Inspired by the oldest public hospital in the US, the unique medical drama series, "New Amsterdam", starring prolific actor and motivational speaker Anupam Kher, will premier on NBC at prime time Tuesday.
Kher, the BAFTA and SAG nominee, who has been shooting for the series for several weeks in New York, is not new to western audiences because of his roles in Golden Globe-nominated "Bend it like Beckham", Oscar-nominated "Silver Linings Playbook" and the highly-acclaimed film, "The Big Sick".
He is now going to be part of American lives through NBC's highly-anticipated medical drama, "New Amsterdam", where he plays the role of an Indian neurologist, Dr Vijay Kapoor. The series premiers on NBC on Tuesday, September 25, at 10 pm.
The NBC series revolves around Dr Max Goodwin, played by Ryan Eggold, as he becomes the medical director of an old public hospital and pushes for life-affirming changes and reforms in the neglected facility to provide an exceptional care for patients.
About his character in the series, Kher told PTI, "Dr Kapoor has seen the fast life, he has seen people running fast nowhere, and what centres him is this hospital. He is well read and knows what it takes to be a doctor, apart from just the 'qualifications'. I think that's the greatest quality that Dr Kapoor has."
About the script, he said, "It is a fantastic script, it has an amazing graph and its end is fabulous and every character is very well defined. I have done enough work both in India and abroad, I like to challenge myself."
Asked what he felt about being part of an American series, Kher said, "It is a great feeling to be part of a mainstream American series. I represent my country, my India, and I want every Indian to feel proud of me when they watch New Amsterdam. Let my countrymen continue to love and bless me and I will try to never disappoint them."
Having worked in 515 films over 34 years, "it has to take something like this to get me excited", the veteran actor said, adding, "I am always excited about life, but this is an amazing show. In India, the hierarchy is God, doctor and actor. I am an actor already and this is a show about compassion. It is the nobility of the profession that needs to come back. Half the job of a doctor is done when he listens to the patient carefully. So this is what it is all about. There are different kinds of doctors, but their religion is humanity. So that is what is important."
According to Kher, the most challenging thing about his role in the series was, "Thinking in English as I think in Hindi. For me, talking in English for such a long time is in itself a job, and then, also to use the medical terms. It keeps me alive as an actor. I am looking forward to the doctors watching the show. We had preview shows and they loved it. I think if it makes a little difference in a patient-doctor relationship, the show will serve its purpose, apart from entertaining people.
Developed by David Schulner, "New Amsterdam" is based on the book, "Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital", by Eric Manheimer.