Grey’s Anatomy 18, intervista a Richard Flood: “In Italia mi sento a casa"

Grey’s Anatomy: Richard Flood and Ellen Pompeo in a scene from the series

Cormac Hayes (Richard Flood) in Grey’s Anatomy is a great protagonist of the final midseason of the eighteenth season, available from 12 January 2022 in Italy on Disney + Star. Eighteenth which we now know will not be the last act for Meredith & Co., after the announcement of the renewal for a 19th season. Hayes. We met on zoom the actor who plays him, Richard Flood, married to an Italian actress, Gabriella Pession, who appeared in the spin-off of the serial, Station 19, as the ex of another Italian cast, Stefania Spampinato . Flood was introduced as a possible new love interest of Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) in the sixteenth season, sent by Cristina and nicknamed McWidow, because he was a widower with two children, just like the leading doctor. Over time, however, the two have become more of each other’s confidants, who are able to give each other precious advice precisely by virtue of their similar experience, just as it emerges from this intervista a Richard Flood.

The sadness and pain of Cormac Hayes

Richard Flood in fact told how for him he is above all a good doctor. And he is also courageous, he makes choices that can endanger him for the good of his patients, he is very dedicated to them and his colleagues: “Maybe one thing I blame him for is not being able to let go of the past, but to be able to move forward he has to learn how to do it. Otherwise he is destined to live in pain and suffering. I would like you to find some happiness“.

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But what do they have in common? “Not much (laughs), I think he’s wiser. He is sensitive like me, even his being Irish like me is a strong identity that I carry with me too. However, we have a different rhythm: I am slower and more controlled in my decisions, he is more frenetic, having to deal with life and death on a daily basis.“There is a natural affinity between the Irish and the Scots and in fact the colleague who first helped him settle in when he arrived on the set was Kevin McKidd, who plays Owen on the series, and was directing the episode that week:”Then the enormity of the whole disappears quickly, you’re in your scene and everything resizes easily. It’s no different from other sets I’ve been on after all, big or small it doesn’t matter, work is work“.

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Cormac & Meredith

So what fate for Dr. Hayes and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo)? “It’s the question they ask me most often but I don’t know, they don’t tell me! (laughs) I think it’s undeniable that they have a chemistry and a mutual attraction, and a similar history behind them. But timing has always been their biggest enemy so far“and then add:”On the other hand, they tell me very little about the future of the series and we focus on the current season, but as regards my character I can say that the next few episodes will give him important choices to make for his life. I can’t say more otherwise I’ll get in trouble (laughs) “. But what was it like to enter as a love interest of the protagonist in such a historic show? “It also means a lot because it means being an important element of the show, especially now after three seasons. I try not to think too much about it though (laughs) but to play the character as truthfully as possible and be able to convey this authenticity to the audience. huge series, with a great ensemble cast which is very exciting to be a part of “. Finally he adds: “You inevitably feel the pressure but you must not think about the size of the project, how many millions of people watch it every week and how they let themselves be influenced by it, but you have to trust the writers and interpret the scenes in the best possible way, the fans on the street are a lot. dear and generous in the end and I am grateful for this experience“.

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The relationship with Italy

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Station 19: a scene with Gabriella Pession

You met your wife Gabriella Pession on the set of Crossing Lines and she guest starred on Station 19 as Carina’s ex. How is your relationship with Italy?

Italy is … as they say, in my heart (said in Italian, ed). I love your country and have lived there for various periods of my life and I sincerely hope to return soon. I would love to live and work there. The way of life, the people, the culture, the landscape with the sea and the mountains, the most beautiful city in the world like Rome or suggestive locations like the Tuscan countryside. Italy is an essential part of my life and Gabriella often says that I was probably Italian in a previous life (laughs) because I really feel at home when I’m in Italy, more than anywhere else in the world.

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The success of Grey’s Anatomy

Greys Anatomy 18 Richard Flood Kevin Mckidd

Grey’s Anatomy: Richard Flood and Kevin McKidd in one scene from the series

Richard Flood was first a spectator and then an interpreter on Grey’s Anatomy, so having a double point of view what will be the secret of success for such a long-lived and so loved medical drama after 18 years? “I would love to know because then I could write a series that goes on for so long (laughs). I think because these are very human and real characters, at a level of life and death that is as professional as it is personal to them, so their relationships and their lives inevitably suffer from that too. It’s a medical drama but with the stories at the most human level possible, so audiences can see their lives and their situations and experiences mirrored in it, and that’s why they connect so much with the characters.“.

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Being a medical drama on generalist TV, it could not fail to face the Covid-season during the pandemic (season 17, ed): “It was a really complicated experience on both a professional and an emotional level. Even at the performance level it was particularly difficult to connect with the other actors on an emotional level, with those huge masks that we had to wear most of the time, and we couldn’t hear each other but had to wear a microphone to speak. From the beginning there was a big question in the writers room about whether or not to tell stories that reflected what was really happening in the world and in the end they opted to do so, and personally I fully agree with this choice. Maybe for some serials like this it could be a way to disconnect and not think about what was happening in their life but it is the most important medical drama on the air and this is the biggest medical crisis of the last decades, so we had a second responsibility. me in telling it on screen and I hope we have managed to humanize some of the stories we see on the news every day“. The series also shows the ugliness of the American health system:”Public health is certainly a big problem in the United States, because it is a business, compared to the European tradition, and it underlines many problems that society is facing, such as homeless people, and people with mental problems who are unable to access. to the care they would need. If you don’t have a job, you don’t have access to health care, it’s a vicious circle. The system should be rethought, but it is too complex a question for a simple actor like me. I can say that it is one of the most substantial differences that I have noticed between European and American culture“.

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Being a single parent

Greys Anatomy Richard Flood

Grey’s Anatomy: Richard Flood in a still photo from the series

Your character is having quite a few problems with teenagers facing post-Covid. Can you tell us more about it?
Yes, it’s a storyline of my character that I love very much and that I hoped would be deepened. Cormac is a single father with two teenage boys in the midst of a global pandemic and it’s an almost impossible role to fill. Teens are always difficult but if you are alone it is even more difficult. My character feels even more the distance between him and his children at the moment than before, because they are growing up and facing not only their own transformations but also such a singular event as the virus, and this has had a negative effect especially on one. of two. I hope we will continue to carry it forward to see more of their relationship and where it will go.

Is there a scene from your character that has remained in your heart?

There is a scene just last season, during a protest for the Black Lives Matter, while they were happening in reality as well, and my two sons on the show are black, I felt I was in a very intense place in the storyline. Cormac is injured during the protest but at the end of the episode he speaks to his boys because initially he did not want them to participate in the protests for fear that it was dangerous for them: ‘it is important that you stand up for what you believe, and I will be by your side’ it was very intense and touching because he spoke to him as if they were adults and not his ‘children’. But in reality whenever there is a case and Cormac deals with children, even if it is fictional it is particularly exciting and meaningful. And in the episodes to come there will be very important life and death situations.

This interview with Richard Flood could only end with one of his “Ciao” in Italian!

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