Jill Flint previously played a hospital administrator on “Royal Pains.” Now, in keeping with the medical theme, she is playing a doctor on NBC’s new summer series “The Night Shift” — and a great doctor at that.
What makes “The Night Shift” different from “ER” or “Grey’s Anatomy” is that several of its doctors have come to San Antonio Memorial hospital after tours of duty in Afghanistan.
New night shift boss Dr. Jordan Alexander (Flint) struggles to keep these hotshot doctors in check, especially adrenaline junkie TC Callahan (Eoin Macken), Jordan’s ex-boyfriend, amid the crazy cases, the cutback in funding, and a boss who is a stickler for the rules.
At a press conference for the series, xystwhat.com went one-on-one with Flint to get the inside scoop the new medical drama, and revealed in real life she is terrified of blood and needles, she is the black sheep of her family, she loves wearing scrubs, and more.
Did you want to be a doctor growing up?
To be honest with you, I am absolutely terrified of blood and needles, so no. I also have a fear of hospitals. On the flip side, I am absolutely obsessed with the medical world. I love the research I am doing for this.
Are you good with sick people? Are you someone people can turn to when they need chicken soup, or…?
Actually, I am a fantastic nurse. I discovered this about myself, and I’m really fantastic about diagnosing things. In am kind of like Paul’s character, where I am completely obsessed by the knowledge of it, but in real life, I’m a bit more standoffish.
What is kind of interesting, too, is my brother was an EMT, my mother was an EMT, I have a cousin who was a paramedic and then there was me, who was, “No blood.” But I am fascinated with the world.
So with your family having a science bent to them, were they supportive of your decision to go another direction and act?
They were totally supportive. I have always been the black sheep, so they expected this out of me.
What surprised you most about playing a doctor?
How much I really got into it. I really enjoy it. I have always enjoyed the science of it, the research, but it gives me a way to live through things that frighten me and experience it in a different way.
This is an ensemble show, so is that a better schedule for you?
Jordan is entwined with everyone, especially being the chief of the night shift. So, she doesn’t get much of a rest.
She is a bit of a perfectionist. Are you like that in your real life?
Yeah. She is a bit of a perfectionist, but I am excited to see the lose side of her because she definitely has that. When you meet Jordan in the pilot, she is on her 18th hour. This isn’t the warmest welcome that she is getting. She wants this job because she knows that she can make a difference, it is just going about doing it. It is interesting because I landed this role four days before I started shooting, and I really got thrown into the deep end. I feel the same way about Jordan. She took on this huge task and threw herself into the deep end. And she has her ex-boyfriend to boot, who is in the mix of all this, and she’s got to rein him in and please her boss. She’s walking a tightrope.
When “Grey’s Anatomy” first went on the air, I was talking to the female stars and they loved wearing the scrubs and the non-glamorous makeup. How do you feel about that?
It is the best thing ever, especially when you are working 15-hour days. The scrubs and sneakers are the best. I went from cute little outfits with hiding the mike somewhere to scrubs.
“The Night Shift” premieres tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.