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Fans of NBC’s New Amsterdam are in for a pleasant surprise. Dr. Elizabeth Wilder, played by Sandra Mae Frank, has officially been brought on as a series regular for Season 5. Frank’s character was introduced during Season 4 as the Chief of Oncology at New Amsterdam Medical Center.
Frank originally thought her role was going to be short-term, and she's surprised by what a central character Dr. Wilder has become.
“When I first got the audition [for the role] I thought in my head that maybe [Dr. Wilder’s role] would be just one surgery, or something like that to show representation of the deaf community,” Frank told The New York Post over Zoom with interpreter Chris Matthews. “But I didn’t expect anything like [The Resistance] and for her to be involved with all the characters in the show. But I’m not surprised—she’s strong, loud, and independent and is not afraid to speak her mind, especially in a hearing world.”
In the show, Dr. Wilder was brought to the New Amsterdam Medical Center as a possible replacement for Dr. Helen Sharpe and was also considered for Dr. Max Goodwin’s title. Ultimately, Dr. Wilder ended up accepting the position of Chief Oncologist. Soon after, she led a covert “resistance” that began organizing against imminent funding cuts.
Frank feels that the adversity Dr. Wilder has experienced makes her an unstoppable force.
“As a deaf doctor, as a surgeon, feeling oppressed for being a woman, for being deaf, for being queer … to bring that level of passion, and especially with The Resistance, it makes sense,” said Frank. “It’s her thing.”
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