CHICAGO MED's Steven Weber Teases Archer's Newfound Power - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CHICAGO MED’s Steven Weber Teases Archer’s Newfound Power

September 22, 2021 by  

Chicago Med Steven Weber interview

CHICAGO MED — “You Can’t Always Trust What You See” Episode 701 — Pictured: (l-r) Steven Weber as Dr. Dean Archer, Oliver Platt as Daniel Charles — (Photo by: George Burns Jr/NBC)

Dr. Dean Archer (Steven Weber) is sticking around CHICAGO MED—and as the ED’s new boss, he’s going to be shaking things up.

With Ethan (Brian Tee) recovering, Archer seamlessly steps in, also filling out the staff in the wake of April (Yaya DaCosta) and Natalie’s (Torrey DeVitto) exits. But, naturally, there’s a lot of tension as everyone adjusts to the new normal.

Off-screen, however, it’s all love.

“I’m grateful to be a part of this show and to be working and to be above ground,” Weber says. “Times are interesting, and I’m just happy that I’m still able to make a living in my chosen field and to work with such great people. It sounds cloying and sentimental, but this is a credible fact. The people on this show, and the Chicago [franchise] are all so cool….Everybody, I think, appreciates the opportunity to make a living and to churn out a product that is really appreciated by the audience.”

Here, Weber offers a few teases about what’s to come in season 7…

How Dean is handling the new faces that he’s working with and the overall changes at the hospital?
He’s not the warmest guy, to say the least. It feels like we’re starting to evolve away from his essential kind of darkness, with his PTSD, which is a shared history he has with Ethan, who’s gonna be in recovery for a while.

And in his stead, [Dean]’s dealing with the running of the ED, and the clerical stuff, as well as all the humans—the human element, which is a little harder for him. Actually, it’s not hard for him, it seems to be hard for the people around him. They’re having a little bit of trouble since they’re used to the warm and cozy stuff that Ethan was brilliant at.

The thing is, Dean Archer is an accomplished surgeon. And he does care a lot about people. But his first priority is to keep the ship running, as he sees fit. There are so many patients and so many people with issues and problems that he’s got to keep the, you know, the ED up and running. You can’t slow down for people. That’s the way he looks at it. And it’s valid. It might be cold at times. And, actually, I’ve spoken to a few people in the medical professional who watch the show, and they’ve said that the character of Dean Archer is probably closer, in real life, to what the doctors are like. They don’t have a lot of time for sentiment, for this kind of more dramatic, or possibly the melodramatic, interaction that is shown on TV and is so gripping and attractive on the show; he’s a more realistic depiction.

How is he handling April and Natalie’s exits?
He’s the guy that does not spend a lot of time, at least, outwardly processing what are perceived to be deficits in the equation. He immediately has found two amazing doctors to fill those posts. And he holds them to high standards. He’s not a sentimental guy. We have really haven’t seen what his life is like alone, apart from the hospital. I suspect it’s a little darker, it might be even be a little sadder. This is not a guy that kicks up his heels and kind of hangs out with very many people. He’s had some, for lack of a better word, shit happen to him in his life. And it shows in the terseness that he can apply in his interactions with people. But he’s not without a heart, at all. And you’ll see glimpses of that in this season.

Now that you are a regular, how much do you hope we see him outside of the hospital?
I’m still kind of waiting for it. Last season, when they first introduced him, you definitely did see him with a mask ripped away. He and Ethan had some really deeply traumatizing moments; they went pretty far.

Having been a fan of the old show ER, after a while they did explore the lives outside of the hospital itself. I would love to see them dip into his life outside. I think it’d be something that is unexpected. And I think a lot of people might be able to relate to [it]. There’s a whole demographic of people out there, men and women, of a certain age who’ve lived life and it’s been hard. Sometimes they bring it to their work; they bring their trauma to their work. I think it would be interesting and effective to show. But there’s no plans at the moment, and I’m just loving everything that they’re giving me to play.

To touch back on the PTSD of it all, how will he be juggling his management of that, as he’s dealing with his newfound work responsibilities?
I think the key word that you used is juggle. There are moments of tension or reactivity on his part that, to the naked eye, seem to leap out of the blue. We don’t see what triggers it, in many respects, but his trigger’s authority. And when people try to usurp what he assumes is his new authority, that’s when he can be triggered, and respond in a way that might be less than gentle.

It comes and goes. The reality is that a lot of people, if not everybody, lives with a certain amount of pain, and they’re able to function. And so he actually finds great purpose at the hospital, where he really finds himself and his talents needed. And the odd thing is, the irony is, that in a place that has so much pain in it, there is also healing in that building. And I feel like he may be living vicariously through the the good stories that come in and out of that hospital. And I think that’s how he’s able to juggle his internal narrative with what’s happening in the world around him.

With Ethan recovering, is Dean viewing this as a temporary gig? Or does he intend to hold on to it when Ethan is back?
He’s not a sentimental guy, and he’s all about keeping something efficient. Probably, by the time he gets back, if Ethan can show cause, as to why he should be reinstated after Archer has kept things running—and probably in his mind running incredibly well…then he’d have a little struggle on his hands.

Dean Archer is not a guy that gives up very easily, and also is very much about attaining and holding a position, as in war. He’s found his way to this position through unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances. But, at this point, I’m pretty sure he’ll be damned if he’s gonna give it up, and they’ll just have to work something out.

[Joking.] And—I’m thinking and I’m speaking as Steven Weber, the actor—I’m in this role now, and if they want to kill me or fire me, they gonna have a big skirmish on their hands.

Well, the CHICAGO shows have not been shy about killing off people, let’s not jinx anything…
Oh my gosh, I know. I’m actually seeing how a character like Dean Archer does fit into this world, and not just as a temporary character or as a device. Like I said, the people that I’ve met in medical industry are very much on board with the portrayal of this guy. [Laughs.] Yeah, he’s an egomaniac, and he’s a pain in the ass and he’s dickish and guess what? There’s a lot of that in their profession, like there is in the acting world, too. I don’t think that will come as much of a surprise to anybody. I think that he’s a good foil for the people who are much more positive, and—for lack of a better word—sentimental, and better looking and younger and hunkier and prettier and all of that stuff. He’s a good obstacle to have around.

Looking at the premiere, there’s a fascinating case dealing with twins, where Archer and Charles butt heads. What can you tease about that?
What happens is that it turns out to be not just a situation where we have to obviously try to save the lives and the welfare of these two very close twins, but also turns out to become a bit of a conflict between Charles and Archer about the efficacy of psychotherapy. Archer has no problem with it, but is it a worthwhile endeavor in an emergency room and an emergency facility?

Dr. Charles is on a mission, analysis and psychotherapy, and those those things take time. The whole principle of the emergency room and the ED is that it’s about triage. It’s about rapidity. It’s about quality healthcare immediately and fast. We have to keep beds open so people can can get in.

That’s really pulled from the headlines, basically: There’s so much going on with COVID, and the vaccines, and suddenly beds are not available. And it’s pretty awful. In Archer’s mind, Charles represents something that’s absolutely valid; I’m not putting it down at all. But he probably sees that Dr. Charles has no place in ED and that rankles and gets up Dr. Charles’ nose. And you can see it through Oliver Platt’s brilliance; you know exactly what this guy’s thinking.

You posted a photo with Michael Rady on set. What can you tease about his character and Archer’s relationship with him?
Well, firstly, I’ll say is in real-life he’s hilarious and great. And he’s like a more muscular Paul Rudd. I mean that as a compliment. He’s a wonderful actor. And his character is very interesting, nuanced. And, again, not a hero or a villain, but a nuanced, interestingly-written person. And one that I think, again, in the medical industry, they will recognize. Not everybody is a saint, even in the Dick Wolf world. He plays a really interesting character. So I really can’t say very much more than that, because he’s a very provocative, interesting guy. And there’s nothing overtly bad you can say about him, but there’s something going on there. There’s something going on there that that’s intriguing and mysterious.

CHICAGO MED, Season Premiere, Wednesday, September 22, 8/7c, NBC


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