Right before the travel bans, social distancing and restaurant closures I sat down at Cecconi’s in West Hollywood on a Beautiful Spring day to talk to TV’s hottest doctor Jocko Sims aka Dr. Reynolds on NBC’s primetime hit medical drama New Amsterdam. Since the interview with Sims production has been halted on New Amsterdam, as well as a host of other shows in Hollywood in the wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic. During our interview we discussed his journey, influence in the black community as a doctor on screen, cooking, and of course we talked about the coronavirus.
When asked about his role as Dr. Reynolds The Head Of Cardiovascular Surgery, Jocko says this is his dream job. Jocko a Texas native had early aspirations of being a doctor, starting in high school but after a year at University of Houston he decided he wanted to try his luck at acting and transferred to UCLA. Jocko never really believed in the statistics of making it as an actor, but instead focused on just being the best. He realizes his influence as a black doctor on screen, and doesn’t take it lightly.
New Amsterdam, is based on a true story. It’s based on the memoir, Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital, by Dr. Eric Manheimer. NA tackles stories that are relatable and prevalent in the African American Community. Dr. Reynolds a fan favorite of the show left fans in shock when it appeared that his character would be leaving the show. A possible spinoff has been teased, but Sims was tight lipped when asked about the status of Reynolds. Jocko is very involved in his storyline and credits the writers room, in which some of the writers happen to be doctors themselves for being welcoming and receptive to suggestions as to how his character would handle certain scenarios. If you’re wondering how he knows all of the medical jargon that spills over in his scenes week in and week out, Sims acknowledges that there is a 28 year surgeon on set assisting, making sure he gets it right. Jocko says of his show that you won’t find a lot of jumping in and out of the closet, but you will learn something each week. When asked if New Amsterdam would tackle the current pandemic coronavirus, Sims without going into great detail ensured that we could possibly get an episode covering the crisis affecting the country.
When Jocko is not hard at work as Dr. Reynolds, he enjoys watching Ozark, Escape at Dannemora, Big Little Lies, (add these to your quarantineandchill list) working on music and cooking gumbo. A YouTube show of his gumbo breakdown may be in the works, we’ll have to wait and see. When it comes to his acting range, don’t put Jocko in a box. Although he’s great at dramas he wants to do comedy, and great news for fans….. he’s currently writing a comedy movie, so stay tuned.
Watch Jocko Sims aka “Dr. Reynolds” on New Amsterdam, Tuesday Nights on NBC check your local listings.