BWW Interviews: Ditch Davey Discusses BLACK BOX's Surprisingly Popular Love Triangle
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December 06, 2016
In ABC's new medical drama BLACK BOX, Australian actor Ditch Davey plays brilliant neurosurgeon Dr. Ian Bickman. New to the state-of-the-art facility known as The Cube, the arrogant surgeon forms an instant, explosive relationship with colleague Dr. Catherine Black (Kelly Reilly). Despite being engaged to another man, Catherine finds herself drawn to Ian's brilliance, skills, and bad boy mystique.
Yesterday, BWW spoke to Davey about the show's focus on mental illness, and how he views the burgeoning relationship between Drs. Bickman and Black. Last week, BWW spoke to Reilly about the show and working with legendary co-star Vanessa Redgrave.
The newest epsidoe of BLACK BOX airs tonight (Thursday, June 26th) on ABC at 8:00pm. For more infromation, visit the show's official website abc.com/BlackBox or follow the show on Twitter @BlackBoxABC.
BWW: BLACK BOX somewhat walks a tightrope between the pros and cons of modern medicine in dealing with mental illness; how do you see the way the show approaches the issue?
Davey: Personally, I think recently, and I'd say in the last 10 or so years, I think mental illness has been a kind of a dirty word. I certainly know in my community, back in Australia, back in Victoria, we had a government that shut down our mental illness hospital, and people were thrown out onto the street, because of the lack of understanding for all of that, and I know this happens all over the world. These people are lumped into one basket, but to even begin to have the conversation with the community, and articulating the differences between certain illnesses, you have to find out each person's story.
By going into that, you begin to be able to help these people, and give them a voice, and that's what I really admire about the series; opening up that conversation again; even if it is just a couple of people that recognize some behavior that you may see on the show, and rather than just thinking of your uncle as the crazy uncle you never want to go and visit.
I think it really just begins the conversation again with the community, and maybe with that, we can get some more funding into that area, and then start helping the people in our community; I think that's what it highlights; that these people are people, and with the right help they can go on to live good lives, and extraordinary lives; be a parent, or be a daughter, and that's important, rather than trotting them off to the side.
What I really appreciate about BLACK BOX is that the show doesn't come across as preachy, but rather emphasizes that each person's experiences and circumstances are different.
Absolutely, I think you're right on. That's the conversation, that's the way it was for me. Let's begin the conversation, and you never really know what's right or wrong, but just to be able to have the conversation, you find out more information, rather than ignoring it, because it's not going away.
As viewers, we've seen Dr. Bickman evolve from a fairly arrogant, narcissistic individual, kind of the stereotypical surgeon, into someone who is still quite arrogant, but obviously has more depth than we were first led to believe. How do you see Ian as a character, as he's evolved through the first half of the season?
That's absolutely right, I think the way in which I wanted to approach that, I think we, as an audience, get introduced to The Cube at the same time as he did. So, I think everything was new. So you do automatically start to make judgments on new things, to try to get a handle on it. That's where I really wanted to set him up, as someone who maybe was a little too arrogant; a little too abrasive. That's when you can start surprising the audience and the other characters in the show; when you evolve and grow with them. That's the area that I wanted to go in, and certainly the production, and the writers, and everything, we were all going in that area, and just be able to surprise.