Written By: Kyree Shockley
HeyMikeyATL’s correspondent, Kyree Shockley, had the pleasure of attending the private, press dinner with cast member Jocko Sims of NBC’s New Amsterdam held at STK in Atlanta. We had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Sims about his new role as Dr. Floyd Reynolds and how he’s able to now live out his childhood dreams of being in the medical field. “I wanted to be a doctor when I was in high school, specifically an orthodontist,” said Sims. “I even had a medical symbol on my high school ring that was customizable.”
Upon arriving to college, Sims quickly realized that being in school for the next 12 years was not something he was interested in and it was when he took his first theater class that he fell in love with the arts. “I felt like I was so at home,” Sims said. “I took theater for five years and got my BA in theater at UCLA. I was prepared and went on my first audition and booked my first gig out the gate.”
For those who are already dedicated to medical shows like Grey’s Anatomy or The Good Doctor, Sims assures that New Amsterdam is set apart from those that came before it and the big difference is that it’s based on a true story.
“This show is based on a book by Dr. Eric Manheimer who was the medical director at Bellevue Hospital, which is the first public hospital in America,” said Sims. “It’s older than America. If the president of the United States falls ill, they’re going to take them there.”
The main character Dr. Max Goodwin, played by Ryan Eggold, stems from the life of Dr. Eric Manheimer while Sims character, Dr. Reynolds, is loosely based off Dr. Norma Keller, Chief of Cardiology at NYC Health. Sims stated there are several similarities between him and Dr. Reynolds which is easily conveyed throughout the season. “I take pride in my work and he’s serious about his work,” said Sims. “He was the only person in the cardiac surgical department who didn’t put billing ahead of patient care and that’s something I would do. For example, I’ve been coaching actors for twelve years and never charged them a dollar.”
To keep up with Jocko Sims be sure to follow him and New Amsterdam on social media. Also, tune in to the show on NBC every Tuesday (TONIGHT!) at 10/9c.