The Good Doctor is anchored by Freddie Highmore, who plays the autistic Dr. Shaun Murphy. Audiences have built a strong connection with the character during its first two seasons and that has continued into Season 3. In a recent interview with PopCulture.com, Highmore's co-star Will Yun Lee had nothing but praise for Highmore's work and the "amazing character" he created.
When asked why audiences have continued flocking to the show, Lee, who plays Dr. Alex Park, said there are several reasons, but it comes down to the strong stories.
"I think it's [showruner] David Shore and the writing team that just brings this show of hope," Lee said. "It's kind of like one of the last shows that you see on TV that kind of anchors itself in hope."
Lee said Highmore obviously has a "huge thing to do with" The Good Doctor's success because he created an "amazing character to watch because it's kind of like everything you want to say in a room, he says it for you. You... get to watch it through his eyes. So I think a lot of it has to do with the story and Freddie and obviously the other cast and we're just lucky."
Highmore is only 27 years old, but he has been in Hollywood for most of his life. As a child actor, he starred in Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Before earning a Golden Globe nomination for The Good Doctor, he starred as Norman Bates on A&E's Bates Motel. He also got into directing, helming The Good Doctor's Season 2 episode "Risk and Reward."
"From my end, I've been doing this for a while and I have to say he's one of the best guys to do it," Lee told PopCulture.com when asked what it has been like to see Highmore grow. "To watch his process and how much he puts into every take and how many different variations of a take he'll give you and, and ideas he comes up with."
Lee said it was "unreal" to him that Highmore is only 27, noting that he always asks his younger colleague for ideas when doing a scene together. Watching him direct was also a privilege for Lee.
"It's just still hard to imagine that, obviously he's been doing it almost his entire life, but he's at home, he's in his playpen and we just sit back and watch," Lee said. "Him being an actor, the notes we get are priceless and above all that stuff, he's just a kind, kind human being. He's just a good all round person. And just have the number one guy on your call sheet, it sets the tone for the whole show and the cast and the crew. So I mean, I know it sounds like it's a fairy land, but it's one of the few shows I've been on where everything just clicks and sinks in together. And a lot of it has to do with Freddie."
The Good Doctor is not just about Shaun though. The show also examines the relationships between the other St. Bonaventure Hospital residents, including Park and Dr. Morgan Reznick (Fiona Gubelmann). In the second episode of Season 2, the two doctors competed to become the first resident to lead a surgery, but the gig when to Dr. Claire Browne (Antonia Thomas) instead.
"I mean I think a lot of it has to do with that and we're both very, we're both competitive in our own way. But also I think it has always been this...I think they test [each other]," Lee said of Park and Reznick's feud. "But we just have a lot of fun together and I think the banter works and it just injects a little bit of humor into this show. So yeah, hopefully we get a lot more of that."
Lee later explained that Season 3 will include more stories about Shaun growing up.
"The relationship I have with Freddie's character, there's this kind of new bond between Alex Park and Sean. So it's interesting to see these two buddies who don't belong together in the regular sense of the word, start to become friends cause they couldn't be more opposite," Lee said. "And I think that's the other thing that I'm looking forward to is to see where that, you know, buddy relationship goes."
The Good Doctor airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.
Photo credit: ABC/Jeff Weddell