The Good Doctor FYC Panel With Freddie Highmore and Richard Schiff

it's a burden on you as the actor that must portray that character at the same time that's a hard role so you know we haven't really seen that character this way before not as a lead and not over this length of time and you people talk about Rain Man but that's not that's a few hours you know yeah I'm a very different character a very different character and he's so tell us about signing on for the part what you saw and and about finding complexity and colors and sort of humanity for that character yes that's a big where to begin I guess that Sean certainly is the character though most had to put work and preparation and research into not only in terms of his autism but also the savant syndrome that he also has the conversations that David and I had from the very beginning were centered around that responsibility that we were taking on and we were keenly aware of it we traded documentaries and pieces of literature back and forth that we found useful but at the same time it was you know remains necessary to come up with sean is an individual he is not going to nor should we try and make him represent everyone who is on the spectrum and it's about telling his individual story the consultant that we worked with and in fact is here Melissa and we continue yeah and last week we had a great conversation about season two it said that to me from the very beginning where you've met one person with autism you've met one person with autism and so I think that even though it was somewhat scary jumping into the train Sean it also felt somewhat freeing to know that we were creating this one individual story and to focus on that focus on building out Shawn as a you know his own idiosyncrasies that may have nothing to do with the fact that he's got autism the people that he is gonna fall in love with the jokes he may try and tell all the things that he finds funny that are different to that was around him I want to address this next question especially at Antonia and Nicholas but also to Richard in Tamlyn when I started watching the show what struck me about the Shawn scenes is that because of Shawn's difficulty with sort of normal communication Dudley doesn't make contact contact his body language is different and therefore hard to read for people aren't used to it that it's a struggle for the characters and I thought it's also got to be a struggle for the actors playing a scene so I just want to get your take on how is that been different in it have you been on a learning curve about that along with the characters absolutely yeah I mean I'd say it is a struggle but normally as an actor I contact is so important in a sort of the one thing if words aren't happening you know you sort of rely on the eye contact to be to communicate but that is part of who Shawn is and that's the part of you know what the characters the journey that they have to go through to you know learn how to be around him and communicate with him and and so actually it's always useful because you know you just have to go on that journey with him as a character that as your character and go with it you know you just have to respond and react to that and how that makes you feel and and I know from Claire's point of view you know on first experiencing a meeting Shawn it you know it makes you feel slightly slight like a fish out of water you just have to go with that and that so that was part of the journey of her of Claire anyway I had no problem fine she had a lot of problems in a really hard Antoni you know it normally yeah I guess it's a lot like what Antonia said you know I contact is one of these things you you depend on but I you've seen the performance you've seen what what Freddy is done with the character and I like to say I mean this is a living breathing changing learning character this isn't a stick that's put on and it's very alive so regardless of what I may not get with eye contact which is very frustrating for Melendez and anyway not to get something efficient and how I asked for it but even as an actor there's so much going on that you're learning anyway from this character and you as your characters Antonia says that you're watching for every other little thing you know and you start to learn how he expresses anxiety how he expresses stress how he expresses not being able to communicate the way he'd like to and then so we learn about the character and it never stops and as the actors standing there I'm learning too because I'm constantly have to pay attention because I'm meeting a different person each time who's a product of all the things happening to him like we all are and it just manifests itself in a different way I want for this out day to anybody I think that one of the fascinating things about this show is so much of the cast is so much of the characters are minority characters you know African descent in South Asian descent we've got it apparently a Jewish guy you know lots of minorities and he's half Jew right cent if you watch the show he's an average and on the father side apparently I don't know we have an establishment so and yet it sort of turns the the the message of inclusion kind of on its head because so many of the minority characters are resisting the autistic character or not are not fully embracing inclusion in that respect anybody wants to sort of take a stab and what that does for the viewer what son meant to do to the viewer how does a challenge of your I can just be very broadly I think one of the themes of the show that has played out in not only Sean's character but to your point the cast are outsiders and it was one of the things that drew David and I to show so much was we obviously love this lead character but it was like who amongst us hasn't felt out of place at times to the larger point of the diversity of our cast it's obviously something we're incredibly proud of but how they react to them as characters perhaps I'll let you speak to that directly but I'd like to address that it's not just it's not just people of color or I think the idea of of an outsider is an important one in this in this in the show and I get asked quite often well what did it why did so many people respond to the show because every single one of us at some point in our lives feels like an outsider every single one of us at some point feels like our challenges are we all feel like we're the underdog at some point or another so I think it's two different questions whether the issue of diversity and the issue of people just feeling like they're left out and if you look at the last election it was white people that felt like they were left out that made that made it sadly the difference in that election and everyone at some point feels like they are unjustifiably burdened by responsibilities that they can't handle and one we see a story of someone who was an underdog just sort of speak achieves excellence or achieves things that elevates him that that has allowed him to put his best foot forward I think we all celebrate that because we all feel like that underdog every now laughs I would have made it a little better well that's something too and and that is that you know as far as we are of our task for being diverse the show was not about oh about let's let's see how many people of different races we can get up on the screen you know we're talking about very fully fleshed out characters and you know their backgrounds are not incidental but they are not the point of the show just like when you go into a regular Hospital in real life you are going to see doctors and nurses of all different ethnicities and you don't have a conversation with them about why they come from where they come from you have something that you need to get taken care of and you hope that they're the best person to do it and as far as you know someone with autism coming into this group it's just a nice reminder that the conversation doesn't end with race it's not just a you know diversity is not just about whether you're black white asian Latino there's there's a kind of diversity that then that we still have to explore and talk about we had a conversation earlier tonight about socio-economic diversity and you know when you bring someone into the mix who's got certain challenges in their lives that they that have nothing to do with where they were born it and it opens the conversation and extends the conversation in a way that is I think it's really useful you know I think Milan Kundera to talk to the Unbearable Lightness of being about how many two doctors are likely to more in common and for wherever they are in the world than 82 Frenchman you know then they're these people are all driven

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