NBC’s new medical drama THE NIGHT SHIFT has already blown the doors off expectations. In three episodes, they have dealt with broken hands, wild hogs running amuck, jumpers, freak ambulance accidents, toxic poisoning, and crazy family drama that would make anyone’s hair stand on end. But coming from stories based in the real world, for truth is always stranger than fiction, the show knows how to deliver drama and great entertainment.
In an exclusive interview, star Jill Flint share her candid perspective as to the Jordan-TC relationship and what makes Jordan tick. She also shared a few fun tales from behind the scenes with guest director Eric La Salle, who fans may remember from his own medical series “ER.”
What can you share about Jordan’s story? Like how did she end up in San Antonio? Why there?
JILL: Here’s the thing with Jordan: she used to work in the ER in Baltimore, which is a very massive ER, and she moved to San Antonio to be with TC (Eoin Macken) — that’s where he was based out of and she ends up working out of the hospital there. Then TC ends up going off to Afghanistan for multiple tours and when he comes back, their relationship suffers. It’s a very common thing that someone will stand by their man while they are gone and to have them come home a completely different person. And they had a really hard time staying together. As you see, TC has a tendency to be a bit self-destructive and sometimes a danger to himself. So they for obvious reasons didn’t work out, and now here she is. She’s this woman who really doesn’t take “no” for an answer. There’s no problem that she doesn’t think she can’t fix. It’s not arrogance or naiveté, its just that she doesn’t give up. She doesn’t give up on what she loves. She doesn’t give up on who she loves. She just has a passion. You see that the one thing she can’t seem to fix is TC. In an opportunity to sort of move forward in her life and to try to make better choices, maybe, for herself, she starts dating Scott (Scott Wolf), who is a cardiac surgeon. He’s one of these guys who is absolutely great on paper. He’s the kind of guy you want to bring home to your mom and he’s just sweet, kind and thoughtful and lovely and all of these things. But as Jordan seems to realize, he’s just not TC. So you can see that she’s got herself in a position or put herself in a position where she’s not only in this triangle between her, TC and Scott, but she’s also in the triangle of her, TC and her boss Ragosa (Freddy Rodriguez), where she’s put herself in charge to keep TC in line, but also she believes TC. She doesn’t always agree with him, but she respects his motivations. So even though things between them didn’t work out, I think you’ll see as the show unfolds that they are bound to each other — whether they get together again, they are bound to each other. I think that is part of the reason why she chose to not leave after they didn’t work out. She just can’t live with him, but she can’t live without him, in a way.
There also seems to be a strong bond of camaraderie between Topher (Ken Leung), TC and Jordan. TC and Topher obviously bonded together oversees, so where does Jordan fit into that?
JILL: There’s always been a friendship between the three of them. You’ll see that in the later episodes. They’re old friends and Jordan knows Topher’s wife Janet. So you do see more of that, but I don’t want to give it away because it’s coming up.
The other cool thing is the strong female characters: Jordan, Landry (Daniella Alonso) and Krista (Jeananne Goossen). What is going on with the women and their relationships?
JILL: The fact that all the woman have legs and stand on their own two feet is one of the reasons I was attracted to the script. I love the idea that even though Jordan is in a relationship, she stands on her own. You so often find women characters in scripts who are just the love-interest and, at times, not all the time, that makes them an accessory. I love that it is written in our show that all of these women are strong and as you watch these episodes unfold, you see a little bit more as to what motivates them to do what they do. In the next episode, you get to learn a little bit more about Landry and her past, her familial relationship and what has brought her to where she is today. In the next episode you also see Jordan, what she experienced in her life and what brought her into the ER and what made her and motivated her to do what she wanted to do for her life. Then you’ll also see Krista, and you’ll get to learn a little bit of her past and what makes her. You’ll see a very sympathetic character.
Jordan is also the bridge between the night shift and Ragosa, and there is obviously a health issue going on with Ragosa that he’s not admitting to yet. Is that something Jordan is going to start to pick up on?
JILL: What happens with Ragosa actually spawns a huge evolution to the the relationship between him and Landry. But how great is that? You have a character, who as the beginning he seems like he’s going to be the character you love to hate, but as it turns out he’s actually quite a dynamic human being and you’ll see more of what’s going on with that. It’s not something that the entire hospital becomes aware, but it does change the relationship between he and Landry a bit.
Then what can you tease about what is upcoming that we should all look forward to?
JILL: What I think is so exciting is that we have Eric La Salle directing the fifth episode. In his episode, the opening scene, which I am so proud of because it was so much fun shooting it: is four scenes, 7 pages, one shot. It’s a one-er. We filmed it straight through, one camera shot. It was 3 hours of rehearsal; we rehearsed it like a play. Then we shot it. And it was amazing. It was one of these pivotal moments were all of us worked together and I think it really bonded us. We were already friends and loved each other, but once we accomplished that, it was really something that set the tone for the rest of the season as far as how we worked together. It was amazing. I can’t wait for people to see it. After we finished shooting it, Eric brought us all into video village and played the final take — the one that he was going to use and it was fantastic. We were in awe. I know it’s not a plot line twist, but it is just something we did together that we’re very proud of.
Was Eric able to give you some tips? After all, he worked on his own medical show for quite a long time.
JILL: Eric La Salle was great. He’s the kind of guy who will pull you aside — and the first time he said this to me, I was like, “Excuse me? You want me to what?” — and he’s like, “Alright, Jill, here’s the deal. This scene right here: I want you to put some stank on it.” Which means in the real world: you have the dialogue and you’re respectful of the writers, but he’s like, “I want you to get dirty. I want you guys to talk over each other. I want you to really feel it. Make sexy choices. Make it hot.” Then he disappears into the video village. He is hysterical. He’s very funny. He’s an extremely passionate director. He really brought this element to the show of: “You’re in a hospital. Let’s move.” He really kept us on our toes. It was so exciting and he was so exciting to work with.
So what do you most admire about Jordan?
JILL: She’s a badass. She’s really good at what she does and she’s not afraid. She’s not afraid to take charge even though it may take her a second to get her footing. She’s just not afraid to go for it. And she’s got strong convictions and strong beliefs in her life. I respect her. I respect a woman with conviction.
To see if Jordan wavers in her choice to give up TC and move on in her life with a new love, and what other outrageous ER antics they all find themselves thrust amongst, be sure to tune in for all new episodes of THE NIGHT SHIFT on Tuesday nights, 10:00 p.m. on NBC.