'The Good Doctor' star Christina Chang on how the medical drama has helped her character see an incredible growth curve
In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), the actor takes us through her journey from her career breakthrough in '24' to becoming a lead character in ABC's hit medical drama
You would remember her from '24', 'Nashville' or 'CSI: Miami', but Christina Chang has stolen our hearts with her latest show 'The Good Doctor', where she has become the newest series regular playing Dr. Audrey Lim.
The Taiwanese-American star has had quite an illustrious career and acting journey since her stint in '24', which she describes as, "A long, frustrating, rewarding one".
MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) had the opportunity to get up close and personal with Christina and learn about her experience working across different genres, on being Dr. Audrey Lim, and evolving as an actor.
We are really excited to see your character become a series regular. How has Dr. Audrey Lim grown from Season 1 to Season 3? And does it also mean growth for you as an actor?
Audrey has grown remarkably in these three years! From a fearless trauma surgeon who kept her love life to one-night stands to being a woman who opened herself to love and then becoming the chief surgeon, it is an incredible growth curve. It's been such a fun ride for me to play Audrey, and yes I too have grown alongside her. As I became comfortable in her skin, it was easier for me to access her different levels of vulnerability.
So, you have done a lot of crime procedurals, and played roles of doctors too. If you had to take a pick, which would you say is a better environment to work and learn?
They're so different it's hard to compare, and I cannot quite say which one is better than the other. Both genres interest me. In fact, I'd say their similarities lie in how smart everyone has to be in their respective jobs. Saving and defending lives is no small feat. Both require many hours of research and countless sleepless nights. A medical drama has been a lovely opportunity to try something new, learn about our health and how hospitals work is great information at my fingertips. It's an education I wouldn't otherwise have if it weren't for this show.
Playing the role of a surgeon would have required quite a lot of homework. Did you ever seek real-life inspiration to mold yourself into the character of Audrey Lim?
Since I am the one playing the role, Audrey will have part of me in her. But the rest I have mostly drawn from my active imagination. There was this one female ER doctor I had observed when I had to spend six hours in the ER with my mother. I noticed how calm and collected she was, in her "home" so to say. She was in charge, yet affable, visibly tired from what I assume was a long shift, yet on point and efficient. Seeing her in action definitely boosted my faith in that hospital's emergency room!
Tell us about the equation between Shaun Murphy and Audrey. How important is she in Sean’s life?
I like the way the writers have handled Audrey’s relationship with Shaun in Seasons 1 and 2. She never singled him out, but rather treated him as one of the gang. Neither did she ever make excuses for him or let him be excused without an apology while dealing with patients. As time passes, their relationship keeps growing, and she is more fond of him while valuing his terrific insight. Besides being a mentor, Audrey seeks Shaun's success as the Chief Surgeon.
As you said, Audrey is growing as a person, as a professional. What do you think the future hold for her?
Good question. Even I'd love to see where her journey takes her. I'd love to see Audrey confronted with some really difficult head of department decisions, I'd like to explore what it's like to be a woman, and a woman of color, in charge and the inevitable pushback she faces. I'd love to visit the loneliness that comes with being a pioneer of sorts and get into what other relationships she develops in her new position. What I see for her and what the writers will eventually create for her, might be different, or perhaps coincide. Guess, we’ll have to see.
‘The Good Doctor’ is one of ABC's hottest new shows and Christina takes the lead as Dr. Audrey Lim, Chief of Surgeons, at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital. Catch Audrey in action in Season 3 of 'The Good Doctor' that airs every Monday at 10.30 pm only on ABC.