Role: Clara Oswin Oswald
Type: Tv Series
Genre: Adventure | Drama | Family | Sci-Fi
Status:Will air from March 30th on BBC1
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Online Since:April 30th, 2012
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Jenna (as Clara) is on the cover of Radio Times, May 18-24 issue!
In the issue, Jenna discusses being in the public spotlight:
Matt warned me that there’s nothing that can prepare you for it. All I can do is enjoy it. I’ve noticed some changes – nothing huge. I have a really cool job and get to do these crazy things and you do have so many ‘pinch me’ moments. I’ve just been sent emails with pics of the Clara doll, which is kind of…
That isn’t completely normal, is it? People do come up to me, but so far they’ve really engaged with the show and the character and just want to chat. Yesterday a little boy walked past and said, “You all right, Soufflé Girl?” Which put a smile on my face. So it’s not obtrusive.
Jenna also gives a few teases about the Doctor Who Series 7 finale The Name of the Doctor and the mystery of the Impossible Girl :
In the beginning we see a Clara in the 60s, 70s and the 80s so there are a lot of costume changes, which I love. Always one for a bit of dressing up, me. Love a red carpet. Richard E Grant is back with his evil Great Intelligence, the Doctor’s greatest secret is revealed, all of his friends rally round to protect him and we finally understand why the Doctor has met Clara so many different times.
It seems that Matt has given Jenna quite a bit of advise, from not using Google to chose her next role carefully. The three month figure is interesting, tying up previous rumours that the Christmas episode would be filmed in September.
His first advice was never Google yourself and, now that I’ve got a three-month break, he said take your time and choose your next role carefully. I’ve read loads of scripts but nothing I’m really in love with.
“Doctor Who” star Jenna-Louise Coleman has been warned. She knows that two months from now, fans at Comic-Con International in San Diego will line up in the thousands, camping overnight outside the city’s convention center to secure seats for the annual panel devoted to the BBC TV sensation. Many will wield sonic screwdrivers or wear Dalek costumes, and more than a few will come dressed as Coleman’s character, Clara.
But back in March, the hype hadn’t caught up with her.
“Everyone wants to know, ‘Has your life changed since joining the show?’” Coleman said over a lunch of baby beets and tangerine at downtown Los Angeles’ Lazy Ox Canteen. “And I’m like, ‘No, not really.’ I just go to Cardiff, and I do mad things and experience mad stuff on set, and then I come back to my London life, which suddenly seems more boring because I’ve been blasting Cybermen.”
Though “Doctor Who” is something of a British institution, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, stateside the series about the eccentric time-traveling alien has long been relegated to the realm of cultish fandom. But with its 2005 revival and reboot, the show has enjoyed a crossover into the American mainstream, drawing more than 2 million viewers for its BBC America midseason premiere this March.
The current season wraps up May 18, marking the third space tour for Matt Smith as the Doctor, the 11th actor to play the character in the series over the decades, and the first for Coleman’s Clara Oswald, the latest in a long line of so-called companions, partners who travel with the Doctor to assist him in his Earth-saving and otherworldly sleuthing.
Like many companions throughout the show’s history, Clara serves as an audience surrogate, helping make the show’s outlandish story lines — which can involve alien races, other planets and futuristic technology — become more relatable to viewers.
“It’s normally me being like, ‘What? Why? How?’” Coleman said, chuckling. “I’m more of the audience asking, and Matt has the dialogue and the jargon. I’m very much the human.”
Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman will star in a special mini episode of Doctor Who – a prequel to the series seven finale – available to watch via the BBC’s interactive Red Button service.
Shot in a dreamlike style and set in a dusty old museum, He Said, She Said will see the Doctor and companion Clara talking directly to camera as they reflect on how little they really know about one another.
The significance of those questions will not be lost on fans who are aware that season finale The Name of the Doctor is set to solve the mystery of Clara, the girl the Time Lord has encountered in different forms throughout the series, as well as promising to reveal the Doctor’s own secret.
Whether that turns out to be his name, as the title would suggest, remains to be seen but showrunner Steven Moffat told Radio Times “There’s going to be a revelation. I’m not teasing. I’m not wrong-footing you – you’re about to learn something about the Doctor that you never knew before. And I think you’re in for a shock.”
The three-minute prequel will first become available to watch following the penultimate episode of Doctor Who series seven on Saturday 11 May. Viewers will be able to access it between 7:40pm and 12 midnight by pressing the red button on their remote controls and selecting Doctor Who. They can then watch it again each evening right up until the final episode airs on Saturday 18 May on BBC1 – and the Doctor and Clara’s secrets are finally revealed…
Next week’s episode is The Crimson Horror, written by Mark Gatiss. It sees the return of Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax and features Dame Diana Rigg and her daughter, Rachael Stirling. It’s the first time the pair has worked together on screen and they play two Victorian ladies who share a dark secret…
‘I loved working with Diana Rigg,’ Jenna reveals. ‘ I loved the way she operated and carried herself… It was great to sit back and watch how mother and daughter worked and their dynamic together.’ Matt agrees, adding, ‘It was an intriguing and creative experience watching mother and daughter work together… Dame Diana has had such an illustrious career and Rachael is a great actress.’
The following week the Doctor becomes embroiled in a Nightmare in Silver. The episode is written by Neil Gaiman and features new look Cybermen. Matt’s not giving much away but he does tell us, ‘I think they’ll surprise a few people…’ Neil Gaiman has confirmed his brief was to make the Cybermen scary again so we look forward to their return with a degree of excited trepidation!
The finale has the intriguing title, The Name of the Doctor, and Jenna lights up as she discusses it. ‘The finale story is such a fantastic idea; it’s epic and huge and filled with drama. It was really exciting to sit down and read the script,’ she enthuses. ‘There are little bits and pieces which Steven planted a couple of years ago. It’s just really clever and a crucial moment in the Doctor’s life that you get to explore with the best baddies! I really think they are going to become another Moffat classic!’
Matt agrees about the ‘baddies’, a brand new enemy known as the Whisper Men. ‘They’re truly terrifying!’ he tells us, before dropping a couple of hints about what else we can expect from the adventure. ‘With the 50th this is going to be by far the biggest year in the history of the show. And the finale is just the start. It focuses on a pivotal moment in the Doctor’s life and the life of his companion…’
We can at last confirm that the finale will also solve the mystery around ‘the impossible girl’. Having remained tight-lipped about Clara, is Jenna looking forward to being able to talk about her character’s enigma? ‘I am, I can’t wait!’ she admits. ‘All I can say is that Clara hasn’t just met the Doctor three times before…’
Matt nods, but won’t be drawn into saying anything more about the finale. We press him and he finally relents. ‘It’s a complete game changer,’ he concedes with a smile, ‘…and it all starts now!’
Now that Clara has officially debuted as Doctor Who‘s new companion, let’s get down to solving the mystery of this “impossible girl.”
On Saturday’s Doctor Who (8/7c, BBC America), present-day Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) will have her first outer space adventure in “The Rings of Akhaten.” Coleman sat down with TVGuide.com to give the scoop on what it takes to play the Doctor’s (Matt Smith) new companion, Clara’s rivalry with the TARDIS and the highly anticipated 50th anniversary special:
First of all, do I call you Jenna-Louise or just Jenna?
Jenna-Louise Coleman: It’s Jenna. I keep getting called Jenna-Louise [by reporters] but it’s something that my mom calls me when she’s angry with me.
There is a huge mystery surrounding Clara: Two versions of her — one in the future and one the past — both died, and she is living in the present day. Has writer/executive producer Steven Moffat explained the mystery to you yet?
Coleman: I only found out whilst reading the last episode of our season, which was a couple of months before we finished shooting. So I played most of the season not knowing, which is really good. I didn’t need to know in order to play what I needed to do.
Are you satisfied with how the mystery is explained?
Coleman: It’s being slowly teased throughout the series. It’s like this slowly unfolding mystery, and we will eventually get payoff.
Much is said about each new Doctor’s signature style, but the companions also have their own sense of fashion. Does present-day Clara have any signature looks? What is her style?
Coleman: I’ve got seven or eight girls I’m really close to, and I live with two or three of them in London. We all went to school together. I really wanted her to look like she could be any of them. So we’ve done loads of jewelry, which is featured throughout. I’ve got this “timey-wimey” watch actually, which has loads of different clock faces on it. Because of all the different Claras and all the dimensions, the costume drops some subliminal references. Clara is also quite collared actually and she’s quite chic. I kind of liked the idea of that. She looks a little bit cutesy, but she’s got biker boots on. She’s the kind of girl who [sits] in a library reading, but she’s actually quite a go-getter, action fighter with these little biker boots. She’ll take you by surprise. She’s not all that she seems.
Moffat has said that one of the reasons why you were cast is that you could talk faster than Matt Smith. Are you naturally a fast talker?
Coleman: I think it’s to do with Steven’s writing as well. It’s kind of in the rhythm of it and it works for the pace, but I have a tendency to talk very fast anyway. Matt and I feed off of each other with it I think. But it causes problems because then I go to ADR [automated dialogue replacement] in the studio afterwards and I have to keep up with myself, which is quite difficult. You’ve got to look at your own face and match your mouth, so it’s quite tricky when you talk as fast as I do.
What’s the chemistry between you and Matt behind the scenes?
Coleman: It’s great. The TARDIS is like our little home. As you’re waiting for set-ups and things like that, we kind of just chill out in the TARDIS and gossip and chat.