One Chicago Day 2016: Insight on CHICAGO MED from Colin Donnell and Brian Tee

Today’s One Chicago Day video celebrates last season’s addition to the CHICAGO universe, CHICAGO MED, as we discussed stitches, parrots, PTSD, jam sessions, and the day to day lives of physicians with Drs. Rhodes and Choi (Colin Donnell and Brian Tee).

These guys have a lot of fun bouncing off of each other in the video above, and here are some of the highlights of our in depth chat (Brian in green; Colin in blue):

On what they enjoy about the show:

Brian: “I thoroughly enjoy the storylines that come out week to week….we like being surprised, we like knowing where the character is going next within the next episode….I look forward to every week, week and a half, getting a new script and seeing how our stories develop.”

Colin: “Being a part of the whole universe, it’s a wonderful group of people. The familial aspect is unlike anything I’ve experienced in my career. There is something about being a part of this whole group that is looking out for each other and really embracing the shows as they come out.  Everybody has this purpose of creating unique, great television, so it’s great to be working alongside people that have the same drive and willingness to put everything on the line to give the best show we can.”

(they both agree that Chicago winter is by far the only drawback of working here)

On the musical talent of the cast:

“It’s an embarrassment of riches.”

“There’s 9 of us. All 8 of them, incredibly musically talented. I could probably clap well…I’m basically the roadie.  I bring the equipment in.”

“Brian plays a wicked kazoo. Torrey plays violin; she’s an incredible violinist. Nick is a singer and a guitarist. Epatha is a wonderful jazz singer.”

“Obviously Colin is an amazing singer as well.  He’s being humble, but you sing at Carnegie Hall…”

“There have been instances where we’ve all gotten together and hung out and had jam sessions.  It’s cool. When you’re surrounded by that much talent and you all like each other, it’s like, oh, sweet! And it’s been amazing that they’ve been able to incorporate that into the show.”

On offering medical advice to fans who request it:

“It hasn’t happened yet, but my answer to that question is always I could help them dial 911.  I know absolutely nothing….one of the greatest compliments that one of our medical advisors gave me is that he would let me stitch him up if we were in a desperate situation and there was nobody else around…”

“…and he’d lost one arm…he couldn’t do it himself with one arm…”

“…and it was a life-threatening situation. It would look like such a hack job!  I can actually do those ties now.  My tiny little fingers can do that.”

On working with Patti Murin, Colin’s real-life wife:

“It’s great.  The fact that my wife can be a part of the CHICAGO family. I’m a lttle biased of course, but I think she’s doing a beautiful job with the part. Everybody really is family.  There is no one else I would rather her have an on screen relationship with than Nick, if it weren’t Brian.  It’s so cool. We’ve worked together on stage of course, but to be able to be on the same television show….”

“It’s beautiful – it really, really is. Talk about One Chicago, and being that kind of family, especially in our show, extended to all four shows.  To keep that essence in reality is very, very rare and so beautiful to see.”

On working with that parrot and more of Ethan’s PTSD:

“If there’s one guy that I would give my parrot to, it would be Colin.”

“That parrot would just sit and peck me in the face all day.”

“The parrot is not going away. He’s become a close friend and ally to Ethan.  We’ll be seeing much more of the parrot, stealing scenes left and right…..I think, PTSD is a disorder that not many people know about or we don’t know enough about, so for them to explore it is really quite fascinating for me and really amazing and something incredible that they’re doing. For Ethan’s character to explore that, also with the parrot, it’s great. I feel like the best characters are the flawed characters. And each one of us have a particular flaw. I know Colin’s character is going through his own flaws and finding himself. It’s that kind of impactful essence within our own characters that I feel the audience enjoys, so to explore that even more is much more gripping and great for television and great for our show.”

On Connor’s new adversary:

“I should say first and foremost that Ato Essandoh is so fantastic. He’s such a wonderful actor and a really great person to be on set with. Most of my work this year has been with him and thank god we get along. They’ve written such a good character. As we get deeper into the season, you’re going to learn more about Dr Latham and Connor is really constantly trying to navigate his way, dealing with that type of personality but also realizing how much he doesn’t know, and how far he has to go in his own studies. He’s not quite the golden boy that he was built up to be last year.  Those flaws in the character and those scenes where you’re constantly being thrown off balance are the most fun to play. It’s fun to see the character get knocked down because you know that they have to grow.”

CHICAGO MED airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC.

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