New NBC show “New Amsterdam” premieres this Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 10/9c.
Inspired by the oldest public hospital in America, the unique medical drama follows the brilliant and charming Dr. Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold), the institution’s newest medical director, who sets out to tear up the bureaucracy and provide exceptional care. NBC and The Cinema Society hosted a party to celebrate NBC’s 2018-2019 season at The Four Seasons Restaurant in New York. The Knockturnal was on the scene. Check out our exclusive interviews below!
Legendary Indian actor Anupam Kher plays Dr. Anil Kapoor.
The Knockturnal: Congrats on your new show. This is a big deal!
Anupam Kher: After having done 34 years of work in movies and 515 films, it has to take something like this get me excited. I’m always excited about life, but this is an amazing show. In India, the hierarchy is God, doctor, and actor. So I’m an actor already and this is a show about compassion. It’s the nobility of the profession that needs to come back. Half the job of a doctor is done when he listens to that patient carefully. So this is what it’s all about. There are different kinds of doctors, but their religion is humanity. So that’s what is important.
The Knockturnal: Tell me about the creative team and collaborating with everyone.
Anupam Kher: The pilot is done by Kate Dennis, David Schulner and Peter Horton. They’re amazing people. I’ve already shot five different episodes. Fantastic team, but they have also chosen wonderful people, because the show is about goodness, so it’s wonderful to be surrounded by good people, and to me, that’s very important. You can’t be having cold atmosphere. So it’s fantastic, and the writing is unbelievable.
The Knockturnal: Was there any kind of preparation in immersing yourself in the medicine?
Anupam Kher: I think in Hindi. For me, talking in English for such a long time is in itself a job, and then also to use medical terms, it keeps me alive as an actor. I am a struggling actor who has some money.
The Knockturnal: Where did you film?
Anupam Kher: All over the place … Mount Vernon, Bellevue, City Hospital.
The Knockturnal: Anything else you would like to add for your fans?
Anupam Kher: I am looking forward to the doctors looking at this show. We had preview shows, and they loved it, and I think if it makes a little difference in a patient/doctor relationship, this show will serve its purpose apart from entertaining people.
Ryan Eggold plays Dr. Max Goodwin.
The Knockturnal: Congratulations on the show. It looks fantastic. What attracted you to the project?
Ryan Eggold: I was attracted to a) the script was amazingly well written by David Schulner who wrote these really fleshed out characters who felt like human beings and not just TV characters and I was attracted to the fact it was a true story. Eric Manheimer wrote this book about his experiences. He kept all these journals about all of his experiences, his thoughts, and his own bout with cancer. So to tell his story, someone who’s been immersed in healthcare for 20 plus years, that’s what attracted me to it.
The Knockturnal: Did you get to meet with Eric?
Ryan Eggold: Yes, all the time. I text with Eric. I just had to go to the hospital myself, my appendix was almost bursting.
The Knockturnal: Are you okay?
Ryan Eggold: I’m okay. Thank you. I went to the urgent room, who kicked me to the ER, who kicked me to the hospital where they wanted to take it out. I said, “Let me schedule it with production.” Eric came and said hi. Freema came, Anupam, Janet came, everybody came to say hi and hang out. I was just reminded that this healthcare thing is very real and affects every one of us. Something can happen to our health at any given moment. And so it made me proud to be telling this story.
The Knockturnal: Mr. Kher told me the show is about humanity. Can you speak a little bit more about that?
Ryan Eggold: Yeah. The problem with healthcare in this country is that it’s a business. When you’re monetizing people’s health, that’s not a good thing. So we’re trying to tell a story that’s about getting back to treating people like human beings and realizing how much we all have in common, not what separates us. And how we can help each other. My character constantly asks the question, “How can I help?” For me that’s what the show is about. Not about how we’re different, but how do we come together to make this overwhelming, complicated system a little bit better.