Actress Christina Chang reprises her role as Dr Audrey Lim, the chief of surgery and attending trauma surgeon, in the new season of the immensely popular medical drama The Good Doctor. The show that follows Dr Shaun Murphy—a brilliant and quirky doctor with autism and savant syndrome—has had a successful run of four seasons. In the new season, Dr Shaun and his long-time girlfriend Lea get engaged. But the bigger surprise is the reintroduction of Dr Mateo Rendon Osma played by Mexican actor Osvaldo Benavides who is cast opposite Christina. The actress tells us more in a Zoom interview. Excerpts:
Your character has faced many challenges in the series. What does this season hold for her?
This show is incomplete without its complicated situations, right? The first episode called New Beginnings was the perfect way to start off our new season because quite a few characters do have new beginnings. So I think right now what we’re seeing is Lim (my character) is in a little bit of a lull. I think she’s getting a break from complicated things, but of course they’re later in the season.
Your performance was really powerful during the episodes that dealt with PTSD. What was your learning from this experience?
With PTSD, there are different ways it can show up. What I learned was there are varying levels of it as well. What we decided for Lim to portray was someone who is functioning with it, but having a hard time. She was sort of on the brink of not being able to handle that. So I have a lot of respect for the doctors, nurses, and people on the frontline who are dealing with COVID-19 right from when it started.
How has your character influenced you as a person?
I love my character. Some of her qualities are similar to mine and then, other parts of her are not. So it’s fun and challenging to play her and it becomes easier when you know the character well. This season is a new beginning for Lim. Last season was rough for her, and someone had pointed out to me that I didn’t smile on screen, and I hadn’t. So we’re seeing more smiles in season five.
The show is a rollercoaster of emotions. Did you feel emotionally drained?
Yeah. I think last season was pretty draining for a couple of reasons. I think the pandemic was sort of a new situation that everybody had to deal with, right? And so we were all coming to work with personal fears, although we did a good job in terms of protocols and being stringent about safety measures. Then the storyline kept me in a place of tension in relation to the other characters on the show. I mean, of course, it wasn’t real tension, but it’s a strain when you’re spending most of your time on set, acting upset and angry. So that part of it also sort of became a little draining. It’s not always like this, it happened only during the last season.