Michelle Borth Previews COMBAT HOSPITAL - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Michelle Borth Previews COMBAT HOSPITAL

June 21, 2011 by  

ABC is debuting their new series, COMBAT HOSPITAL, tonight, and if you’ve been missing the network’s medical shows, this should probably hit the spot for you.

I talked with series star Michelle Borth about the show’s debut, what drew her to the series, what input she’s had so far and much more!

First of all, congratulations on the show’s debut! Are you excited that it’s finally on the air?
Michelle Borth:
I am!  It’s a little bit of nerves, excitement, jitters, you know?  It’s a little bit of everything.

So what drew you to the role?
What drew me to the role? Well, what drew me to the project overall and just mainly [was] because she was a strong female character and I hadn’t really found any in the pilots I had been reading this year. And, you know, she’s a confident, intelligent woman and she has a voice and she has an opinion and she’s not scared to share it with anyone who wants to listen.  She’s eager to impress and she’s gone into this environment where she’s had to relearn a new set of values and everything she thought was right is now different in a war zone situation.

It’s definitely interesting to see how she reacts to everything, also as one of the only females there.

Has that played into the show so far?  Because it doesn’t seem to really get addressed in the pilot.
No, it’s not really talked about in the pilot. You know, our pilot is really our introduction to Kandahar and sort of our introduction to our new characters and a little bit of their backstories and kind of sets up the stage of the relentlessness of working in a war zone, the unpredictability of it and the danger of it.  As far as Rebecca, it’s something that we may or may not delve into. It’s sort of a certain line of her being a woman in a predominately male environment is something that I think leads to why she acts the way she does.  She has a super tough exterior and I think it’s because she wants to be seen as an equal and you don’t want to be sensitive or vulnerable or cry in front of a group of military men.  So she hangs with the boys, she’s a guy’s girl and she gets things done. And it’s needless to say when she has moments alone, you do see the vulnerability, you do see the sensitive side, you do see her compassion, but only when she’s alone do you see those.

Very interesting.  In the pilot, it did seem like she formed a bond with almost everyone, but is there going to be anyone she’s particularly close with as the season progresses?
I would say her closest confidante would probably be Bobby Trang and he’s played by Terry Chen.  He, in the pilot, is the first person she meets and it’s kind of like camp: the first person you meet and you don’t know anybody, you just kind of walk on and say, “Let’s be BFFs” and it’s kind of that situation with her. And also Major Pedersen, whose played by Deborah Kara Unger.  They’re roommates, they’re bunkmates and she’s a psychiatrist and she’s sort of, you know, a friendly ear to Rebecca and gives her some solid advice in dealing with the situations that she’s now in too and having difficulty dealing with.

Yeah, there was great chemistry with the cast so it will be fun to see how that evolves over the course of the series.  Have you finished filming the entire first season?
No, we’re still in it!  We are currently on I think episode 10 so we have three more to shoot. We’re here until August.

Wow!  Have you talked with the writers about, OK, the season is going to have this kind of an arc and my character is going to be going these places or are you just kind of going along with the flow?
Um, a little bit of both.  We’re really lucky to have this fantastic writing staff and they really care about our input and what we have to say.  Sometimes we give ideas and they take them, sometimes they don’t, so a little of it is really sort of trial by fire and as we go. We’re sort of handed the scripts and we do things. And sometimes I pitch them ideas and they put them in the script, so it’s fairly collaborative.

That’s great to hear!  What’s been your favorite idea that you’ve pitched to them that they’ve taken and put in the script?
I would say my biggest sort of input was, because the content is so heavy and because Rebecca is sort of so tough, I wanted to make sure the audience liked her.  As the protagonist, you have to like her, you have to sympathize with her and there’s a very fine line of “We just think she’s a bitch.” So humor throughout the series.  Throughout the series, there’s little quips, little quick, witty, one-line jokes that she turns in and I think that’s something they really responded to and they’re really doing throughout the script is adding quite a bit of humor into her and into the episode so it’s not so heavy.

That’s definitely good to hear, because given the right circumstances, it could delve into the way-too-dark zone.
Yeah, yeah, in that case it’s just going to be depressing and no one’s going to want to watch!

That could be a problem.  It’s mentioned in the pilot that there are not supposed to be sexual relationships on the base.  Does that mean fans should not be expecting romance on the show or is there still some hidden romance in the season?
Oh, come on, it’s network television!

Of course.  What’s going to be fantastic about it, though, is that the fraternization is against regulation on the base, so what will be more interesting on our show, as far as any relationships that develop is that they’re at the expense of being possibly being thrown out of the military. So of course things will happen and they will happen secretly. And it will be much more interesting, be a little bit more danger to it. But romances will evolve for sure.

Well obviously she had a little bit of a messy love life as far as where we are with the recent ex-fiancé.  Will she be dipping her toe into the dating pool or romance pool?
Um, yes. There are a few storylines happening and you’ll have to watch and find out to see where they go.  But, yeah, Rebecca rebounds pretty quickly, I think. [Laughs]

Well, she was pretty mad at her ex-fiancé.
Yeah, I think she was over him by the time she got off the plane.  The great thing, as far as the storyline goes, she’s recently been dumped, she possibly thinks she’s pregnant, and then coming into this new place, it’s just unbelievable.  It’s sort of a new beginning for her, kind of a clean slate for her to start over and I think she uses that and takes that opportunity to start fresh in her life.

Yeah, it’s a nice thing.  Most people don’t get to move forward and move away from their past that literally, but she has a great opportunity.  What’s been your favorite episode to shoot so far?
My favorite episode to shoot so far.  I would say episode 3.  Episode 3 is a great episode for Rebecca.  She gets to do one of the things — I don’t want to give away too much — but she has to throw a party for morale.  She’s been assigned morale officer by Colonel Marks because she did something wrong so she’s being disciplined by being appointed morale officer and so in the middle of all the craziness and the chaos that goes on in a war zone and having to go in and out of surgeries, she’s now planning a party that’s a Western theme and we get a mechanical bull and it’s a lot going on. But it’s also one of the times that I mentioned earlier, where you see her kind of, for the first time, freak out.  For the first time, you see her vulnerable and she opens up to somebody and so that by far is my favorite episode.

Will you be tuning in to the series premiere of COMBAT HOSPITAL, tonight at 10 PM on ABC?

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