Zach Gilford says 'The Mob Doctor' set is collaborative

The series star on his co-stars and the show's creators

Zach Gilford says 'The Mob Doctor' set is collaborative
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Jordana Spiro and Zach Gilford from 'The Mob Doctor'

Zach Gilford came into the public eye when he was cast as Matt Saracen on "Friday Night Lights." He was on the show for five seasons until it was canceled. He then appeared on the short-lived Shonda Rhimes series "Off the Map." Now Gilford is playing Dr. Brett Robinson on "The Mob Doctor" the new project created by Josh Berman and Rob Wright, who also co-created "Drop Dead Diva." In a recent conference call interview Gilford talked about what viewers can expect from the new show, working with his co-star and playing a TV doctor.

Zach Gilford's character on 'The Mob Doctor' is in the dark

On "The Mob Doctor" Gilford's character is dating another surgeon, Dr. Grace Devlin (Jordana Spiro), who in an effort to pay off her brother's gambling debt, has agreed to work off the books doing medical work for the mob. Of course she is hiding this double life from her boyfriend, which she can get away with in part due to her hectic schedule as a surgeon. Gilford said that for a while her pages and emergency phone call don't raise an eyebrow, because doctors are always getting called away by patients. But in time he begins to realize she is hiding something from him. He stated, "Obviously I have no clue that she's involved with the mob in any way, but I start being very skeptical and being like, 'There's something you're holding back on me and if you're not going to at least be honest with me, then what's the point?'"

The set of 'The Mob Doctor' is very collaborative

He talked about working with Spiro saying they have very similar work ethics and that while they have fun on set, they also know when to be serious and get down to business. He stated, "We're not those kind of actors who need to go in a corner and have complete silence or anything like that. We're both collaborative."

Gilford also said that Berman and Wright are willing to work as a team with the actors. He commented that if any actor ever has a question about the script, the co-creators are just an email or phone call away. "They either get me to understand why they did it that way or they come over to my side and they adjust the script a little bit. So it's been a really nice working process with them."

Zach Gilford has played a doctor before

This is not the first time Gilford has played a TV doctor. He appeared in last season's "Off the Map," which depicted seven doctors operating a clinic in remote South American jungle. While Gilford acknowledged the major differences between the two characters he also said the experience on "Off the Map" did help him in this role because he was already familiar with much of the medical terminology and knew how to hold the instruments. "From a technical aspect, it's made it a lot easier. You know what to expect. You know how you're going to shoot it. You know how you're going to fake it. What you're really going to do."

But the actor admitted he did not do any hands-on research for either role. Unlike some actors who shadow doctors or surgeons to see a profession in real life, Gilford did not want to do that. "I just couldn't. I didn't want to bother the surgeons by hanging out. It's kind of weird… If I was having a surgery or a doctor or whatever and then some actor's hanging out. I'd be like, 'What are you doing here? I don't want an actor in the room. I just want doctors.'"

Watch "The Mob Doctor" on Monday nights at 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. Central on Fox.

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