On tonight’s season finale of The Night Shift, Topher’s (Ken Leung) life hangs in the balance, and Jordan’s (Jill Flint) fateful decision towards the person (Steven Bauer) who shot Topher could yield huge career repercussions. Meanwhile, T.C.’s (Eoin Macken) tragic war experiences come to full light, as his close bond with Jordan enters a deeper level with a heartbreaking confession.
We talked to Jill Flint this morning, and the diehard Brooklyn denizen talked to us about her passion for acting and the joy of having The Night Shift returning for a second season. She also talked about tonight’s episode which, if you’re a diehard fan of the show, doesn’t pull any punches (it airs on NBC at 10 pm et/pt).
How does it feel knowing The Night Shift is coming back for a second season? Where were you when you heard the news?
I’m totally excited! We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting. I think it was early in the morning. I woke up and I actually got an email from Gabe Sachs who is our showrunner. You get so excited that you can’t react for the first few minutes. You just have to let it sink in.
It’s a dream come true. I get to work with my friends. I get to play more and hang out with them and explore our characters and see what happens next. You get attached to the characters you play and you want to see what’s going to happen next with them. It’s thrilling and you don’t want it to end.
What can you tells us about The Night Shift’s season finale?
Tonight’s episode really focuses on saving Topher (Ken Leung). But you also see Jordan have a little more understanding on what TC is going through with his experience in Afghanistan and with PTSD. You also see a moment where Jordan is faced with an ethical dilemma.
She has to choose with what would be the right thing to do as a doctor and what she feels might be the right thing to do. It’s a pressure cooker moment for sure.
There’s an important conversation TC has with Jordan tonight. Without giving too much away, can you talk about shooting that sequence?
I can say this – tonight I have a moment with TC, played by Eoin Macken and he gave 110%. It was haunting how much it stuck with me afterward. He made it easy to go there with him. There are definitely moments when you forget everything that’s around you. You forget – the cameras, the guy holding the boom (mic), and you’re just in it. When it’s done, you have to shake it off. And I definitely had one of those moments shooting the episode that you’re going to see it tonight.
When do you start shooting the show and getting back to work on The Night Shift?
When it comes to the show, it’s really not “work.” I believe we’re going to start shooting at the end of this summer/early fall and try to get the show out as soon as possible. The fan response has been huge, and we don’t want to keep them waiting.
We’re very excited to get the show back up and running and get ourselves going and put up more episodes for everybody.
How gratifying is it to have a great fan response to the show?
It’s amazing! It feels really good to put everything you have into something and have people respond to it. It’s absolutely amazing to have that. We’ve been doing a lot of live tweeting on Tuesday nights and it’s been fun to interact with people and see what they respond to. It’s a cool experience for sure, and I’m grateful for it.
What do you love about living in Brooklyn?
Well I moved to New York almost 20 years ago now and I spent most of my time in Brooklyn. I moved out to Williamsburg in 1995 and it was not the Williamsburg you know today. I think each borough has something amazing to offer – it’s such a versatile and diverse city. I love living in Brooklyn, I think it’s a great borough.
I’ve also lived in Queens. I’ve lived in Harlem, and I’ve lived in Chinatown. I’ve lived all over – but I always come home to Brooklyn. It’s great, but at the same time it’s kind of a (bummer) when you have to wait two and a half hours at your favorite restaurant to get your favorite seat. But it is what it is (laughs).
You get some people who’ve been living in the neighborhood forever that were born and raised and their neighborhood is completely changing around them. I think it’s harder for them than it is for me, so…
Part of great acting, I’m assuming, is knowing how to listen and observe. Does living in the city help your craft in any way?
Just ride the train and you can sit and watch characters all day long. I just put on my sunglasses and I watch people. They don’t know I’m staring at them (laughs).
That’s kinda creepy – no I’m kidding…
It’s totally creepy! But it’s great to watch people and watch their behavior and how they interact with each other. Years ago, I used to manage a cigar bar and there’s this one place in the bar where I would sit back and watch people on first dates. I’d watch couples break up. I’d watch just people interacting with each other.
I had an acting teacher said to me that if I really wanted to watch people and be observant, (just) watch film and turn off the sound and watch people and their interactions with each other. It was kind of like that, sitting in my corner and watching people without the volume on.
Would you advice novice actors to go to acting school or take classical training?
I don’t think I’m qualified to answer that question because everyone Is different and has their own path. I, however, went to school and worked my butt off. I think if you have a chance to work on something, you should. If you have a chance to put yourself out there – do it. If you have a chance to work and study, you should absolutely take it. It can’t hurt.
In the following video, Eoin Macken & Jill Flint talk about their innate chemistry on The Night Shift.