Matt Czuchry as Dr Conrad Hawkins

Matt Czuchry rose to fame when he appeared as Cary Agos in The Good Wife and the more recent Gilmore Girls reboot.

Now he’s stepping up as the arrogantly brilliant young surgeon, in the new medical drama The Resident

Matt admits that starting a new gig after the seven-year success of The Good Wife was a little daunting at first. 

“I had to keep an open mind,” he said, not wanting to make comparisons. 

Moving from the political genre to the medical one was a tricky transition, but there are some similarities too. 

The Resident is character-based, and it explores an overused genre in a new light, a technique which was flawlessly executed in The Good Wife

“It’s a little bit greedier, a little bit dirtier than what we’ve seen before in the medical genre,” Czuchry told the Sydney Morning Herald. “So hopefully this will do well too.”

Stepping into scrubs was another challenge in itself, but Czuchry says it was made easier by his family history. 

“Many of the themes are very personal, because I’ve had direct connections in my own life,” he says. 

He has family members in the medical profession, and others who’ve battled chronic illness. “I’ve been in and out of hospital a lot.” 

“In the end, it’s about reality. You want something that’s believable in the storytelling.” Personal experience makes his performance noticeably more genuine.

Czuchry shadowed a surgeon at a private practice to prepare for the role, and read a stack of medical literature.

Something he found interesting was the amount of ‘gallows humour’ in the profession. “We found the humour was very dark,” he says, “because you’re dealing with life or death all the time, it’s actually elevated.” 

Dr Conrad Hawkins and his intern, Dr Pravesh

His character Dr. Conrad Hawkins is extremely passionate about his patients. He’ll do anything it takes to protect them, even if that means breaking the rules. 

But behind the tough exterior, Hawkins is vulnerable, hard on himself, and has trouble expressing his emotions. 

Czuchry was attracted to the character because of his complexities, and his willingness to take risks. 

He hopes the show will connect with viewers on a personal level too. “If we can entertain people, make them laugh, make them think or make them feel something, then we’ve done our job.” 

Oh yeah and if you’re still stumbling over the pronunciation of his name, you say it like “Zuck-ree.” You’re welcome. 

Stream the full season of The Resident right here on TVNZ OnDemand.