Russell T Davies has opened up about working with Heartstopper breakout Yasmin Finney.
Since 2021, Doctor Who fans have been eager for the It’s a Sin creator’s grand return as the show’s showrunner.
Over the last few months, Davies has slowly started to reveal details about the series’ upcoming 60th-anniversary specials and its 14th season, including Finney’s casting announcement for the former.
“Life on Doctor Who gets brighter and wilder – how can there be another Rose? You’ll find out in 2023, but it’s an absolute joy to welcome Yasmin to the Doctor Who set,” he teased in May 2022.
“We all fell in love with her in Heartstopper, one of those shows which changes the world – and now Yasmin can change the Whoniverse.”
At the time, Finney echoed similar sentiments, stating: “This show has a place in so many people’s hearts, so to be seen as a trans actress by the legend himself, Russell [T Davies], has not only made my year, it’s made my life.”
In a recent interview in the latest issue of Doctor Who magazine, Davies opened up about working with the young talent and the importance of inclusive casting.
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“The joy of casting like this is in making my own experience richer, and I hope the viewers’ too. That’s what’s brilliant about working with Yasmin Finney,” he explained.
“Through contact with her, I’ve witnessed her ideals, her politics, her family, her fights, her triumphs, her life in this world. A life I might never have known. It’s a journey and a joy. I love it, and I hope I can do more, more, more.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Davies addressed his past comments regarding only casting LGBTQ+ actors in LGBTQ+ roles.
“I find myself at the heart of a web – of my own making, okay! – discussing the rights and wrongs of casting, especially when it comes to LGBTQ+ roles,” he said.
“My opinions change like they’re meant to. When I express a preference for casting gay actors in gay roles, some critic will hold up Queer as Folk from 1999 and say, but you cast straight men in that!
“Yes, I say, and I owe them everything; their bravery allowed me to move forwards, but more significantly, that was 24 years ago. Do you still think the same as 24 years ago? And then they stick their dummies back in their mouths, and I think, oh, you do.”
Aside from Finney, the upcoming Doctor Who episodes are set to feature an array of LGBTQ+ talent, including Neil Patrick Harris, Drag Race star Jinkx Monsoon, and Looking’s Jonathan Groff.
Check out the latest trailer for Doctor Who’s 60th-anniversary specials below.