‘New Amsterdam’ Star Jocko Sims Previews Reynolds’ Return to Help Save Kapoor
New Amsterdam’s former head of cardiovascular surgery returns to his old hospital in the March 9 episode when Dr. Vijay Kapoor (Anupam Kher) starts to fail in his fight against COVID; he’s on a ventilator and the damage to his heart is so extensive he needs a new mitral valve. The virus also ravaged the surrounding heart muscle. Which is why medical director Dr. Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) reached out to Reynolds, who moved to San Francisco last season. “How can I help?” the surgeon asked, borrowing Max’s mantra, as soon as he received the call.
TV Insider chatted with Sims about being a visitor at New Amsterdam — and the set — whether his character wants to stay in San Francisco, and more.
Executive producer David Schulner said plans changed regarding when Reynolds would be brought back. How so?
Jocko Sims: I’ve been toying with what to share about the old plans because I feel like maybe they want to toy with something like that in the future. It’s vastly different. The fact they’re able to stay on their toes and take a pandemic and write around that is remarkable. The plan was for [Reynolds] to leave in Episode 17 and you would see him again in Episodes 20, 21, and 22 at the end of Season 2. That few weeks turned into not seeing Reynolds for a year because of the pandemic.
What challenges await Reynolds at New Amsterdam? He’s a visitor now.
He is. Reynolds is no longer in the system. That throws him a little bit. He’s dealing with some guilt because San Francisco, at that time, was not as bad [in terms of COVID patients]. His hospital only had about three deaths, compared to the thousands and thousands in New York City and at New Amsterdam.
And his colleagues seem to have possibly moved on a bit from him. New Amsterdam is a well-oiled machine. Your colleague leaves, but at the same time, we still have people on ventilators. Those are some of the little interesting nuances. It’s a very smart thing the writers have done to put Reynolds in that predicament of having to come back to help his friend because as far as I’m concerned, very little could bring him back.
Did you carry yourself or approach those scenes differently because Reynolds is a visitor?
It did feel different. It had been nine months since I stepped on set and stepped into certain areas of the hospital. Normally, it would have been two, maybe three months. I got to use that because that was Reynolds’ experience as well.
Was he happy in San Francisco or almost waiting for an excuse to at least make a trip back?
You’re going to find the former. What we see in Reynolds is him coming for the sole purpose of helping his friend who’s sick. He’s made his decision. He’s happy with his decision to be in San Francisco with Evie.
New Amsterdam, Tuesdays, 10/9c, NBC