Thanks to a diverse cast and some unique storytelling, ABC’s The Good Doctor is one of the more progressive series on primetime television, going deep in on representation, inclusivity and equality.
And in the wake of the #MeToo movement, series star Tamlyn Tomita told PopCulture.com she is proud of the popular series for its push to create strong, female characters like her own, Allegra Aoki, whom she gets inspiration for from the women in her life.
“It’s just a matter of looking around me and seeing women who are in positions of power. So there are women doctors, there are women lawyers, there are women executives that I know in my own, personal circle of friends. And I just kind of tried to really spy on them,” Tomita said with a laugh.
While her character Allegra is the chairperson and VP of the foundation that controls St. Bonaventure Hospital, the 51-year-old actress admits she gathers the power for her onscreen persona from friends in an attempt to emulate their energy.
“I’ve tried to steal mannerisms, their speech patterns… it’s an energy, because it’s how they pass along energy from [themselves] to another person,” she revealed. “Especially in private versus public situations, how [these women] handle people.”
Tomita goes on to say it is all about “respecting” the other person, and making them feel like they’re your peers when portraying them on screen.
“[It’s like we’re] trying to come to an agreement, try to work out a compromise, and try to really do it in a respectful manner, whereas I’m not coming from a power position, because I already know that I have the power. I know that I have the decision to make,” she said.
Tomita added how she enjoys learning where her opponents are coming from in their choices, even her adversaries.
“[It’s] important to learn and try to respect that person’s position, and just try to treat that other person as I would like to treat myself,” she said. “I think that’s what true power is.”
Tomita knows all about this kind of power with her role in Amazon’s dystopian series, The Man in the High Castle, as Tomiko Watanabe — a character she teases audiences will see a lot more “feminine energy” from.
“A feminine energy that is the counterpart to the trade minister Tagomi [portrayed by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa],” Tomita said. “[Tomiko] tries to root herself in this dystopian world, and realizes, you know, the limitedness of what it means to be a woman in this 1962 dystopian America that’s portrayed in High Castle. But that there is a power in being a female, and a woman.”
The Good Doctor airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. And Man in the High Castle is now streaming its third season on Amazon.