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Simu Liu Reveals ‘Barbie’ Co-Star Ncuti Gatwa Kept ‘Doctor Who’ Casting Secret for Two Months

Liu said he would've "combusted" if he'd had the burden of keeping similar news under wraps.

Simu Liu, Ncuti Gatwa

Simu Liu, Ncuti Gatwa


Even the ensemble cast of “Barbie” was left wondering who among them was the new Doctor Who.

Barbie” actor Simu Liu said that co-star Ncuti Gatwa kept his history-making casting in the next season of “Doctor Who” a mystery on set.

“[He] didn’t tell anyone a thing,” Liu said during a talk with “The Matrix Resurrections” star Jessica Henwick in London as part of his book tour for his memoir “We Were Dreamers,” via Variety. “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.'”

“Sex Education” breakout Gatwa will be the first Black Doctor Who in the long-running BBC show, taking over for Jodie Whittaker, who was the first female Doctor. Gatwa will make his debut as the time traveler in 2023.

“He had to get security in and around not only his place of residence but the places of residence of his entire family,” Liu added since Gatwa’s casting was announced.

But Liu couldn’t keep a big casting secret like Gatwa: “I would have combusted,” Liu joked, saying that he immediately told his best friend about being cast in Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”

“It’s too big of news to keep with you,” Liu said.

Gatwa told the BBC that playing Doctor Who is an honor.

“This role is an institution,” he said. “It’s so iconic and it means a lot to so many people, including myself, and so it makes everyone feel seen as well. It’s something that everyone can enjoy, so I feel very grateful to have had the baton handed over and I’m going to try to do my best.”

Gatwa’s role in “Barbie” is kept under wraps, although rumor has it he will be playing another version of a Ken doll alongside Liu and lead star Ryan Gosling. Margot Robbie, meanwhile, plays the titular Barbie and also executive produces the film.

“Barbie” is set to be released by Warner Bros. Pictures in the United States next year on July 21, 2023.

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