[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the New Amsterdam Season 4 premiere “More Joy.”]
Dr. Iggy Frome (Tyler Labine) is determined to stick to his new job as psych residency director in New Amsterdam Season 4. That means teaching the next set of psychiatrists — and warning them that the price of “healing souls” is a piece of their own soul.
“A lot of people, including Iggy, want to see him back in that chair [seeing patients],” Labine tells TV Insider. “How long can he hold off?” Read on for more about his character’s new career turn and Season 4.
Iggy’s new job is an interesting change.
Tyler Labine: Yeah, to see the evolution of a show and characters is always challenging. As an audience member, you want it, but you really don’t want it. You want things to stay the same. But the natural progression for Iggy really is this, and it’s going to set up the show for a lot of fun challenges for Iggy. It’s not like this is the new Iggy. We’re getting to watch him wiggle into this new role. It’s been fun [and] challenging as an actor to find a new thrust for Iggy and to just trust that the writers are doing it right.
He says he’s not going to see patients anymore, then does just that in the premiere.
He’s cheating a little bit, we’ll put it that way. Our show is so in tune with what viewers want. You have to just buy into the conceit that he’s never really going to just stop being the way he is. That’s true to life. People don’t just on a dime get better, like with the eating disorder with Iggy. His decision to become the psych ward chair is not cut and dried. There are still things that will need his attention that skew closer to what his job description was before. We’re trying to find that balance. The fun part is Mary knows it. I’ve been her doctor for years. And she just starts picking at the scab. She’s messing with me.
Those scenes were so good.
She was so fun. She was so good that I thought she didn’t know what she was doing when we were shooting it. I was like, “Why do I feel like everything is so off? I can’t find my groove with her.” She was controlling the whole thing in this very masterful way where I realized halfway through shooting that I was being really deeply affected by her performance. It’s supposed to be uncomfortable for Iggy. He doesn’t know how to be in this situation. Those days I would leave feeling like, “I sucked at my job today.” But what I was really doing was just getting sucked into my job.
She says to him “When does the white knight stop trying to save everybody? When he stops believing that people can be saved.” How much will those words stay with him moving forward?
That one cut pretty deep. The through-line for the whole season so far has been that. Where does this line begin and end with him — the one that he’s drawn here — and how much of just himself is he denying? How much of your whole inner being and your raison d’être — his reason to live — is being denied, or is he actually evolving and trying to find this new balance? Being called out by a patient basically saying “you stopped caring,” that’s Iggy’s whole thrust in life. All he does is care for other people. Hearing someone call him essentially selfish is a deep cut.
How does he feel about potentially leading others down the same path that led to where he is?
It’s funny you mention that because he does caution them a couple of times “don’t do what I did,” but there’s no preparing someone for that. I could tell my kids, “Don’t be an actor. You’re going to give up a piece of who you are and you’re going to get used to rejection. And on some level, you’re going to be performing for the rest of your life.” But those are just words. You can’t tell someone who has a dream to do something, anything that will really deter them. Iggy starts to realize that, too, but then in a later episode, maybe subconsciously starts trying to discourage them in a very different way that might even be a little destructive. He starts to mess with their dreams and their goals and puts up roadblocks for them. I don’t know if he knows he’s doing it. He’s just being a bit of a control freak.
How is Iggy and Martin’s [Mike Doyle] relationship?
Marnatius? Igmar? They’re really good at the top of the season. They’ve been inspired by the Sharpwin union so much that they have kinda kicked off a whole new regime in the bedroom. We start things off with seeing how the Sharpwin love has created a ripple effect. People are feeling very amorous, and Iggy and Martin are no different. This decision to stop seeing patients is a good healthy one and is affecting how happy they are at home. As a father myself, when your parents are feeling good, that trickles down to the kids. The whole household is probably doing much better because of Iggy’s decision to not see patients. There is a storm brewing. There are things coming, as always with the show. Don’t get too comfortable with things being great at home.
There was that really sweet moment last season when Martin told Iggy he put himself first because that’s not something that he does.
Yeah, that touches directly back on what we were just talking about, and then someone reminding you you’re being selfish for putting yourself first, especially coming from one of Iggy’s patients, hurts. But what a supportive partner to know that about Iggy and encourage him, even though it’s really gonna mess with their home life and their income and their everything, him changing his position. Any big change like that is difficult for a family to absorb, but Martin is there willing to help shoulder the load, and him calling Iggy out for never putting himself first was a big eye-opener. We touched on that earlier in Season 2 as well, when they ended up in couples therapy. Iggy thinks that his only value in life is to help people. He doesn’t think he’s worth anything. Having a partner that’s telling him you are worth something is huge. We all want that.
Are we going to see more kids?
Yeah, Iggy’s going to try to adopt another kid without telling Martin again, ’cause that went so well the first time. No, they’re set. They should have always been set. Iggy was trying to fill voids, but now that he’s isolated and identified some of the big problems in his life and he’s tackling some of his inner demons, he realizes he has everything he needs.
You can probably guess how everyone’s going to feel about that news. When you start thinking about New Amsterdam as a whole and you remember how many medical directors have come and gone — I’m not saying that Max is just another medical director who is coming and going, he’s the opposite. Everyone really recognizes that he is the man for the job, but a lot of the characters are able to just go back to that professional stance of, “OK, here comes another one.” It’s devastating, but they’re doctors. Everyone is personally very invested, but they have to keep doing their jobs.
It has brought me back to when we just started shooting the show. I had no idea what was happening, how things were going to evolve. And we’re right back there again. [The show’s] been refreshed. There’s so many big changes, but I want everyone to remember that the whole thrust of this season is more joy. Before anyone gets really upset, just remember that there’s a plan. We want to keep the show going.
Just because Iggy’s saying he’s no longer seeing patients doesn’t mean the staff’s not going to come to him with their problems, right?
You’re right. It’s a two-way street, because Iggy [considers them his] friends. They’re taking and I’m giving and you’ll see that happen on a number of occasions, actually. My colleagues start to come to me and ask me to therapize them, and Iggy’s more than happy to oblige, maybe a little too much. He’s starting to really hope that people are coming to him on a more therapeutic level. Everyone’s dealing with a lot of change and people are just not good with change. We retreat or we run away, all these things that we try to do when we’re faced with big change. And they have an awesome therapist right there, who’s sitting with them in the coffee break room, so lines there get blurred.
We’re all pretty invested in what happens with Leyla [Shiva Kalaiselvan] and Bloom [Janet Montgomery] and it’s a new situation and it’s a loaded situation for them, as colleagues and as lovers. And Bloom is struggling with some stuff, especially because she’s also an addict and Iggy can help her with that because he did help her with that. And also because Iggy’s an addict, he’s got issues as well. They lean on each other, but it ends up being like a therapist-patient rapport. I actually get encouraged in a very troublesome way by Bloom. She’s like, “You still got it, if you ever want to get back into this.” And Iggy’s like, “What am I doing? I just made this decision and here I am.” It ripples through the whole staff.
New Amsterdam, Tuesdays, 10/9c, NBC