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NBC Insider Dr. Death

Why Dr. Death Showrunners Are "Grateful" Mandy Moore Starred in Season 2

The actress quickly started filming Dr. Death after the NBC’s series This is Us ended.

By Stephanie Gomulka

The actors and creative minds for Dr. Death Season 2 are peeling back the hospital curtain by sharing behind the scenes details of the bone-chilling drama. 

The follow-up to Season 1’s deep dive into the case of Dr. Christopher Dunstch stitches together a new story with a different group of actors, including Mandy Moore (This is Us) and Edgar Ramírez (Florida Man). This season of the anthology series unpacks the case of Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, a disgraced thoracic surgeon and his romantic relationship with journalist Benita Alexander

Showrunner Ashley Michel Hoban and fellow Executive Producer Patrick McManus spoke to NBC Insider about the show, streaming now on Peacock

RELATED: Meet the Season 2 Cast of Peacock’s Anthology Series Dr. Death

Dr. Death Season 2's "Complicated" Love Story

“The throat is a notoriously difficult place to work and so I think having that global scale of medicine and the systemic failures of medicine…is a great way to kind of take Season 1 and expand upon it,” Michel Hoban said. “This love story is equally complicated.”

Michel Hoban explained that the complicated nature of Paolo and Benita's relationship also offers understanding of how the thoracic surgeon is able to move through the medical system. Though Moore's Alexander is aware of the ethical dilemma of dating the doctor, she lets emotion cloud her better judgement.

“We fall in love with Paolo through Benita’s eyes,” Michel Hoban said. “Putting those two stories together is what makes Season 2 special.” 

Benita (Mandy Moore) and Paolo (Edgar Ramirez) walk down the street together

Equally helpful in telling this story was the fact that Ramírez understood the role of Macchiarini from the beginning, Michel Hoban said.

“He speaks all of the languages that Paolo speaks,” Michel Hoban said. “He was a journalist before he was an actor, so he has this sort of like, insight into Benita’s world and just has every ounce of charm and charisma that Paolo has, like significantly more.”

“Sadly, he’s ugly, unfortunately,” McManus added jokingly. 

RELATED: Mandy Moore Has Very Hopeful Thoughts About a This Is Us Reunion

Praise for Mandy Moore in Dr. Death

Michel Hoban was “grateful” to Moore for rounding out the project, noting that the schedule wasn't ideal for the actress, who had recently welcomed her second child, a boy named Ozzie, with husband Taylor Goldsmith.

“Obviously, we need somebody that can kind of stand up to that charm, and Mandy Moore said she wanted to do that show, so we were like, okay, are you sure?” Michel Hoban said. “She had just finished This is Us and she actually had a baby six weeks before we started shooting, so she really made a lot of sacrifices…to be a part of this."

For her part, Moore found the story to be "fascinating," she said during an interview with NBC Insider. "We're able to tell these like parallel stories of the real pathology of this like true narcissist and how that sort of pervades his professional life and his personal life," Moore said. 

Both seasons of Dr. Death are streaming now on Peacock