Justin Hartley, "Emily Owens, M.D."

The CW’s upcoming medical comedy drama, Emily Owens, M.D. follows the slightly awkward shenanigans of Emily Owens (Mamie Gummer) a first-year intern at Denver Memorial Hospital, where her high school nemesis Cassandra Kopelson (Aja Naomi King) and her crush Will Rider (Justin Hartley) also work. “He’s of the mind that they are best friends and they’re there for each other. It’s them versus the world,” says Hartley. “He finds out that she’s got a different idea about the relationship, and he doesn’t know what to do. He doesn’t want to hurt her but at the same time he can’t lead her on. It’s a tough situation to be in.” For Hartley, after his dramatic roles on Smallville and Passions, the choice to do a comedy was an easy decision to make. “I talked to my close friends, my family and my agent who is also one my closest friends about what I wanted to do. I wanted to pursue something that had a little humor in it. I adore Smallville and I owe everything to it, but I found myself comfortable in the recurring themes of these hour long dramas. With this show, everything came together. There’s comedy, it’s an hour long, there’s a lot of drama and it doesn’t pander to anyone. It’s very smart and sophisticated but at the same time you will laugh with us, you will be embarrassed with us, and you’ll cry with us.” The role seemed to be everything Hartley was looking for. “I must have read the episode 60 times before we started filming it and every single time there were parts of it where I found myself laughing out loud and parts where I found myself literally fighting back tears. [The creator] Jennie Snyder is a wonderful writer and an amazing storyteller. Our cast is unbelievably smart and talented. I’m in a really good position. I’m absolutely looking forward to the series. I’ve never been more proud of something or more thrilled to be a part of something. I feel so confident in the show. I feel like I know people… and I know they’ll enjoy the show.” Emily Owens, M.D. premieres Tuesday, October 16th on the CW.

Interviewed by Ashley Symone Lee Photographed by Vince Trupsin