Jenna-Louise Coleman at Margaret Street Gallery, London: 'I was ready to leave Emmerdale when I did.' Photograph: Katherine Rose for the Observer
Fittingly, for an actress who last year debuted as a time- and space-hopping adventurer in Doctor Who, Jenna-Louise Coleman is thinking about multiple universes. She recently saw Constellations in the West End, a play that took on the idea of there being infinite dimensions – other worlds in which everything that can happen does happen. Sitting in a London cafe, she reasons: if parallel worlds exist, there's one in which I live in Hollywood and play an Australian in a sitcom, cracking terrible jokes about dingoes.
It almost happened: "Even though my Aussie accent is appalling," says Coleman, 26, who got to the final auditions for the sitcom job, in Los Angeles in 2011, before being called back to England to appear in the ITV drama Titanic. That job opened up a seam of British work – a part in Stephen Poliakoff's drama Dancing on the Edge, a role in Doctor Who – that hasn't let up since. The Poliakoff is an ensemble piece about 1930s jazz musicians. Meanwhile, she has made two meaty Doctor Who cameos to date, including a show-stealing appearance at Christmas, and will be the Doctor's official companion in the next series. Coleman's character is a woman called Oswin, who exists (uh-oh) across multiple dimensions.
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