"The Good Doctor" at the 61st Monte-Carlo Television Festival
Hill Harper and Paige Spara
Earlier this week, it was reported that popular ABC series "The Good Doctor", based on the Korean series of the same name, might be getting a spin-off called "The Good Lawyer". Deadline wrote that the spinoff of the Freddie Highmore-headlined "The Good Doctor" will have a female lead and will be introduced as a backdoor pilot during "The Good Doctor"‘s upcoming sixth season.
TVBIZZ Magazine brings you an interview with two of the lead actors from the series - Hill Harper and Paige Spara - who attended the 61st Monte-Carlo Television Festival. Hill Harper plays the role of Dr. Marcus Andrews, an attending surgeon specializing in plastic surgery. Paige Spara portrays Lea Dilallo-Murphy, Dr. Shaun Murphy's love interest until she left to pursue her dream. Later after she returned, they decided to be platonic close friends and roommates, but they finally became a couple in the season 3 finale and get married in season 5.
When talking about his life as an actor, Hill Harper commented that he now lives in Seattle, where he bought a house, because of COVID - it made him move out of New York, he now lives in Seattle and has to drive to Vancouver where "The Good Doctor" is primarily shot. In terms of priorities and what has changed in the past few years, Paige Spara commented that now she wants to be the most present, grateful version of herself, taking family time as you don't know what can happen. She also felt constantly scared how the pandemic could transpire but it's calmer now. Harper added that unlike other people, actors cannot work from home. As far as their perspective of the medical world, how it changed during COVID and the fact that they play in "The Good Doctor", Spara commented that this expanded her mind and her emotions towards doctors, the respect that she has for these people who are real-life heroes as well as navigate their personal lives, she is an awe of that lifestyle, she admires that. Harper added that actors who play doctors take this very seriously, that they represent real-life heroes. The first two episodes of season 4 were focused on COVID and they all wanted to make sure that this was an homage, a thank-you to those people, particularly during the early days of the pandemic when the hospitals were packed, people were dying, his character was living in the garage because he didn't want to bring infected clothes to his household which was a reality for so many real-life doctors and medical professionals and frontline workers, the isolation, the trauma. He loves the show in this regard because it respects doctors, respecting a lot of people from different walks of life. Harper said that his hope is that medicine continues to evolve and improve and make something lethal like COVID the common cold.
As far as the original Korean format of the series is concerned, Spara commented that she has watched it but hasn't followed it thoroughly, just bits and pieces. Harper revealed that he has never watched the Korean series which had only one season but there is so much great Korean entertainment product coming out. When preparing for the role, Harper revealed that the series has doctors in the writing room as consultants, the actors get pronunciation training but it is still the actors' job to do their research, there are videos online, for example he watches such videos when he has a scene with a surgery that shows the real thing. He tries to be as accurate as possible because this is another way to honor them. If your character is supposed to be the best at their job, they have to come off as the best, it takes a lot of practice and rehearsal. When asked if he considers himself a "financial doctor" Harper, who is the author of a book called "The Wealth Cure: Putting Money In Its Place", commented that he tries to have a positive impact on the world and he truly believes that you can't have social justice without economic justice and until we solve the wealth-gap problem, we are not going to solve these other issues and he considers this his legacy work.