Freddie Highmore Interview: ‘The Good Doctor’

“In the world today with lots of trouble on a daily basis, the idea of someone who has a wonderful heart and tries to do the right thing is someone people are drawn to,” explains Freddie Highmore of the character he plays on the ABC hit “The Good Doctor.” In our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above), he adds, “The optimism of Shaun is what I like about him. His hopeful outlook on the world; always trying to see the good in people. He’s not immediately judgmental.”

In the freshman series, Highmore plays Dr. Shaun Murphy, a new surgeon recruited to a prestigious hospital despite concerns of board members that his autism diagnosis proves too great of a risk. Of the premise for the show, Highmore says, “I knew people personally before this show came along who have autism. But when you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism. That’s important to remember with Shaun, constructing him as an individual. He can’t represent everyone on the spectrum, in the same way your ‘typical’ lead character on a show can’t possibly represent everyone.”

Highmore reveals in the interview that  Shaun “is very internal. A lot of what he is thinking is not obvious to those he’s interacting with. Sometimes I feel it’s an adjustment for everyone. The actors aren’t exactly getting what they may expect from another scene partner. All of us as a group, not just me, will find those new ways of constructing a scene with a central character that is different from something we’ve experienced before. I hope that they feel like they are getting something from me even if Shaun is very much in his head. It must be odd for others to react to.”

The November 20 episode, titled “Apple,” ended on a touching moment when Shaun and his neighbor Lea (Paige Spara) exchange a hug after he admits that he made a mistake.” Highmore says that “the episode rests from the culmination of Shaun’s journey in that final little scene that’s all about a hug. That’s what’s fun about the show — those subtleties, small beats and little moments on which a lot of stuff seems to hang. It doesn’t need to be shoved down your throat. There’s a lot more to come with Shaun and Lea. We will come to see how he falls for her and how she brings out a different side to him.”

3 thoughts on “Freddie Highmore Interview: ‘The Good Doctor’”

  1. I had the privilege of teaching elementary students who were autistic so having this amazing show with such a marvelous cast has been fascinating to me. Best show on TV in a long time. It’s popularity and authenticity is definitely worthy! Thanks to all of you who have made this show such a success!!!1

  2. I find the success formula –law, cops, hospitals, has become overused from so many decades and many “life or death” episodes that can be imagined by writers.
    There used to be high stakes type stories about people in high schools, ranches and common butlers & waitresses.

    But, these aren’t exciting enough to keep the remote “surfers” from straying.

    Or, so you have already condemned more ordinary places of work where Shawn could have worked. I just can’t believe these clinical stories involving such a syndrome sufferer.

    But, I cannot accept that he would be accepted into this highest stress career and I bite my lip as he tries to communicate to parents of victims, and strict attending doctors.

    You will succeed for attempting something unusual, but the art of drama writing has been reduced to a formulaic profit maker for it’s surface foray into something new for newness sake.

    Awards and money will surely follow you all the days of your attempts to make the unbelievable story ….even more sad…. because it will never happen in real hospitals.

    Fairness can only be wished in hospitals, because it won’t be found in reality. The hallways of fast decisions and people need eye contact.

    Dr. Shawn’s list making for patients for life or death decisions seems shallow and belongs in a Disney dreamworld.

  3. I can understand where you are expressing, bit you’re looking at it the wrong way. This isn’t a show that is “based on true stories”. Its a show about something so much more than, well this just wouldn’t happen in real life. Do you think the events and attitudes on House are in any way acceptable, and do you think that someone like Dr. Gregory House would actually be able to work as a doctor? No hospitals have a diagnostic team where that many doctors work in a setting like that, with cases so outlandishly rare. But THAT isn’t what the show is about, and it was a fantastic show. Even though House was an arrogant asshole, he was still extremely likable to the audience. In fact, do you think any show on television is so accurate on how things are in real life? The Good Doctor is about an individuals growth, and with that the growth in the others around them. People with disorders have limitations, but everyone does. Dr. Murphy was NOT accepted, and many patients did not accept him either. Thing is, Dr. Murphy is on the spectrum, and his limitations are shown, but it also shows all his positive traits as well, and he makes an exceptional surgeon. He’s autistic, but that is just a label…he proved himself worthy based on the things he can AND can’t do. Its a fantastic show, and if you feel so negative about it its simple. Don’t watch the show. BTW, real doctors who critiqued the show noted how many of the aspects of the show are pretty accurate at a learning hospital. Fantastic job David Shire, I can’t wait till season 2!!!

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UPLOADED Mar 3, 2018 3:18 pm