In Fox’s freshman Monday night drama THE RESIDENT, Manish Dayal plays novice doctor Devon Pravesh. Devon is on his first hospital rotation, learning the ropes from rebellious and critical senior resident Dr. Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry). The hierarchy at this particular medical facility is lopsided – senior surgeon Dr. Randolph Bell (Bruce Greenwood) will do just about anything to cover up his own mistakes. This horrifies Devon, as do some other realities of his chosen profession.
Dayal, originally from South Carolina, has an extensive career on both the large and small screens, with roles in RUBICON, the 90210 reboot, THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY, HALT AND CATCH FIRE, and AGENTS OF SHIELD. He talks about playing THE RESIDENT’s designated innocent.
ASSIGNMENT X: Devon is sort of the audience point of view character …
MANISH DAYAL: Yes.
AX: Do you feel any special responsibility for that?
DAYAL: Absolutely. Especially because we each have such different perspectives as doctors on the show, mine is vital in that it’s the freshest and most idealistic perspective, and I’m able to have the most wide-eyed experiences in terms of what’s going on, and I think that that relates most to our audience. They are most unfamiliar, just like my character.
AX: Devon starts out as fairly deferential to the more experienced characters. Does he ever stand up for himself any further?
DAYAL: Absolutely. He gains some momentum and agency as the show moves on, and he develops his own talents and his own skills.
AX: And did you have to learn how to do anything to convincingly perform surgical skills?
DAYAL: Oh, I did, I did. I learned [sewing stitches] on a prosthetic leg.
AX: Did you do any outside research?
DAYAL: Absolutely. I read a book called UNACCOUNTABLE. I also spoke to quite a number of residents at the same career level as Devon. My sister is a doctor, I had a lot of conversations with various physicians, and I was able to really understand the behavior in the hospital, and out, and how they influence each other.
AX: Has anything on THE RESIDENT grossed you out?
DAYAL: Nothing’s really grossed me out. But there’s been a disturbing gangrenous foot that is an exciting part of the pilot.
AX: Are there different rhythms to working with the actors playing the patients and the actors that are your fellow doctors?
DAYAL: Yes, because my character is an empath. He is relating most to the [patient] characters in an emotional way, and he wants to connect with them, and find the best solution for them, and help them recover. And I think he develops a relationship with a lot of the patients that come into the hospital, and is really rooting for their health and success.
AX: Do you have any other projects going on we should know about?
DAYAL: A film called VICEROY’S HOUSE for Pathe, with Gillian Anderson. That is just released on Netflix, and there maybe something happening at the end of summer.
AX: And what would you most like people to know about THE RESIDENT?
DAYAL: That it is a drama that transcends the medical drama that we’ve seen for awhile. It’s cutting edge, it’s unique, and it opens up the world of medicine in a new way.
This interview was conducted during Fox Networks’ portion of the Winter 2018 Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour.
Article Source: Assignment X
Article: THE RESIDENT: Manish Dayal on Season 1 of the new Fox medical series