New Amsterdam, NBC’s Tuesday night medical drama, which shoots at the country’s oldest public hospital, Bellevue in Manhattan, had no choice but to be at the center of the pandemic.
The ravages of this virus were woven into Season 3, which concludes June 8. The show continues to take us into the often stormy lives of its doctors. Jocko Sims, who plays Floyd Reynolds, a cardiovascular surgeon, has returned to New Amsterdam. Toward the end of Season 2, it looked as if there could have been a spinoff for him. “I can be comfortable saying Reynolds is back at New Amsterdam,” Sims reveals. “Something was planned before the pandemic.”
The character had moved to San Francisco, but he’s home and taking care of his mom, played by Leslie Uggams. Toward the end of this season, Reynolds’ fiancée ended their engagement, and he finds himself in an emotional dilemma. An ethical man, he’s smitten by a married OB-GYN at New Amsterdam.
Being so close to the action, Sims wants to “express my gratitude to the workers on the front line,” he says. “They are still struggling, as we are not out of it. Because of science, because of doctors, we finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. It is an honor to be able to play one of them on this show.”
He reflects on why Dr. Floyd means so much to him as he answers our “5 Questions.”
1. What job would you have if you were not an actor?
Ironically I would be a doctor. I wanted to be a doctor badly when I was in high school. I loved science. I put a medical symbol on my high school ring when you could customize them. Possibly a teacher, perhaps even a theater teacher.
2. What three foods do you always have in stock?
It shifted a little with the whole health thing. I have to have spinach in my fridge, and I have to have some sort of chicken breast, and I can’t live without olive oil.
3. What jobs did you work before hitting it as an actor?
I was a cashier at a large chain grocery store in Texas. I was a waiter at TGI Fridays in L.A. during my pursuit to become an actor. I also worked at Home Depot; I was a cashier.
4. What movies can you watch repeatedly?
I can’t turn Misery off if it’s on. They are all weird; M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village and Spike Lee’s Malcolm X.
5. What’s it like having Leslie Uggams play your mom? And has your mother had any reaction to this?
You have a good friend who brings you a gift every time you see them, and you don’t know what it is when you open it up. That is how excited I am to work with Leslie Uggams. Eath time, I find something that blows me away. My poor mother, she just cries on every damn scene! I just have to be talking to her (Uggams) on the phone, and she (my mom) says, ‘You are talking to me.’ Before, maybe six months was the longest I had not seen her, when I moved from California to do the show. And I have not seen her in over a year, and I will get to see her in Jamaica in June.