Talking with Nick Gehlfuss includes an outpouring of enthusiasm on his part, especially for the affection that his character, Dr. Will Halstead, has provoked in his followers.
With the return of the fourth season of the series – which is part of the universe of producer Dick Wolf (Law and Order) – stories have now been created about those who live on the first line of rescue in the city of Illinois, who they have had to face covid-19 in different ways.
One problem was finding a way to continue recording during the pandemic and another, the most important, how to incorporate this tragic global reality into a medical program whose main mission is to entertain. This season we must talk about what everyone is handling.
How to do well a program that deals with medicine in times of pandemic?
“We have a great opportunity to discuss the issue. Dick Wolf has created this concept of ‘headline stealing’ (taking ideas from newspapers to create stories). He did it with Law & Order and now we are doing it with Chicago Med. Not talking about it would be unfair to what we’ve been doing all along in the stories we tell. How we do it? That was the interesting thing. How to create a safe space to film it and then how to discuss it as part of the history of the series?
And how did they do it?
“This season starts in the midst of a pandemic and Chicago Med already has its protocols in place. Will takes us through the whole process of getting into the hospital to work. And it creates a very substantial atmosphere. The entire program is divided between the emergency room and the covid area, which looks completely different from the rest of the hospital. We developed a logic for the story where everyone goes through a covid test in order to get into the emergency room. That obviously is not attached to the reality we live in, but it allows us to take off our masks and you don’t have to be watching us covered the entire program. It also allows us not only to talk about this disease, because although it is present, the stories help us escape the reality of what we are living. We balance that in such a way that we can have hope regarding the pandemic, and at the same time, escape a bit. ”
All over the world, we have seen how the doctors and health personnel who are at the forefront of this battle have also had to deal with even assaults or not being able to easily return to their own homes. Is that one of the messages of this season?
“Yes, and that is always one of Dick Wolf’s objectives when doing these programs, that you arrive for the entertainment and that you come out of there with specific education on some issues. It is very important, those of us who tell stories have the responsibility, as Shakespeare said, to ‘hold the mirror before nature’, and that is our job. We have a unique opportunity to help understand through stories that we can easily identify with. This is the case closest to reality, above all, because it is a global issue that we have had to narrate so that many people can tune in and feel seen. I think it is very important to do it justice, to do it well and that there is authenticity in what we do, which is why I always make sure to speak with the real doctors and be close to our medical advisers. I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing any of that if I did. Every time I feel this more deeply, to thank them and show how much we appreciate what they are doing ”.
Chicago shows are about people on the front lines of bailouts. Does it take on more meaning for you now?
“Of course. We talk about the word hero a lot. But they are the real heroes, the essential workers. They are for good reason. And I think Dick Wolf does a great tribute to all these heroes who are on the front line of defense in all of his series. ”
Tell me the difference between your character and other doctors on television …
Will is vulnerable. Sometimes it takes a little longer than you’d like to get where it needs to be, but the good news is that it always does. This is fun to interpret, because you are navigating inside it, sometimes you are vulnerable and sometimes you are not.
Start of season in full emergency Do not miss it
Today opens the sixth season of Chicago Med, this long-awaited series that airs on Universal Channel throughout Latin America.
In the same city
The Chicago series universe has been very successful around the world and includes Chicago Fire, as well as Chicago PD and Chicago Justice.
Other shows that have taken up the covid theme are Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Doctor, and The Resident.