Code Black came on the scene last year and really surprised a lot of viewers. Instead of showing us the soapy side of the hospital, like so many other medical dramas, the show delved into the nitty gritty side of things. Watching the doctors work at centre stage in the crazy busy Emergency Room at Angel’s Memorial Hospital is intense and exhilarating at the same time, providing plenty of heart pounding action. That action, combined with an exceptional cast including Marcia Gay Harden, Luis Guzman, Ben Hollingsworth and Harry Ford really set the drama apart from others in its first season.
Code Black returns Wednesday night at 10 p.m. on CBS and CTV Two for its second season and we’re eager to see what lies ahead given the changes made this season. Doctors Neal Hudson (Raza Jaffrey) and Christa Lorenson (Bonnie Summerville) will not be returning, but the show has added Colonel Ethan Willis (Rob Lowe) to the cast and he is sure to mix things up a bit.
To get ready for Season 2 The TV Junkies spoke exclusively with one of Code Black’s residents, Dr. Mario Savetti who is played by Canada’s own Benjamin Hollingsworth. Read on to see what he has to say about the exciting new season and how the addition of Lowe impacts the show.
The TV Junkies: I rewatched last season’s finale and I had forgotten how intense the show is. Is it still as intense for you guys filming it or are you kind of getting used to it now?
Benjamin Hollingsworth: I’m getting more used to it but it’s still intense. I think you can expect to feel a little more relaxed while watching the show this season. I think the writers are now constructing the script so that it doesn’t leave you quite as bad. Your heart rate should settle out near the end of the episode but it will spike at some point–mostly when you see Rob Lowe come out. That’ll raise your heart rate for sure.
TTVJ: So starting off this second season where are we at in relation to last season? Is there a time jump?
BH: Yeah, I’m sort of throwing out six months, but it is never really said how much time has passed but there’s definitely a time jump. We see Mamma, or Jessie’s character, bringing in three new residents in the same kind of way that we started off the season last year introducing them to Angel’s Memorial. We also see the new doctor in form of Rob Lowe and he plays a military doctor fresh from Afghanistan that’s been assigned to Angel’s Memorial on military leave and he infuses the show with a whole new feeling.
TTVJ: So where does that leave you and the other residents. Have you stepped into a new role or are you still kind of the new ones learning from the pros?
BH: No, you’re absolutely right. We are going to transition into teaching which is something that happens in real hospitals. The second years now take on the responsibility of training the new first year residents. They are monitoring them and looking after them and kind of hold their hand a bit. So you can imagine Mario Savetti holding hands with new residents, it’s a bit of an interesting dynamic and it’s something that they will play with over the course of the season.
TTVJ: Like you said there has been a lot of buzz about Rob Lowe joining the cast, can you tell me a little more about his character and how he’s fitting in at Angel’s Memorial?
BH: He’s a military doctor and he comes on a bit of an assignment from the military. You’ll see him say in the first episode that military doctors get sent to community hospitals for two reasons–either they’re being rewarded for doing something right out of the field or they’re being punished for doing something wrong. Rob Lowe’s character simply answers that for him it’s a bit of both. We will slowly figure out his backstory throughout the season. It is very interesting and has a lot of dynamic to it, but it’s also really interesting because he adds a different dimension. There’s no one quite like Rob on the show and all of our characters interact with him a little differently. It’s really interesting to see Marcia and Rob go at each other. And Boris Kodjo, who’s now a series regular, you’ll see him and Rob butt heads a lot throughout the course of the season.
He’s there to help teach and train us as well. A lot of the military uses experimental procedures in the field, mostly because they don’t have the equipment to treat like you do at a hospital, so they are given a lot of mobile treatment devices. So we are featuring on the show a lot of cutting edge devices that the military is using to help save lives.
TTVJ: What can we expect to see from Mario this season? Is there anything in particular that you’re really excited about?
BH: Yeah, you get to see Mario’s dad who shows up out of the blue. He’s played by Eric Roberts and he’s a lot of fun. You’ll get to see the dynamic that happens between him and his father and the relationship that’s got a lot of friction. His father is kind of an opportunist deadbeat of a dad who was never really there for his as a kid, so Mario has a lot of resentment about it. He certainly doesn’t like him showing up at his work place, drunk none the less, and hitting on all of his coworkers. Eric Roberts does a fantastic job and there’s some really heart wrenching stuff coming between Mario and his dad this season.
TTVJ: Angus had some pretty serious stuff going on at the end of last season kind of psychologically from everything that he’d been through. Has he been able to get past that as we start the second season or is he still going to be struggling with that quite a bit?
BH: Well he’s got a new issue that he’s going to be struggling with which you kind of see in the teaser trailer that’s out (for Season 2). His brother (Mike) and Dr. Willis head out in this helicopter to treat a shark attack victim in Malibu and on the way back Mike falls out of the helicopter. His condition is very critical and you’ll see that play out over the course of a number of episodes. Harry Ford is such a terrific actor and really when given the opportunity to flex his acting muscles, he doesn’t have a lot of muscles in real life but his acting muscles are very strong. We have a lot of fun on and off set. It’s a lot of fun to watch him go to work and to work with him because there’s still a lot more of Mario and Angus this year.
TTVJ: And how is his and Mario’s relationship going to be this season? They seem to flip back and forth a bit.
BH: Yeah, we have a lot fun doing it you know. That’s actually what we’re like in real life too. One day we’ll give each other shit and we can’t stand each other, and the next day we’ll be having a lot of fun and being each other’s best friend. I think the writers see that and they kind of write to it a bit and it’s a lot of fun.
TTVJ: We kind of missed seeing Daddy in center stage towards the end of the season with you guys. Is she back on the floor with you guys or is she still in that management position.
BH: She is back in at the front lines in the hospital. Dr. Campbell, Boris’s character, has now taken over the management of the surgical and trauma unit and he says to Marcia’s character ‘You can go back to being a doctor,’ and of course Dr. Rorish replies ‘I was always a doctor,’ and walks away from him as she goes back to center stage. So she’s gloves on, scrubs on, total doctor in there in the trenches with us all season long.
TTVJ: What else can we look forward to heading in to this second season?
BH: We have so many really terrific guests stars coming up. From Emmy winners to Golden Globe nominees. I can’t even spoil them because none of their names have been released to the press yet and they’ll kill me and fire me if I do, but there are going to be some really great people on the show this season. A lot of familiar faces that you are going to recognize from other places. And just get ready for more of the heart pounding action like you saw last year.
Are you excited to see Code Black back for its second season? What are you most looking forward to seeing? Are you curious to see what Rob Lowe will bring to the show? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments section below.
Code Black airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on CBS and CTV Two.
Christy is a self proclaimed and proud TV Junkie. Her love for TV began at an early age with shows like Degrassi, Alias, ER, Buffy, The X-Files & Friends. You can now find her watching, ok obsessing over, shows like When Calls The Heart, Saving Hope, Arrow, Outlander, Grey's Anatomy and many many others. You can catch Christy on Twitter at @ChristySpratlin where she will likely be live tweeting her favorite shows and talking about everything TV.