Eoin Macken and Brendan Fehr plays doctors TC Callahan and Drew Alister on the NBC medical drama The Night Shift.
We got the chance to sit down with the beloved actors in between takes on set as they were shooting the season finale that airs August 31st. Together we discussed what viewers can expect in the finale, live-tweeting, and Trump’s latest military ban.
So are guys excited about the season finale?
Eoin Macken: Now do you mean excited to finish or for the last episode [laughs]? The last episode is great. I mean I have no idea what’s going on in the last episode [turns to Brendan] What’s happening?
Brendan Fehr: You’re asking the wrong person, I mean once you get down to the end of the season it’s more of a blur. Last episode, you know we’re not going to wrap it all up in a nice tiny bow, we’re going to leave some cliffhangers. Everyone’s going to be in somewhat of a precarious position, so we have a jumping off point for season 5.
Eoin: I think last season when we wrapped up it was chaos, and in this season it’s still all open-ended, but the stories are a bit more tangible, and a bit more interlinked I think. This season’s a bit more solidified in terms of where the stories are going.
Can you tell us about the scenes you were just shooting?
Eoin: What they’ve done is Jordan’s character, Scott Clemmens, and Julian–who owns the hospital–have brought in an army that are hospital admin, kind of associated with that. So Brendan, Drew, TC, and Jordan are training army medics and doctors to become battlefield doctors like they are. So getting a lot of rangers and staff involved is why we’re wearing army scrubs!
Do you guys feel differently about medics and doctors now that you’ve played this role?
Brendan: Yeah it’s exhausting [laughs]! I’m amazed at how little doctors actually do in real life compared to what we do [on the show]. I go to a hospital and I honestly don’t ever see a doctor. He comes in and he says, ‘that’s what wrong with you, everyone else will take care of you.’ You see him for about 30 seconds! So we’re a bit more hands on at this hospital [laughs]!
Eoin: You come into this hospital and end up best friends. Then you start working there and you never leave the hospital!
Brendan: Yeah I think on this show you almost want to stay here. But in a real hospital you just can’t wait to get out. There is a respect for the vast amount of knowledge that we get from our medical technicians. I ask things like, ‘what am I doing? What is this? How would you diagnose this?’ and they’re like ‘you would hear little flutters in their chest!’ The vast amount of knowledge is impressive. You do realize how much work it is and they put their lives on the line in different ways, in service to other people. From paramedics to EMTs, they all provide huge sacrifices.
This is off-topic, but I don’t know if you guys heard about the ban Donald Trump put on transgender people serving in the military [interview was conducted July 26th 2017]. Because of this show’s military component, what are your thoughts on that?
Eoin: I’m always afraid to give my opinion because I’m on a visa now [laughs]. If I was an American citizen I’d have very strong political opinions on a lot of stuff going on right now!
Brendan: Anyone willing to put their life on the line for me and my family, or the rest of everyone’s freedom, deserves to be out there doing that.
Eoin: I 100% agree with Brendan, I think it’s an absolute travesty right now, that just doesn’t even make any sense.
Brendan: I mean you can disagree on so many things; religion, sexual orientation, gender, whatever else, I think the one thing that shouldn’t be apart of this–and I understand there’s logistics with certain things going overseas–even with having men and women in the same combat. You need different facilities, you need different bathrooms, it does cost a bit more! But you have to measure that cost against other things. In the end I think it makes more sense that if someone’s willing to take a bullet for me, to sacrifice and put their life on hold so that I can enjoy mine, the amount of courage that takes is one that isn’t a burden. Certainly there’d be certain costs incurred that wouldn’t be otherwise, but those should never refer to a serviceman or woman as a burden ever, and the fact that he did that is disgusting. We should be taking care of those people while they’re over there, we should be taking care of those men and women when they come back, regardless of anything.
Eoin: It’s interesting because there’s nothing dogmatic about the kind of morals or sociological aspects of our show. That’s kind of how I believe life should be. You can have your own idea about sexual orientation and religion, or whatever the hell you want it to be, but you shouldn’t be imposing it on other people. That happens on our show a lot where there’s different character from different walks of life and every one of our characters has to go through something they have to deal with, something they’re not comfortable with or didn’t expect. It’s only with another character who comes to them with a different angle, that they learn. Our show is very heavily infiltrated or diluted with people from every single walk of life. That’s what I like about our show. I think that’s how life should be. I don’t believe that politics should have the kind of influence that it does in terms of affecting people in that manner.
On a lighter note, do you guys like interacting with audiences when they watch the show?
Eoin: Yeah, the Twitter stuff is fun. I don’t massively enjoy when we have to live tweet because you want to sit there and actually watch the episode, it becomes a thing where it’s kind of like pressure. At the same time, the people who watch the show are all over the world. I’ve been in Japan and Brazil and there’s people watching it from Indonesia, Germany, and France, Canada, and America. It’s not a specific demographic, and its people of all different ages, so that’s what’s actually interesting about Twitter. You get people who write to us who are medical professionals or vets–or just people or teachers–or people who just who work in the shop! They do many different things, and they’re all interested in the show and invested for different reasons. That’s why I think the Twitter audience is an interesting tool in terms of a way of communicating.
Brendan: Yeah from very early on, the first big thing I did was Roswell and obviously with the sci-fi crowd, [gestures to Eoin] you know a little bit it about because of Merlin. But they’re rabid, and that interaction I think is really key. It kind of separates those fans and fandoms apart from other genres. That’s something I learned early on. When they sent us Tabasco bottles to keep us on the air and all that stuff, that was great. So I knew about that early, and it’s changed now with Twitter and social media and that stuff. The live tweeting I enjoy in one aspect because you are interacting with them and it’s a real time thing, but as a an actor, doing it while the show is on is a little bit like ‘no you should be watching what we did and talking about it after.’ You shouldn’t be looking at a screen while you’re watching another screen. It’s a little bit of a Jekyll and Hyde with that whole thing.
So you’re more into the after-show then.
Brendan: Yeah! I love the interaction, but it is a little off-putting, because they’re not watching what you did.
Eoin: Watch me!
Brendan: Exactly [laughs]! But interacting with fans is as much fun for us as it is for them.
The Night Shift airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.