Erinn Hayes on ‘Medical Police’s Connection to ‘Childrens Hospital’
Erinn Hayes returns as Dr. Lola Spratt alongside Rob Huebel’s Dr. Owen Maestro for the epic 10-episode comedy series from Childrens Hospital creators Rob Corddry, David Wain and Jonathan Stern. Carrying the same humor fans loved so much from the original Adult Swim show, Medical Police ups the ante for the streaming platform, introducing 30-minute episodes versus the former show’s 10-ish minute format.
Viewers will reconnect with Hayes and Huebel’s characters as they attempt to uncover the mystery behind a fast-moving virus. Described as an “action-packed thriller, a mystery-wrapped love story and, ultimately, a globetrotting comedy,” Medical Police will have you rolling with laughter.
Ahead of the show’s January 10 premiere, we caught up with Hayes, who opened up about what viewers can expect, connections to Childrens Hospital, filming on location and more.
It’s been a while since we last saw Dr. Lola Spratt. How has she changed and how has she stayed the same?
Erinn Hayes: The beautiful thing about the world of Childrens Hospital — which is also the world of Medical Police — is that these assholes don’t change and that’s amazing. They’re just the same arrogant, bullheaded, dumb, then strangely smart, competent, and completely incompetent idiots that they were during Childrens Hospital days.
There’s definitely a reliability there. You’re getting what you expect but in the form of fresh, fun and exciting new cases.
Yeah, Childrens Hospital ended rather abruptly. We all thought we were coming back for another season. But then we were told in between seasons that it was done. So it was sad and it felt a little incomplete.
I’m glad it also felt that way to the creators after time that they would want to come back. So I do think that it is going to be very rewarding to the Childrens Hospital fans. But I think it would also be really entertaining to people who have no clue what Childrens Hospital is or was. There’s not a ton of backstory, there’s not a ton of growth that you really need to know. You can just jump in and get a gist of who these people are and enjoy the new format of it.
The show’s episodes are a bit longer than they were for Childrens Hospital and are part of the streaming world. As someone who has done network TV in the past — what kind of freedom did being on Netflix allow you for this series?
With network TV you get one script in a week and then everybody’s getting it at the same time. So then that script evolves as soon as it’s delivered, and everybody has time to focus on this one script and then you move on the next week to another one. We got all 10 scripts at once [for this show]. So whatever notes Netflix gave them — which I do not think they were many — they were all addressed before I ever stepped on set … [Netflix] gives you the freedom once you get into it to just make your show and then they’ll figure out if they want to make more.
Your character and Rob Huebel’s Dr. Owen Maestro travel quite a bit within this series. Did you get to film on location for any of the scenes?
We did 10 days in Croatia, which was cool. And so everything that’s outside that looks like a different country was all in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, because within their country’s history they’ve had so many changes and they’ve had a few extensive periods of buildings.
You can get Eastern block Germany, and you can get buildings that look like Florence, and you get a street that can pass for Latvia and you get all of these different locations within one area because the city’s got so much history. We couldn’t afford to not film in these countries because production is a little cheaper overseas and we would not have gotten their high quality look that we wanted if we had to pay all the costs in the States.
It does feel pretty grand while watching — the scale is pretty big for a comedy.
Yeah, right? The scope of it is intense because … the fight sequences are played real — the action stuff and jumping out of planes and jumping off of buildings. The scope of it is so much bigger than Childrens Hospital, which I do think is the only way to move forward with a spinoff of this show.
The comedy climate has shifted a bit since the original show began airing in 2008. Would you say that the approach to jokes is different in Medical Police?
There’s probably stuff in Childrens Hospital that certainly wouldn’t fly today. But we have great writers and they’re on top of it. And in terms of what should be called out and what should be changed, they’re still going to write funny stuff.
Many of your former costars return for this series — was it difficult coordinating schedules? How did it feel to be back together again?
It was so fun. Truly, there’re some scenes especially at the end when really everybody comes back in and though there was two full days at the hospital when almost everybody that was from the original Childrens Hospital that’s in the spinoff was on set. Those were the greatest two days ever.
And it’s interesting because we can’t officially use a lot of people’s names in press for this just because they’re beholden to other shows. So if there’s someone from Childrens Hospital that is now on another popular show, just know they probably also are in Medical Police. Only we just can’t say.
Medical Police, Series Premiere, Friday, January 10, Netflix