In the world of “Chicago Med,” it’s not unusual for doctors to fall in love with each other. But no one could predict that sparks may fly between Dr. Dean Archer (Steven Weber) and Dr. Hannah Asher (Jessy Schram). Although the colleagues are strictly professional for now, many viewers have noticed just how much time they’re spending together — something the actors were surprised by too.
“Obviously when we first started, there was a lot of conflict,” Schram told Variety during a recent set visit. “Somehow along the way, I feel like she’s slowly chiseled bits of his stone heart, or whatever barrier that he has, away. And I think because they are both coming from paths that are broken and that they are both people that are still dealing with challenges — him with his son, his anxiety and PTSD — I feel like there is a relatability and they see themselves in each other.”
She said that if anyone would have mentioned the possibility of the relationship blossoming into anything more five episodes ago, she would have asked them what show they were watching.
“But there are seeds that are being planted that are more in vulnerability and trust in this authentic relationship and if anything were to come from it, I don’t think it would come from this lust-filled romance,” she said. “I think it would come from this very honest, genuine, challenging space of two people that are coming from the same history that now have a place to reside in each other… I don’t think anything is ever off the table.”
Weber, who noted that both characters are “broken,” agreed: “They’re finding opportunities to trust the world through each other… But they’re demonstrating how necessary and worthwhile each is in their fields. They say that when you see somebody that you love perform in their discipline, you fall in love with that. They’re getting a whole picture of that person.”
He added that there have been many discussions about whether it could and should turn romantic — but neither is quite sure.
“The trap to that is to immediately romanticize and sexualize it. There’s a real age gap here,” he said. “When we have discussed it with writers and producers, we have emphasized that if something should happen, it should come with effort and difficulty. It’s not sexy and slick. It comes out of a need, out of vulnerability, out of something that is almost accidental and fraught. I think they’re both afraid of that kind of connection and that should be inherent in any attraction.”
Whichever way it goes, Schram can’t wait to see.
“I personally think that there can still be a love relationship that stays completely platonic,” she said. “When fans started writing on Twitter that it’s going somewhere, it took me by surprise. I think because there is this genuine love and respect and a version of mentorship that’s happening and to me, it doesn’t need to be romantic for there to be so much love there. It makes it really interesting because there is an age difference, a dynamic difference and a personality difference that’s going on. I think it would be fascinating to, if it ever were to go romantic, play out the friendship as long as possible because it is a very interesting dynamic and it intrigues me.”
Of course, that also opens up the question of whether Dr. Asher and Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) are really over for good — especially after their recent shower scene.
“It’s something that’s always looming,” Schram coyly said. “There are definitely chapters that are closed. There is definitely that relationship and a version of that relationship that will not be opened again. That doesn’t mean there can’t be a new relationship with 2.0 of Hannah and Will. But I would say right now, they’re just floating in each other’s universes. We don’t know where it will go. I think that there’s such a deep love there that it can rekindle it anytime, but it also can just stay.”
The winter finale of “Chicago Med” airs on Dec. 7 on NBC at 8 p.m. ET.
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