It’s too big of news to keep with you.”
I know if I was cast in a major role, the first people I’d be calling is my family. There is simply no way I could hold in a secret like that for more than an hour. This is why I can’t blame Tom Holland for spilling the beans time and time again; it’s just way too hard.
Ncuti Gatwa’s life is already changing because of Doctor Who
Anyway, I’m so excited for Gatwa to take over as the Doctor, even though I’ve never seen him act before. People clearly love him from Netflix’s Sex Education, and he’s going to be starring in the Barbie movie alongside Liu, Margot Robbie, and others. It’s such an exciting time in his life, and I think he’s going to be absolutely marvelous!
Sure, that means he’ll be giving up some privacy in his personal life, but he can always talk to former Doctors about that. David Tennant once compare losing your anonymity on Doctor Who as “losing a layer of your skin.”
2023 can’t get here soon enough!