Iconic Japanese-American actress Tamlyn Tomita is back on prime time TV co-starring on the new drama series, The Good Doctor, which airs on Tuesday evenings on the SEVEN network. Tomita is also known for her series regular role as Sandra Abe on Epix’s Berlin Station, alongside recurrent appearances on on MTV’s Teen Wolf, and guest-starring on Shondaland’s How to Get Away with Murder. We chat to the talented actress.
Hi, thanks for chatting to Forte and congrats on the new series. What has been your favourite thing about working on The Good Doctor so far?
The best #1 is working beside Freddie Highmore – he’s wonderful, brilliant, caring, stupendously sexy and awesomely talented. #2 is working with seven cast members – the magic and always surprising storytelling headed by David Shore and the team of writers, and the steady guidance and spirit of camaraderie lent by Daniel Dae Kim. That’s one thing, right?
What has it been like living and working in Vancouver to film The Good Doctor?
To be able to have the opportunity to live and work like a local in one of the greatest cities to live in the world, Vancouver, B.C., is a dream. To live near the water, the forest, the mountains, the islands, and to work surrounded by the kind people of Canada has been absolutely and positively wonderful. Vancouverites are lucky. Damn lucky.
The Good Doctor centres around a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome who relocates from a quiet country life to join a prestigious hospital’s surgical unit, which is an intriguing story. How do you choose the projects you are involved in?
I choose the projects purely by the story; the characters and their relationship to each other and how those characters relate to the story. Everything else is secondary, big budget, small budget, esteemed director, newbie director. etc. Nothing is more important than the story, it’s how we get to know each other and learn about one another.
You’ve worked on a number of projects, do you have a favourite film or series you have worked on?
I have never been able to answer this question, as with every film or series I’ve been lucky enough to work on has a specific and special memory attached to it, and usually a lesson or three that I walked away with. However, I believe since so much time has passed and with the recent passing of John G. Avildsen this year, The Karate Kid Part 2 particularly resonates for me, as ALL the people associated with that film gave me my first sets of tools in the craft and the art of acting.
In saying that, what has been the biggest surprise or change over your career as an actress?
The biggest surprise is that I’m still able to do this! The biggest change is taking place right now, in that we’re in a ‘reckoning’ of dealing with sexual harassment and learning how to redraw the lines of communication and behaviour in the workplace, and it’s not only happening in Hollywood, thank goodness.
What comes next for Tamlyn Tomita?
Next? I’m constantly enthralled with the now! The present is the gift!
The Good Doctor airs on SEVEN network at 8:30pm Tuesdays.