‘New Amsterdam’: Tyler Labine Offers Hope for Iggy & Martin Despite Divorce

Tyler Labine in 'New Amsterdam'
Q&A
Francisco Roman/NBC

Divorce may not be the end for Iggy (Tyler Labine) and Martin (Mike Doyle) on New Amsterdam.

The fall finale ended with Martin telling Iggy they should sign the divorce papers, just as it seemed they might be getting back together. And with the series finale airing January 17, hope may seem lost. But, as Labine tells TV Insider, that might not be the case. He teases what else is ahead when the final episodes begin on January 3.

After Martin said they need to sign the papers, is Iggy feeling hopeless about their future?

Tyler Labine: Let’s dissect the moment for a second. Iggy has been doing a lot of searching, right? From deadlifting to trying to adopt a cat to trying to become an art appreciator. And there’s a lot of growth there. There’s a lot of feelings of growth and discovery, and yet what Iggy chooses to do with that growth is come in and take what he wants again, like kissing Martin. Of course, two lonely people who have a history and have loved each other so wholeheartedly, that can feel like hope sprung anew, right? We get together, we’re in bed in the morning, the kids come in.

But I think after that, in the cold, hard light of day, there is inevitably that moment of, “Oh s**t, was that the thing? Was that really the thing? After all that discovery, is my journey just to go back? After all of Martin’s discovery, is his journey just to go back?” We’re learning how to co-parent, we’re doing all these things. It’s not surprising that Martin, very obviously the more rational of the two was like, “Hey, man, that was lovely, but we still have to get divorced.”

I think it crushes Iggy, but somewhere inside, Iggy’s like, right, the marriage is over. The marriage that they know is over and signing divorce papers is completion. I don’t think you can journey forward, even if it’s together, while they’re still in that marriage. A marriage is just a thing on paper. It means something, but that thing is over, that part of their journey is over.

Does that mean that after signing those divorce papers, they can start a new chapter together?

Look, they’re co-parents. They are having to navigate life together in so many regards already. I’m just saying that that part of their journey. We don’t know what that looks like. We don’t know if that just looks like them co-parenting and them finding other partners or if that looks like them discovering new ways to appreciate each other or to fall in love in another way. I don’t know. But I do know that Martin was right: The divorce papers need to be signed and that had to come to a conclusion because whether you accept it or not, it’s over.

Mike Doyle and Tyler Labine in 'New Amsterdam'

Eric Liebowitz/NBC

I noticed Iggy said he loves Martin and is in love with him, but Martin only said he loves Iggy. He didn’t say he was in love with Iggy, and that’s two very different things.

You know what’s funny is that was an ad lib by me — the “I love you, I’m in love with you,” was an ad-lib because I’ve been through a divorce recently. I probably have talked about that with you. And there is this thing, this desperation when you feel like it’s your Hail Mary. The distinction between “I love you” and “I’m in love with you” is very important. I think in that moment, Iggy was pleading and saying, “I don’t just love you, I’m in love with you.” And for Martin to not say it back, you’re probably right, was probably a choice that we weren’t even that aware of in the moment. But I gotta be honest, me and Mike and the whole crew, when we finally found that scene and finished shooting it, everybody on set was crying.

It was sad!

We were all so upset and crew members were coming up being like, dude, that was too real. That felt so real. And I was like, I know. Because Mike and I were like breaking up with each other. The show’s done. There’s a lot of emotion as we get to the end of this show, and that felt like a real breakup in a lot of ways. So what we shot there felt really authentic. So you picking up on something like that is probably just one of those like instinctive things that Mike did as a good actor that felt right for the Martin character, which was, in that moment, if he said, “I’m in love with you too,” that’s very different than just saying, “I love you.” You can love somebody. Doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re in love with them.

What’s next for them?

We are going to see those divorce papers signed. It has to happen. Martin’s right. But what happens after those papers are signed is unexpected. It’s very human. It’s very real. It’s hard to say without spoiling anything, but I can tell you that the divorce papers do get signed. They do get divorced, which is sad, but we don’t know what that means for them in their relationship and what the future of that can hold and how they feel about each other. If you think about it this way, it leaves a lot more room for both of them to be happy, whether it’s with each other or whether they find other partners or whatnot. That chapter had to be closed.

Helen (Freema Agyeman) showed up. Will Max (Ryan Eggold) turn to Iggy for advice?

We’re gonna see Max turn to a lot of his connections and friends for — I wouldn’t say advice — distraction, support, many things, as he tries to navigate what that means for him. But we’ll also see him turn to a new source of support and relationship to gain some clarity. It’s like all the work that he did the whole season has really been about trying to help Max understand that maybe Helen wasn’t the right one for him, which is sad and heartbreaking. And so all of a sudden all these questions come rushing back.

Same with Iggy and Martin. That could feel like a huge light, like, “This is it. She’s back. It’s a sign from God or whatever.” But all it’s gonna do is really raise more questions and make Max and Helen ask themselves, “Do I really want to just come back to this, after all the work I did? Is this the right thing?” We’re gonna see a lot of soul searching around that little pop-up.

Tyler Labine in 'New Amsterdam'

Francisco Roman/NBC

What can you preview about the camping corporate retreat?

We were up in the mountains. We took our first show field trip. We were three hours outside of New York, and we all had to stay in motels and hotels and it was really fun. It does not go well for one person in particular, but Iggy has a real revelation up there. Max has a real revelation up there. It took getting us out of the hospital and really doing something different and shaking it up to get to this new place.

How does the series end for Iggy?

Let me just put it this way, the way the show ends, period, for everybody — including Iggy and the fans — is less of a “Here’s everything. I’m gonna give you it all. You have every I dotted and every T crossed.” It’s more like, “We understand. Here’s a big 20-second dopamine inducing hug as we nudge you out the door.” [Laughs] We can’t possibly wrap everything up. We can’t answer everything. But there are big things that get addressed, and it’s very careful. And when I say careful, I mean we’re really taking care as we say goodbye to these characters to create very hopeful questions.

If there are new questions that come up, they’re not gonna be, “What the f**k?” They’re gonna be, “Oh, well now I get to play this game in my head: ‘What if that meant this? And what happened…?'” I think it’s a really lovely, careful, thoughtful way to end the show. I’m excited to see what people think. It’s not a traditional finale for a show. There’s actually a lot of origins in the finale that kind of bring it all back to square one.

Then for me personally, it’s like a death. It’s like a death of a family member or a part of myself. It’s been a big part of my life, this show, and I’ve gone through so much while I’ve been here. I’ve been through a divorce. We went through a global pandemic. I’ve become sober. I’m a sober human being. I’m almost five years sober. This is the first show I ever did as a sober adult human being. I’ve made countless relationships and friendships, and I feel like I’ve learned how to be an actual actor on this show.

The relationship that I’ve created with Iggy has been so special to me, and with everybody else and with all these characters in the world of New Amsterdam. I just love it. I really have loved it. Yeah, it’s hard to accept that this will be the last time I get to embody Iggy and to embody Iggy in the world of New Amsterdam and be part of this Dam Fam. I’m sure it’ll hit me way harder when we’re done, but I’m sad.

Is there a moment or aspect of Iggy that immediately jumps out to you as how you want him to be remembered?

I would like him to be remembered as being perfectly imperfect. There’s a lot of flaws and the way that I love and have approached playing this character that I love is that like we all are, we just don’t all have a TV show chronicling all of our flaws, you know? But that’s what I want to see. I want to watch a human go through a journey. I want to play a human going through a journey.

When you really look at it, it’s only been four or five years of Iggy’s life that we’ve watched him, and he’s been on a huge journey and learned a lot. You would really hope that if five years of your life didn’t go the way you planned, you could still make amends to people you hurt, you can change your path, you can roll the dice. Five years doesn’t make a whole person. So I want people to remember that we’ve just watched a perfectly imperfect, flawed human being trying to figure it out. And that’s it.

New Amsterdam, Winter Premiere, Tuesday, January 3, 10/9c, NBC