Chicago Med season seven will return with two new faces - and the loss of beloved fan favorites Dr Natalie Manning, and April Sexton.
The departure of both is going to "affect" Dr Will Halstead in ways we can't even imagine, shares star Nick Gehlfuss, adding that it will be impossible to "avoid all that history".
As for how it may affect fans, Nick tells HELLO! that the show "in some ways feels like we are restructuring, and it feels like we're recreating some things."
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You've started filming season 7, how is it going?
Very grateful to be working still.
It's going well, we've had some adjustments in the cast, losing some and gaining some, so it feels like we are restructuring the show and like we're recreating some things, and it's exciting.
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Do you have a ritual to get back into the head of Will?
I used to go to the hospital and shadow, but we're not able to do that due to COVID.
But I watch some previous episodes to remind me of where we left off, and I keep a journal of WiIl's history, marks of where he has been and what he has overcome and struggled with, and I like to remind myself of that.
Is journaling a Nick thing or something the whole cast does?
I like to journal. It is very helpful for me and I guess it comes from graduate school for acting where we would score a script. Now, any time I get a script I write down objectives and actions, go from moment to moment to see how tone should change, or how to stress things - slow down here, stuff like that.
Nick has played WIll since season one
Do you like to give input on Will's arc?
I leave it to the writers, that's what they do, although I have helped by reminding them of stuff we've covered with Will.
I like to make sure we're still pushing forward with parts they haven't explored yet, and I will be a sounding board. I ask what the intentions are, if it's confusing, and if it feels similar I do bring it up and they are collaborative.
But acting is about staying present, and life is more beneficial when we do that as well, so I trust the writers.
Will went through a lot last season but fans last saw him losing his job after taking the fall for Natalie. If we can go back to those moments of reading the script and filming, what were your thoughts of what this means for Will?
I wasn't surprised it happened, as Will has a history of going about things in his own way and not worrying about the rules; he's been in Goodwin's office many times!
And Will is not a precious person, he's got a great heart and always comes from a good place. And it was contract season - will I keep my job? But it was fun.
Those moments are juicy for an actor to play. And it's the most dramatic it can get - to potentially be leaving.
Torrey has now left the show
Torrey DeVitto has now left Med - did you know at the time of filming that final episode Torrey was leaving Med, and how did that impact the way you approached their relationship?
I did not know she was leaving until the end of filming so maybe it happened in the best way so it wasn't more difficult.
Torrey is a great friend and I do miss her.
Manstead was one of the show's biggest ships and her departure is going to change Will - what can fans expect from Will in season seven?
You can't avoid all that history so the writers… Well, you never know what may happen in the future, if a character is not dead they can return in some form.
But he will be affected - if and when he gets into a new relationship.
Kristen Hager is joining the show in season seven
Guy Lockard and Kristen Hager are both joining the show - can fans expect any romance between Will and Dr Hammer?
There is definitely a history between them - they want to med school together, and there is undoubtedly... their history will come into play.
Were there any pranks for the newbies?
I am not one that does pranks because this is a foreign language - medicine - and even without pranks - I wish we had a blooper reel!
It would be so healthy to watch this at the wrap party, because trust me, there are moments without being prompted by anyone or anything... it's difficult enough.
I can't find it in myself to prank anyone, especially because it's such a juggling act - not only do you have to get the foreign language down, you have to say it as if you've said it a thousand times, and then you give it a speed and rate and melody of saying it over and over, and then you will be doing something else at the same time, most of the time I am using a prop.
So it's a juggling act and you have to remain calm and cool even if you've lost a line... It's wild!
But I joke around, I get a little goofy, especially working on a drama. It feels like we need the balance.
Will and Jay are brothers on the franchise
The series is known for its crossovers, is there a crossover arc you'd pitch if you had the chance?
That is my favorite part, the crossovers, although we've had to taper back because of COVID. I always thought it would be interesting - I have a brother on PD (Jay Halstead) and he goes undercover - so I would love [to go undercover].
The beauty of a crossover is you come on as a character and get wrapped up in their profession, so you have to play the character in this other world. I love to do something new, and I would love to go undercover with Jay, maybe where he knows he needs a doctor on the hush, and to help someone.
That would be fun.
One of my favorite storylines on Med was when I was in negotiations for a wedding venue and it just so happened my brother was looking into this guy, and that whole storyline was so fun. What any actor loves is to transform, and so going undercover gives you the opportunity as your character to play something different than your character.
As for this season I can't say but I will tease that Will is going to be expected to do other things other than his medical practice…
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What's your favorite thing about working with Jesse Lee Soffer, who plays Jay?
He is so easygoing and a professional, he loves what he does and it's good to work with someone who knows their stuff.
I also think - he would attest to this - that we're sensitive dudes, we have to emote emotionally and I think we are like that in real life, so we have deep conversations about what we're going through.
Sometimes guys shy away from that or don't want to talk at all but Jesse and I can do that. I have missed him, last year we were on separate schedules so we're due for some good hangs.
What happened is I remember we had just finished dinner - or maybe we were on our way - and we heard the screeching sound, and the car went straight into the construction pit on its side, and we looked at each other and started sprinting, and I remember thinking "this is what it really feels like".
But it was wild, because she recognized us.
He called 911 and I jumped, and I climb up the side of the ladder and open the door, and she hurried out and was so shook and what was so funny is that some of the stuff I was trained for the show I did on this woman, - checked her over, made sure there was no blood, and it was so odd to put it all to use.
She said "no I am okay", then recognized me, and I am herding her up to Jesse and she's like "wait but you're the other guy", and then real police and fire turn up.
Will will be "affected" by Manning's decision to leave
All she needed was for Taylor Kinney to be there for the ultimate rescue...
That would be a crossover!
What have been your favorite moments to film?
The one storyline when I wore a wire and was doing work with my brother for a wedding venue. It was a fall finale, and that was Will's wedding day so he's busy, he's in his tux, and then is pulled into a dangerous situation and leaves Natalie at the altar because he almost dies after drilling a hole in the head of this mob guy.
And now he knows too much, so his old childhood friend is going to kill him but then Jay turns up and saves him, and then he goes to the church - and that is by far the most intense episode of TV I have ever filmed, or anything I have ever filmed!
And that couldn't be what it was without the story that came beforehand, but this time the tux is getting bloody and it was such a visual transformation.
And the 100th episode, it was such a privilege to get there.
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