Tyler Labine says Iggy's New Amsterdam eating disorder story line was very 'close to home'
During SCAD's 2020 aTV Fest, the actor opened up about a story line on the medical drama that sees his character, Iggy, dealing with disordered eating. According to the show's creator David Schulner, that was always a part of the character, even before they made the audience aware of it. "Maybe even before you made me aware of it," added Labine while chatting in EW's video suite at the festival.
The writers had always incorporated food as a part of the character, including multiple scenes where Iggy's seen constantly eating. "It was baked into the cake early on with a lot of seemingly-innocuous, but bizarre food trends with Iggy — going from crudités to binging on chocolate," explained Labine. "We expounded on that throughout the first season and into season 2 and then David just said, 'Hey, I think we have a really interesting thread to pull here with Iggy.'"
Knowing it was something that Labine had wanted to lean away from in the beginning, the writers decided to let the audience get to know Iggy and become attached to him before they introduced the issue. "It was a real natural resistance from me for this one because of its personal nature," said the actor. "My knee-jerk reaction was, 'That's too close to home, that's too vulnerable.'" Labine was concerned that sharing that part of his story would make him unlikable, but soon realized a series like New Amsterdam has to be opening to being real about its characters, "warts and all."
New Amsterdam airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on NBC. Watch the video above.