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How Edgar Ramírez Charmed His Dr. Death Co-Stars On and Off the Screen

Edgar Ramírez immediately came to mind as a casting choice while she was scripting the pilot, showrunner Ashley Michel Hoban said. 

By Stephanie Gomulka

The rise and fall of disgraced thoracic surgeon Dr. Paolo Macchiarini (Edgar Ramírez) inspired Dr. Death Season 2. 

Throughout the show’s eight episodes, streaming now on Peacock, viewers see how the doctor was able to initially charm journalist Benita Alexander (Mandy Moore) before everything began to fall apart. As Alexander learns the truth about the man she fell in love with, Maccharini's colleagues begin to question his research and surgeries on patients.

Among the actors playing these doctors are Luke Kirby (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, No Man of God) as Dr. Nathan Gamelli, Ashley Madekwe (The Strays, Revenge) as Dr. Ana Lasbrey, and Gustaf Hammarsten (Bruno) as Dr. Svensson. 

“I think it’s always great when you have characters that have like inner conflict because you can really take them on a journey,” Madekwe told NBC Insider. “I think all three of these characters have that. They’re on this journey together and they start at different points.”

RELATED: Mandy Moore and Edgar Ramírez on the “Dark and Harrowing” Storyline in Dr. Death Season 2

Showrunner and Executive Produer Ashley Michel Hoban found the three “whistleblowers” were magic together on screen. 

Dr. Svensson, Dr. Nathan Gamelli, and Dr. Ana Lasbrey sitting next to each other in a waiting room.

“They’re complicated good guys,” Michel Hoban told NBC Insider. “They’re not just pure you know good guys, never made the wrong decision…we all make mistakes and that’s — the humanity is what makes interesting characters so we just got really lucky.”

In an interview with NBC Insider, the actors touched on the compelling and intriguing story at the heart of this season. Kirby highlighted the “juicy, bad romance” between Macchiarini and Alexander.

Ramírez’s ability to turn on the charm was not lost on his fellow cast members. “When I’m interacting with him, he’s at his most charming,” Madekwe said. “It was a delight. Edgar is charming…I think Ana’s a little bit in love with him.”

Hammarsten described Edgar as a person who is already “so charming” and “humble.”

“I had to fight really hard not to be swayed away, drawn in by that man’s charm,” Kirby added. “He’s very charming, but you know, good to be suspicious.”

RELATED: Dr. Death Season 2: Dr. Paolo Macchiarini's Transplant Patients

The Medical Accuracy of Dr. Death

During more surgically heavy scenes, a doctor was on set to consult with the cast and crew, according to Madekwe. 

“All three of us got to observe surgery, so that was really helpful,” Madekwe said. “When it came to doing it on the day, we were able to maybe just forget about that, focus on the emotion and the intent of the scene cause it was easy to get bogged down in like the detail of the…surgery.”

Meanwhile, Hammarsten even had to perform surgery on fake rats with his character. 

Close up of Edgar Ramirez as Paolo

For an intense medical scene between Alexander and Macchiarini, Moore described to NBC Insider the level of “precision and choreography” that came with filming.

“How sort of like life or death it really was and how there has to be just this innate trust between these two characters at this point,” Moore said. “It was fun, but also like exhausting. I just remember feeling so emotionally drained at the end of the day.”

When it came to approaching complicated procedures and surgical terms in this script, the writers wanted to keep things “technically right,” but also easy to understand for the viewer. 

“I was like, if I can explain it to my mom, then I feel like the audience will get it and so it’s really — I mean we’re using real terms, but we’re simplifying things down and we’re talking the way that we would talk,” Michel Hoban said. 

See the full interview with the cast above. You can watch Dr. Death Season 2 now on Peacock. 

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