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Freddie Highmore on ‘The Good Doctor’ Series Finale



Freddie Highmore on 'The Good Doctor' Series Finale

After seven seasons, “The Good Physician” got here to a heart-rending conclusion, emotionally devastating the devoted followers who signed on to say so lengthy to Dr. Shaun Murphy and the remainder of the forged and crew who populated San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital.

Selection talked with collection star Freddie Highmore (Dr. Shaun Murphy) about saying farewell to the creators and actors he’s shared laborious science monologues and anxiety-inducing surgical scenes with for seven years.

What was the final scene that you simply shot as Dr. Shaun Murphy?

The final scene that I filmed was the one the place, in the end, Leah sits down subsequent to Shaun after which talks him into going to turning into conscious, I assume, of the scenario dealing with each Claire and Dr. Glassman. That motivates him within the brief time period to go and communicate to Claire [Antonia Thomas] after which come to phrases with the truth that Glassman is not going to be with them for for much longer. That felt like the right final theme to movie.

There’s clearly the larger, splashier speech, however in the end, the present has at all times lived in these tiny little nuances and small moments and small beats between characters. And that final scene with Paige [Spara] definitely felt like that. It was again on the studio. We retreated into one final stage. The remainder of the levels and units have been being dismantled. The residence lounge was the final one standing for the previous couple of days of filming.

How did it really feel once they stated that’s a wrap on Freddie?

It’s arduous to explain. I feel the overall feeling that I’ve felt is it’s a bit like commencement. You’re nostalgic since you’re conscious of how particular these previous few years have been with this group of individuals, and you might be conscious you’re by no means going to duplicate that once more at one other level. In fact, it’s shifting and emotional in that approach, however on the similar time, like commencement, you might be excited to do different issues and to maneuver on. You recognize that it’s wholesome and good and that you could’t keep at college without end. So I’m additionally excited for every little thing that’s to come back sooner or later.

I feel in some methods, there’s a sure peace that it brings on the final day when you find yourself trying round in any respect of those folks that you simply love and care about so deeply, and understanding that we bought to finish the present with the data that it was ending on our personal phrases and inform the story all over to its finish. I feel provides a sure peace and satisfaction and beautiful to have that chance to say goodbye to everybody.

Was Shaun’s finish recreation at all times going to complete as the daddy of two, main a neurodivergent program throughout the medical business? When did you study how his story would finish?

I feel [series showrunner David Shore] can be higher positioned to reply this, however from what he has stated when I’ve been round him, there was an unique finish aim of Shaun turning into a father. That felt like a pure finish to the present. In fact, we went previous that. And I feel that speaks to how a lot Shaun has been in a position to develop and alter and evolve during the last seven years in time that I’ve bought to play him.

I feel an inclination maybe amongst reveals that do have a case of the week, procedural component, is that there’s a need for characters to remain the identical week after week. However definitely on this present, it’s been an incredible problem and an thrilling one to play a personality who is continually evolving and consistently altering and rising. After we take a look at the finale and look again to the place Shaun has began, that journey has been an enormous one.

We noticed that progress within the penultimate episode when Shaun shares that second with Richard Schiff on the steps, and you place your arm round him. Speak to me a bit bit about that scene and what it was like getting to try this.

It’s a delicate one. It’s not too heavy-handed, nevertheless it speaks loads to how far they’ve include Shaun. I feel part of him, in that second, is conscious that placing his arm round Dr. Glassman is the factor that you need to do in an effort to reveal that you simply care about somebody and that you simply need to assist them. It comes from a spot of him realizing that, on this second, he does have to be the individual to handle Dr. Glassman in the way in which that Dr Glassman has at all times taken care of him. That’s Shaun’s journey as properly within the final episode: accepting Dr. Glassman’s needs and accepting that he has to assist him slightly than Dr. Glassman being the one who has at all times supported Shaun in no matter he has wished and strived for.

Christina Chang, Richard Schiff, Bria Samon Henderson, Liz Friedman, Freddie Highmore, Fiona Gubelmann, David Shore, Kayla Cromer, Will Yun Lee, Wavyy Jonez on the collection finale of “The Good Physician.”

What’s it like saying these final scenes with Richard Schiff? Was it arduous to say goodbye?

Sure! It’s odd. I feel, in some methods, it can in all probability daybreak on me perhaps additional down the road that we received’t be doing scenes collectively anymore, each with Richard and likewise different folks on the present. If you end up used to a routine of spending 20 episodes with the identical group of individuals, leaving for a couple of months, after which coming again once more and returning and doing it once more, perhaps the odd feeling will come a couple of months from now when you find yourself not returning to see these folks once more, and your form of pure routine is shaken up ultimately. But it surely was truthfully only a actually pretty previous few episodes to movie. Having Antonia again and attending to have these significant goodbyes with the entire characters and giving each character their very own send-off. It felt celebratory slightly than overly unhappy when it comes to what we’ve been in a position to accomplish on the present and what we’ve all executed collectively as a gaggle.

What was the forged’s response to having Antonia Thomas again, however then additionally giving her most cancers, a virus after which in the end amputating her arm? That was brutal.

Sure. It’s humorous, a couple of folks have stated, “Do you are feeling dangerous for Claire as a result of she misplaced her arm?” Whereas actually, in a second when filming it and looking out on the episode, I felt like this was an enormous success as a result of she’s nonetheless alive. She misplaced an arm, nevertheless it might have been a lot worse. However sure, I’m undecided that Antonia knew fairly what she was signing up for when it comes to Claire’s development into sickness, nevertheless it was so pretty for everybody to have her again. It felt prefer it introduced it full circle to the start, reminding us of the place the entire characters began and the way far they’ve all come.

What’s the legacy of “The Good Physician” and the way has it modified the dialog round neurodivergent folks within the office and in relationships?

It’s probably not for me to say whether or not we’ve been profitable or not, but when in some small little approach, this present has been in a position to problem stereotypes and misconceptions and convey consciousness to autism, then that might be the factor that I’m definitely most happy with and can be probably the most significant conclusion from this present.

I feel a type of misconceptions is that folks with autism can’t change and evolve in the identical approach neurotypical folks can, which clearly isn’t true. Hopefully, we’ve been in a position to present that by telling Shaun’s particular person story. However I’m additionally conscious that Shaun is and by no means ought to signify everybody who’s on the spectrum, and we’ve at all times targeted on telling his one, particular person journey and story, and hopeful that that will likely be a beginning place for individuals who maybe didn’t have as a lot consciousness of autism earlier than coming to the present.

What’s subsequent for you? Would you leap into one other procedural?

That’s not the factor that I’m essentially searching for, however I’ve by no means searched issues out. I really feel I’ve at all times been shocked by alternatives which have come alongside. After “Bates Motel” ended, I definitely wasn’t trying to do one other tv present immediately, after which “The Good Physician” got here alongside three days later, so that you by no means fairly know what’s going to occur. I’m going to be doing this British miniseries over the summer time that I can’t actually discuss, however that I’m very enthusiastic about. That will likely be enjoyable to be again in Europe and do one thing that I’ve by no means executed earlier than when it comes to this undertaking after which see what’s subsequent after that.

I’ve loved, on this present, being part of the broader course of. I’d like to proceed to provide and develop reveals and write and direct as properly. I’ve loved doing all of these issues. That’s definitely a aim as properly.

This interview has been edited and condensed for readability.

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