Interview with Joseph Kay

TV Interview!

 

Joseph Kay, creator/showrunner of "Transplant" on CBC and NBC (photo from Twitter)

Interview with creator/producer Joseph Kay of “Transplant” on NBC by Suzanne 10/10/23

It was great to speak with the creator/writer/executive producer of such a good show as “Transplant,” which returns for season 3 October 12th! It’s a Canadian show, and they’re watching season 4 right now (which, unfortunately, is the last season). You don’t want to miss this one! If you haven’t watched the first two seasons, go watch them now on Peacock! You’ll be glad you caught up on some a unique show with interesting characters.

 

MORE INFO:  Official NBC Site Trailer

Transplant

New Season Premiering Thursday, October 12 on NBC (9 p.m. ET)

 

The new season of “Transplant” finds Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq, “My Salinger Year”) continuing his journey to start over, but with each new milestone comes a new challenge. While pursuing Canadian citizenship for himself and his younger sister, Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus, “Orphan Black), Bash closely examines who he’s becoming in his adopted country.

Bash, still being asked repeatedly to prove himself, works closely with his colleagues as they move forward following the dramatic conclusion of season two. Everyone continues to find themselves looking to adapt to change and understand how they fit in, both within and beyond the walls of York Memorial Hospital.

After Dr. Bishop’s shocking departure, the team gains a new boss with the forward-thinking Dr. Neeta Devi (Rekha Sharma, “Yellowjackets”). Dr. Devi has big ideas when it comes to overhauling the emergency department at York Memorial.

“Transplant” also stars Laurence Leboeuf as Dr. Magalie “Mags” LeBlanc, Ayisha Issa as Dr. June Curtis, Jim Watson as Dr. Theo Hunter, Torri Higginson as head nurse Claire Malone, Gord Rand as Dr. Mark Novak and Sirena Gulamgaus as Amira.

Creator Joseph Kay serves as showrunner and executive producer. Rachel Langer, Josée Vallée, Jocelyn Deschênes, Bruno Dubé, and Stefan Pleszczynski also executive produce.

“Transplant” is produced by Sphere Media in association with CTV and Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group.

 

Please visit the official show site at: https://www.nbc.com/transplant.

For the latest “Transplant” news, videos, and photos, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram:

https://www.facebook.com/NBCTransplant/
https://twitter.com/NBCTransplant #Transplant
https://www.instagram.com/nbctransplant/

Joseph Kay

Executive Producer, “Transplant”

Joseph Kay is creator, showrunner and executive producer on the NBC drama “Transplant.” He has served as showrunner, writer and executive producer for each of its seasons, winning four Canadian Screen Awards in his roles as writer and producer.

Prior to “Transplant,” he adapted and served as executive producer on the CBC drama “This Life.” Previous credits include the World War II drama “Bomb Girls” for Global TV and the CBC hit action/comedy “Republic of Doyle.”

Kay also co-created the single-camera comedy “Living in your Car” for HBO Canada.

Before becoming a screenwriter, he worked as a transactional lawyer at one of Canada’s foremost securities law firms.

Our previous “Transplant” interviews!

Hamza Haq (Bash) 7/12/22

Laurence Leboeuf (Mags) 3/29/22

 John Hannah and Hamza Haq (Bishop and Bash) 3/1/22

Laurence Leboeuf (Mags) 10/30/20

Hamza Haq (Bash) 10/9/20

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Joseph Kay, creator/showrunner of "Transplant" on CBC and NBC (photo from Facebook video).

 

Interview with Hamza Haq

TV Interview!

TRANSPLANT — “Locked” Episode 211 — Pictured: (l-r) Hamza Haq as Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed, Nora Guerch as Rania — (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)

Interview with Hamza Haq of “Transplant” on NBC by Suzanne 7/12/22

This was my third interview with Hamza, and I look forward to doing more. He is always so nice in our interviews. You should be watching his show, “Transplant,” if you’re not already. It’s an excellent series and won two Gemini awards this past season (The Canadian equivalent to the Emmys). I’m really looking forward to season 3. Don’t miss this week’s exciting cliffhanger! It’s a doozy.

Here’s the transcript of our interview. It’s not completely edited yet, so check back!

TRANSPLANT — “Free For What” Episode 213 — Pictured: (l-r) Hamza Haq as Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed, Sirena Gulamgaus as Amira Hamed — (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)Suzanne: How are you today?

Hamza: I’m doing well. How are you?

Suzanne: I’m alright. I’m kind of awake. kind of awake.

Hamza: That’s good. Where are you in the world?

Suzanne: I’m in a little town in southern Arkansas, so I’m in the central time zone and, I just didn’t sleep well last night.

Hamza: So I’ve. And so good hands up if you can’t sleep well.

Suzanne: Yeah, with me, it’s just allergies

Hamza: has their videos off. I know they put their hands up too, so don’t

Suzanne: yeah, that’s right. That’s right. So, oh, I like your necklace.

Hamza: Thank you. It’s prayer beads from the motherland that my mom got for me.

Suzanne: Oh, nice. Nice.

Hamza: so, Africa anyway.

Suzanne: Oh, cool. Cool. So you’re all decked out today.

Hamza: had a photo shoot. Luckily enough. They were just like, Hey, let’s schedule some interviews. I’m like, great. I’ll do so. Let’s do it all at once.

Suzanne: Yeah, no, you look good. so, congratulations on getting a third season in Canada.

Hamza: Thank you. Thank you so much.

Suzanne: I hope that NBC picks it up again too. I have a good feeling about it and my fingers are crossed for you.

Hamza: Thank you. Thank you so much.

Suzanne: And have you shot the third season yet, or started shooting it?

Hamza: We’re shooting it currently. yeah, we’re in, we’re in production. We’re filming episodes eight and nine of, of 13. And, we’re gonna go. Or probably to, towards the end of October.

Suzanne: Wow. Okay, good. Bash has been going through a lot of, PTSD still this season and maybe some survivors guilt based on what we saw. can you speak about that?

Hamza: Yeah, I mean this, you know, this season, you know, last season we focused on his trouble. Concile. the death of his parents and, you know, therapy never ends. So like now he’s, he’s coming to terms with, with, the time he spent in captivity, in, in, in Syria when he was captured by the regime soldiers and, is haunted by the presence of, or the, or the specter of the man who was, locked Alongside him. And, and yeah, like that’s, that was. You know, it was a, a, a story point that was difficult to, to film, to, to attain. But, you know, we’re, we’re so grateful that, that, everybody who lent their voices, to, You know, to tell that story were so generous and, and brave with, with, with everything that happened in there, with all of their experience surrounding, captivity and all of that, you know, hopefully we did justice, the story, the man who plays Omar in the Mo in the, in the show as Ahman Mary, who is, you know, who’s a, you know, he’s, he’s now he was a consultant. he’s from Syria. He fled as well. And. he’s now a, a writer on season three, so we’re, you know, we’re extremely lucky to have him. He’s a tremendously gifted artist and, and just a all around good dude.

Suzanne: Oh, wow. That’s great. That’s great.

Hamza: Yeah.

Suzanne: And last time you and I spoke, we talked about this possible romance with Mags, and in the second half of the season, you two grow closer and we see how that works out in the last episode. Are you glad that the writers took it very slow?

Hamza: I think, you know, it’s, we, we needed time to, to get to know these people and, and to build their relationship. and, it’s You know, whichever, whichever way it’s gonna go after this season. I think, I think if there wasn’t a little bit of tension or a little bit of anticipation, or, you know, that that’s how that’s really how life works, you know, it, it has to build up like that. They’re both going through such, different things individually that, that, that, you know, the timing worked. As it was meant to. So, I, I don’t, I don’t necessarily think the writers, deliberately took it slow. I just think that this was the natural evolution of, of the characters and it was, you know, him showing up at her doorstep at the end of it, was just, about time.

Suzanne: Right. And, I’m thinking it could be a triangle or more. I think Dr. NOK might be interested in her, judging from the interaction. Little interaction they had. And, I’m thinking maybe RO could return change her mind next season, and then we’ve got a quadrangle. What do you, what do you think about that?

Hamza: We’ll see? that’s all I can say about that.

Suzanne: Well, right. it seems like most of what we’ve seen about your character was about him being a refugee, a brother, and a doctor. Very little about actually being Muslim. Do you think we’ll see more about that?

Hamza: I hope so. I, I, and I don’t think, you know, I don’t think we need to, we need to be seeing him praying all the time or, you know, speaking, you know, speaking the language, like saying aah and Ella and all of these things. I think, you know, the fact that we acknowledge it, that it’s, you know, it’s peripheral in his life and it’s sort of. Everything he does, he’s doing as a Muslim. So I, I, you know, I even beg to differ that, you know, even him being a doctor, him being a brother and him being a refugee, he’s doing all of those things as a Muslim. And, I think it’s important to know that it’s, it’s, it’s a part of everything that he does. just because it’s not on display, all the time. Like even when. You know, even when he’s doing things that aren’t Islamic, you know, like when he’s, you know, hooking up with a social worker and in season one or he’s, you know, saving lives or when he is, you know, all of those things are him doing it as a Muslim. And, you know, so I think, I think that’s a, that’s an important focal point. Just because we’re not seeing it all the time. Doesn’t change the facts that he is, you know?

Suzanne: Right. I forgot about the social worker. Thank you. Now this might seem unrelated, but it’s, it’s kind of got a point. Have you watched any of the show, Ms. Marvel, or are you aware of it?

Hamza: I am aware of it. I’ve seen the, I’ve seen the first episode. and, I know I want to, like, as soon as I watch the first episode, I’m just like, I am tired of waiting a week, so I need to finish watch it. but I’ve seen the first episode. I thought it was terrific. Yeah. Yeah, they do. They do a good job of there.

Suzanne: I, I, you know, I, I only mentioned it since she’s Pakistani and I know. So wanted to make sure you knew about that really great show.

Hamza: Great. Shout, shout out, shout out to, to my boy saga who’s on that show as well. He plays the brother he plays on, on the show, so.

Suzanne: Oh, good.

Hamza: Yeah.

Suzanne: And is there anything else you can tell us about what might happen in third season? Any, anything at all?

Hamza: You know, we’ll we see, We see a different version of, of, of Bash than, than we’ve seen in, in the past, you know, with this, with this contract that, that Bishop is able to, secure for him. there’s a bit more, confidence and arrogance that he can exude because he’s. Obviously he thinks very highly of himself as a doctor, and considered himself highly capable, but there’s always been this like protocol thing where you can’t prove it or, you know, it’s one more, one wrong move and you’re out kind of thing. And, and I think without that, tension or that pressure that’s being put on him, I think he’s, he’s able to flourish and, and flex his chops more as, as an individual, for better or for worse. So, you know, as far as Bash’s storyline is concerned, I think, I think we’ll see a different version of him, than, than, than what you, what you’ve seen before. Yeah.

Suzanne: I like the way they lightened him up more in the last couple of episodes and made him

Hamza: Yeah.

Suzanne: Gave him a way to sort of move forward. That was, that was well done. and do you have any other projects that you’ve been doing when you’re not shooting or promoting Transplant that you can tell us about?

Hamza: Yeah. In between season two and, Between season two and, three, I, I did two independent films, so I did my first French Canadian film by director Stephan Lale. It’s a project called Viking. And, and then I did, another feature directed by Kim Albright, starring Adam McGuire. it’s called with love and a major organ. they’re both kind of dark comedies, substantially different from transplant and, yeah, they, they were both a lot of fun and, you know, I’m sure they’re gearing up to do the, the festival circuit or something like that, in the, in the near future. So yeah, keeping an eye in an ear out for those two.

Suzanne: And is the French Canadian one in French or French and English or

Hamza: It’s it’s in, it’s in predominantly French. I speak French in the middle.

Suzanne: I was gonna say, you speak French. That’s great. How many languages do you speak? Quite a few, right?

Hamza: Like three-ish plus minus, you know what I mean? Like Urdu, English, and French. And then, you know, like technically Hindi, like if you wanna say that, like, you know, nobody really speaks Urdo anymore. Nobody really speaks Hindi anymore. We sort of kind of speak this like amalgamated, you know, Bollywood language that is kind of simplest versions of both those languages into one. Hamza: So, so yeah, Yeah. So three-ish, I don’t speak Arabic. Make sure you write that down. I learn it for the show. I can understand if they’re, you know, same root languages, but, but yeah, I don’t, I, I don’t speak that.
Suzanne: Okay. Well, great. I appreciate you talking to me so much today and, of course, hopefully there will be another one in the future. This is our third meeting. We’re like buddies now.

Hamza: Yeah, we’re homies now.

MORE INFO:

Promo

TRANSPLANT -- Season 2 -- Pictured: Hamza Haq as Bashir Hamed -- (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)

“Transplant” follows the story of Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq), a talented doctor and Syrian refugee, who fled his war-torn country with his younger sister, Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus), for a fresh start in Canada. After a truck crashes into the restaurant where he’s been working, Bash earns the chance to practice medicine again by using his field-honed skills to save multiple lives in brilliant fashion, including that of Dr. Jed Bishop (John Hannah), the Chief of Emergency Medicine at York Memorial Hospital in Toronto.

But Bash is told he’ll need to redo his residency in Emergency Medicine from the bottom and despite his obvious talents intuition, and training, starting over is not an easy road and his life experience is not a perfect match for the strict protocols at York Memorial. Through perseverance he makes inroads, developing camaraderie with his new colleagues, including the driven Dr. Magalie “Mags” LeBlanc (Laurence Leboeuf), the reserved and ambitious surgical resident Dr. June Curtis (Ayisha Issa), easy-going pediatric ER physician Dr. Theo Hunter (Jim Watson), head nurse Claire Malone (Torri Higginson) and even earning the respect of Dr. Wendy Atwater (Linda E. Smith), the department’s second-in-command who runs a very tight ship.

Jed Bishop (John Hannah), the team’s demanding, inscrutable boss, looms large and keeps everyone on their toes with a unique compassion and commitment to his staff that also connects them.

Season two picks up with Bash and his fellow residents reeling after Dr. Bishop suffers a stroke. With everything at the hospital destabilized, the place that Bash had started to consider home suddenly feels precarious. As the team adjusts to new colleagues while dealing with the challenges of life, unexpected faces from the past leave Bash seriously doubting whether his transplant into this new world was successful.

Bash’s hard work, compassion and hopefulness tell a universal story about the human ability to not only survive, but ultimately thrive when our lives suddenly change course.

Creator Joseph Kay returns as showrunner and executive producer. Director Stefan Pleszczynski joins as executive producer and will direct six episodes. Additional executive producers include Bruno Dubé, Jocelyn Deschênes, Virginia Rankin, Tara Woodbury, Josée Vallée and Adam Barken.

“Transplant” is produced by Sphere Media in association with CTV and Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Please visit the official show site at: https://www.nbc.com/transplant.

For the latest “Transplant” news, videos, and photos, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram:

https://www.facebook.com/NBCTransplant/
https://twitter.com/NBCTransplant #Transplant
https://www.instagram.com/nbctransplant/

Hamza Haq stars as Bashir “Bash” Hamed in NBC’s “Transplant,” a trained ER doctor who fled his native Syria to come to Canada. He must overcome numerous obstacles to resume his career in the high-stakes world of emergency medicine.

A Canadian Screen Award winner for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2021), Haq was also honored as one of Canada’s Rising Stars by the Hollywood Reporter in 2017.

In 2018, Haq appeared alongside William Shatner and Russell Peters as twins Amal and Gopal in the CTV miniseries “Indian Detective,” and earned critical acclaim in the CBC drama “This Life,” for which he earned a 2018 Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Guest Performance. Other notable credits include recurring roles on the Cinemax series “Jett”
opposite Carla Gugino; “Quantico,” starring Priyanka Chopra; and “The Art of More,” with Dennis Quaid and Kate Bosworth.

Additional television credits include “Designated Survivor,” “The Bold Type,” “Being Human” and “Best Laid Plans.” He hosted two seasons of the International Emmy Award-nominated children’s series “Look Kool” and plays Jassie on the CBC Gem digital original drama “The 410.” On the big screen, Haq has appeared in “Bon Cop,” “Bad Cop 2” with Colm Feore, “The Death” and “Life of John F. Donovan” directed by Xavier Dolan, Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!” and “Run This Town,” detailing the turbulent final year of Rob Ford’s tenure as the mayor of Toronto. He also had a role in “My Salinger Year,” which opened the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in 2020.

Haq is a 2020 recipient of RBC’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award and recently partnered with the Canada Media Fund’s Made | Nous campaign as ambassador to celebrate Islamic History Month. He spoke at the 2021 TEDx Toronto Fall digital event series “Uncharted,” using his public platform to speak on issues important to him, including refugees’ rights, racial
injustice and combating stereotypes, and was honored as Playback’s Breakout Star of the Year.

Raised in Ottawa, Haq is youngest of four siblings born in Saudi Arabia to Pakistani parents and has called Canada home for almost 20 years. He holds a bachelor of arts in film studies with a minor in law from Carleton University.

SciFiVision Interview with Hamza Haq 7/16/22

John Hannah and Hamza Haq of “Transplant” on NBC 3/1/22

Hamza Haq of “Transplant” on NBC 10/9/20

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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TRANSPLANT — “Free For What” Episode 213 — Pictured: (l-r) Hamza Haq as Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed, Fayçal Azzouz as Khaled — (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)

Interview with Laurence Leboeuf

TV Interview!

 

Laurence Leboeuf of "Transplant" on NBC from her film "Mirror Lake"

Interview with Laurence Leboeuf of “Transplant” on NBC by Suzanne 3/29/22

This was a very fun interview! We did it on Zoom. Unfortunately, the video recording didn’t come out. I hope you can enjoy it, anyway. She’s a wonderful actress, and I really love the show.

1. Mags struggles a bit for a while, with her mentor in the coma. Was that a challenge to play, or fun?

All of the above. It’s always a challenge to bring this character to life because she’s so complicated. Having to deal with not having her mentor around is very difficult for her, and she has to learn how to cope. It’s like her lighthouse has drowned.

2. Then everyone has to contend with the obnoxious new doctor who takes Bishop’s place for awhile, Mark. How was it, welcoming a new actor into the dynamic of the show?

Oh, well, Gord (the actor who plays Mark) is amazing. We had a lot of fun and he fit right in with the rest of us. We were surprised at how well. Even though we hate the character, we liked him as a person. He puts Mags through a lot and makes her doubt herself.

3. Then Mags and Bashir almost kiss and have some awkward moments. When did you know that Mags and Bashir might become a “thing?”

From the beginning, Mags has found him attractive because he’s so smart and has his own unique way of doing things.

4. Without giving us any spoilers, what other challenges does Mags have this season?

Mags has some major changes. She gets interested in cardiology because of what happens with a patient, and it’s really a big deal for her.

5. Now that you’ve been playing her for two seasons, is there anything you’ve learned from her?

I really admire her. She’s very smart and caring. I always want her to be like the Hermione Grainger of the show – the smartest person in the room who comes in and gets the job done.

6. Any fun behind-the-scenes stories you can share?

Oh, there are so many. It’s hard to think of one on the spot. We just have a lot of fun. The only thing I can think of right now is that when we have a lot of medical dialogue to memorize, we joke around a lot about it. We get to know it so well that we know each other’s dialogue, and we rap it or do fun things with it.

7. Do you have any other projects you’re working on besides Transplant?

Not right now because it’s a 10 month shoot, so it takes up all of my time.

8. What has the fan response been like for you so far?

It’s been wonderful. Fans have been really nice and it’s great that we have so many fans and viewers. Now it’s crossed over the border, so that’s nice.

9. Anything else you’d like to say to the fans?

Just thank you for watching and I hope you enjoy this season.

Check out our previous interview with her!

MORE INFO:

Laurence Leboeuf

Dr. Magalie “Mags” Leblanc

TRANSPLANT -- Season 2 -- Pictured: Laurence Leboeuf as Magalie Leblanc -- (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)
Laurence Leboeuf is an award-winning actress from Montreal who stars as Dr. Magalie “Mags” Leblanc in NBC’s “Transplant.” Mags is a ferociously analytical resident who pushes herself relentlessly.

The bilingual actress (French and English) has been acting professionally since 10 years old and rose to stardom with multiple award nominations and wins. She has continuously booked leading roles in both television and film of French Canadian and English-Canadian productions.

Award wins for Leboeuf include the Gemeaux Awards (French Canadian Emmys) for Best Actress in the series “Les Lavigueur,” Best Supporting Actress for her role in the series “Musee Eden” and Best Actress for her role in the series “Marche A. L’ombre,” which also won her the Best Leading Actress award at the French Festival Séries Mania. She also won Best Actress for “Human Trafficking” (featuring Mira Sorvino and Donald Sutherland) at the ACTRA Awards (English Canadian SAG Awards). For her film work, Leboeuf won at the Prix Iris Awards (previously Jutra Awards) for Best Supporting Actress in “My Daughter, My Angel.” Her indie action-comedy film “Turbo Kid” was widely received at the Sundance Film Festival.

Leboeuf was born to actor-parents and grew up surrounded by creative arts. Her dad owned a stage theater for 18 years, which allowed Leboeuf to explore the behind-the-scenes of the craft. She is driven by the passion of acting and the need to be creative with plans to produce and write. Leboeuf enjoys reading and staying active with running, snowboarding and loves to travel.

Transplant

Sundays on NBC (10-11 p.m. ET); Season Premiere: March 6

“Transplant” follows the story of Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq), a talented doctor and Syrian refugee, who fled his war-torn country with his younger sister, Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus), for a fresh start in Canada. After a truck crashes into the restaurant where he’s been working, Bash earns the chance to practice medicine again by using his field-honed skills to save multiple lives in brilliant fashion, including that of Dr. Jed Bishop (John Hannah), the Chief of Emergency Medicine at York Memorial Hospital in Toronto.

But Bash is told he’ll need to redo his residency in Emergency Medicine from the bottom and despite his obvious talents intuition, and training, starting over is not an easy road and his life experience is not a perfect match for the strict protocols at York Memorial. Through perseverance he makes inroads, developing camaraderie with his new colleagues, including the driven Dr. Magalie “Mags” LeBlanc (Laurence Leboeuf), the reserved and ambitious surgical resident Dr. June Curtis (Ayisha Issa), easy-going pediatric ER physician Dr. Theo Hunter (Jim Watson), head nurse Claire Malone (Torri Higginson) and even earning the respect of Dr. Wendy Atwater (Linda E. Smith), the department’s second-in-command who runs a very tight ship.

Jed Bishop (John Hannah), the team’s demanding, inscrutable boss, looms large and keeps everyone on their toes with a unique compassion and commitment to his staff that also connects them.

Season two picks up with Bash and his fellow residents reeling after Dr. Bishop suffers a stroke. With everything at the hospital destabilized, the place that Bash had started to consider home suddenly feels precarious. As the team adjusts to new colleagues while dealing with the challenges of life, unexpected faces from the past leave Bash seriously doubting whether his transplant into this new world was successful.

Bash’s hard work, compassion and hopefulness tell a universal story about the human ability to not only survive, but ultimately thrive when our lives suddenly change course.

Creator Joseph Kay returns as showrunner and executive producer. Director Stefan Pleszczynski joins as executive producer and will direct six episodes. Additional executive producers include Bruno Dubé, Jocelyn Deschênes, Virginia Rankin, Tara Woodbury, Josée Vallée and Adam Barken.

“Transplant” is produced by Sphere Media in association with CTV and Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Please visit the official show site at: https://www.nbc.com/transplant.

For the latest “Transplant” news, videos, and photos, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram:

https://www.facebook.com/NBCTransplant/
https://twitter.com/NBCTransplant #Transplant
https://www.instagram.com/nbctransplant/

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

Back to the Primetime Articles and Interviews Page

Laurence Leboeuf of "Transplant" on NBC

Interview with Hamza Haq and John Hannah

TV Interview!

John Hannah and Hamza Haq of "Transplant" on NBC

Interview with John Hannah and Hamza Haq of “Transplant” on NBC by Suzanne 3/1/22

This was a fun chat. I interviewed Hamza in 2020. It was great to meet John Hannah. He’s been in so many wonderful shows and movies that I love, like “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Damages,” “Spartacus,” “The Mummy,” “Alias,” and his starring role in “McCallum.”

Suzanne: How are you guys doing?

Hamza: Wonderful.

Suzanne: Nice to meet you, John.

John: Nice to meet you, Suzanne.

Suzanne: And Hamza. It’s great to see you again.

Hamza: Nice to see you too.

Suzanne: You cut your hair. I don’t recognize you.

John: Is that for work, Hamza?

Hamza: Yeah.

John: You working just now?

Hamza: Yeah, I just wrapped yesterday.

John: Okay, good, good. Sorry, Suzanne.

Suzanne: That’s okay. Is this a movie that you just wrapped?

Hamza: Yeah, I just dropped this surreal indie comedy movie that I’m filming here in Montreal, or Vancouver, rather, directed by Kim Albright and starring Anna McGuire. So, it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun.

Suzanne: Does it have a title?

Hamza: It’s called With Love and a Major Organ.

Suzanne: That sounds like an indie title, doesn’t it?

Hamza: Very much, yeah.

Suzanne: Yeah, so when did you guys film season two? Because when I talked to you in 2020, you hadn’t started filming yet?

John: Yeah, we didn’t start until 2021. We were supposed to start late 2020, and then it got pushed and shoved and pulled and pushed, and we ended up starting late February 2020 – 2021, sorry, I’m all mixed up. This is ‘22 isn’t it?

Suzanne: Yeah. What year is it? I don’t know.

John: It’s just about a week ago. This time last year, actually.

Hamza: Yeah.

Suzanne: Oh, wow. Okay, that’s a long time. Do you remember what happened? It takes like a year. [laughs]

John: Well there were these doctors…

Suzanne: So, in the first episode Bash says everything changes, which seems to set the tone for the season, wouldn’t you say?

Hamza: I would. I did. Yeah, it’s just yeah, it there’re so many new elements that the wonderful thing about how it’s been written and how it was presented is that like any bit of comfort that anybody found in in season one is thrown into chaos in season two, right from the off. So, we see everybody just swim through that chaos.

Suzanne: Bishop actually had a pretty bad season one, because he was shot in the head, and then had a stroke.

John: I was drilled, but it saved my life. I made dumb choices.

Suzanne: It was funny, when I saw that with him drilling in your head, because there used to be a soap opera called Port Charles, and the very first episode was a spin off from General Hospital, very first episode, they had that same thing. The intern drilled with a regular drill into this woman’s head, and everybody’s like, “Oh, that’s ridiculous. That’s ridiculous.” Apparently, it’s no longer ridiculous.

John: I mean, it’s not necessarily the way doctors would choose to do it, but needs must, you know, when the devil rides.

Hamza: Like the equivalent of like tying a string to your tooth and closing the door when you need to extract, you know what I mean? It’s kind of the same thing. A dentist wouldn’t do it, but it worked.

Suzanne: Or like when they always seem to do a medical shows when somebody is having that problem breathing, and they stick the inner lining of the pen and tube, and then it happens so much. I’m sure it doesn’t happen that much in real life, but it always happened on every medical show.

Hamza: I haven’t I haven’t done it yet, but it’s early in the day.

Suzanne: So, there’re a lot of politics in this season. John, can you talk about what Bishop faces this season, all of the things that he faced?

John: Yeah, I mean, Bishop kind of played a bit fast and loose with what he should have done and should have declared and his own health in season one, and that got us to where it got him to, back in bed. And season two in a lot of ways is navigating through those choices, politics. It’s corporate politics, really, isn’t it? I mean, the medical profession is no different from any other corporation, and for somebody to get to the top, they have to be fairly skilled at kind of maneuvering as well as being talented at the hospital, at the medical stuff and man management. So, yeah, he deals a lot with that. And the second season, which is kind of interesting, I think that we have the medical procedures, the things that happen. We have the human side of it, and then there is this corporate shark infested water that is, again, perhaps from a liberal point of view, he’s cynically trying to manipulate to hold on to his position.

Suzanne: And we saw this guy come in, Mark Novak, while he was unavailable. Then, we saw, I believe, six episodes, and he leaves at the end. Does he come back later this season? Can you tell us if you’re allowed to?

Hamza: We’re not.

John: Are we not? [unintelligible] I think he’s there and it sets up this conflict in styles, and I think that that works well, in terms of the the jeopardy that it puts pressure upon his history with Novak. It also puts Hamza’s character in a lot of jeopardy as well, because, obviously, I have a sort of protective cloak around them. So, I mean, I think anybody who understands drama would look at it and say there’s a lot of potential there. So, chances are, he comes back.

Suzanne: Okay, and Hamza, your character, he’s actually doing pretty well at first, it seems like. He gets an apartment of his own, or house of his own, and his girl girlfriend – fiancé – comes back to life. And he’s got something going on there with Mags maybe, and then his fiancé shows up and kind of throws a wrench into that. What can you talk about this season with regards to that?

Hamza: Well, we see Bash struggle a lot with the life that he’s creating for himself versus the life that he thought he lost. It’s more about, obviously, in that respect, not any of the medical drama stuff, because there’s a lot of stuff that happens there as well, and Bash gets roped into the politics of the inner workings of the [unintelligible].

John: He’s in the firing line as well, isn’t it?

Hamza: Yeah, there’re a few things that happen where Bishop and Bash’s personal and professional relationship [is] tested quite a bit, in terms of how they’re gonna move forward, and the same can be said about Bash and Raniya, his fiancé who comes back. She’s a representation of a life that he had lost, and now, the potential to bring that up again, and to restart and pick up where they left off, it’s a very exciting thing for Bash, and it’s something that he jumps into head on. It’s not until a little bit later in the season that he starts to feel that maybe he wasn’t in the same mental and emotional space that he was five years ago, because he absolutely isn’t. Everything has, like I said, changed, and he’s now moved away from the man that he used to be, and we’ll see how it tests that relationship, not only with Raniya, but with his sister, Amira, and with Mags as well.

Suzanne: And I can’t wait to see what happens next with his little sister, because the last one I saw was when Raniya was leaving, I’m sure she’s not gonna be too happy about that.

Hamza: No, she is not. I can say that much.

Suzanne: Right, and at least he’s going through therapy now. So, that also probably puts him in a different place like you were talking about.

Hamza: Yes.

Suzanne: I don’t think I would want a doctor who’s having hallucinations. Maybe it’s just me.

Hamza: You don’t know; maybe they’re having them already. You never know. If he saves the life and you get the job done, then his hallucinations are his own business, you know? [laughs]

Suzanne: Yes, in TV. In real life, I don’t know about that. Maybe you might pick up something by accident. It’s not a drill when he needs to get your head, you never know. So, how many episodes total are there? I’ve seen six.

Hamza: There’s seven more to go.

Suzanne: Seven more. Oh, good. So, it is actually thirteen this season. That’s good to know. And anything else that you’d like to tell us about the season, or anything else you’ve got going on, John?

John: I mean, I just I think the show, it keeps twisting and turning, as you say. There’s the politics of it, which is the jeopardy that we’re both in, and that puts a strain on our relationship, our closeness, which I think’s natural. It shakes it up a bit. Everyone’s in jeopardy with what’s going on. The guy on the right has keep it going for the whole thirteen, I think. Hamza, you?

Hamza: Yeah, I just think that just from a storyline perspective, we got very lucky with season two that the writers gave so much richness to all the characters, and we really dive a lot deeper into everybody, and not just, you know, you’re talking to Bishop and Bashir now, but, for fans of the show, everybody across the board has a much richer, more well balanced, like, human story to tell. Like, we dive into Mag’s personal life. Theo’s exploring his, you know, the contentiousness of him being this traveling doctor, and his being apart from his family, and then the relationship between June and her father, and also like her struggle between the two surgical residents as well, or surgical attendings rather, and it’s just so much more well balanced and dives into an emotional depth and a storyline interest that we didn’t see in in season one across the board for everybody. So, I hope everybody appreciates that, because there was a concerted effort to make sure that we see these characters as full rounded humans, and having seen the second season, I think we achieve that.

Suzanne: And are you allowed to tell us whether your character and Mags are ever going to actually kiss?

Hamza: No, as in, “no, I’m not allowed to tell you.”

Suzanne: Okay, I have to figure that happens at some point.

John: [unintelligible] know that you don’t or know that you do?

Hamza: I’m not allowed to say.

Suzanne: Well, I think I’m gonna guess that they are, just because they keep coming so close, but you never know; it’s TV.

Hamza: Tune in next week to see more on Transplant! Will Bash and Mags kiss? Will Bishop finally get – you know?

Suzanne: We want to know these things. You’ve got to have those ships nowadays. And John, what about your character and Claire? Is there anything you can tell us about that?

John: Yeah, I mean, there’s a second chances. I think the theme for Bishop is very much second season, second chances, and that’s true for Claire. That’s true for his relationship with Claire as well, and maybe this is the right time for them to come together, but, again, there’re some twists and turns in that the difference between what you think you want, and what really happens is, you know, we maybe take those choices and then discover that it wasn’t right, or maybe we don’t take them and wish that we had. I don’t want to give too much away, but there is certainly a journey that they go on together, and they care for each other deeply. They’ve had a lot of time together. That doesn’t necessarily always make it an easy path, though. As Hamza was saying, [it’s] the second season, so we’re not introducing the character[s]. We know the refugee story. Hamza is now embedded in the hospital, and that allows the time to spread out with the other characters via Hamza, and as we get to know them spin off on those other stories, which I think gives the show a richer tapestry. Not at all Hamza to say that it wasn’t rich before, but as you were mentioning, it allows us to get to know those other characters also.

Hamza: One hundred percent.

Suzanne: All right. Well, thank you guys. I appreciate you taking the time today, and I hope you don’t have too many other press that you have to talk to and that you have a great rest of your day.

John: Oh no, it’s always a pleasure. I mean, we spend eight months doing the show. It takes ten minutes to talk to someone to get the word out there, and that’s what hopefully brings the audience in. So, thank you for talking to us.

Suzanne: Great, thank you so much. Bye.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

MORE INFO:

Transplant

Sundays on NBC (10-11 p.m. ET); Season Premiere: March 6

“Transplant” follows the story of Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq), a talented doctor and Syrian refugee, who fled his war-torn country with his younger sister, Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus), for a fresh start in Canada. After a truck crashes into the restaurant where he’s been working, Bash earns the chance to practice medicine again by using his field-honed skills to save multiple lives in brilliant fashion, including that of Dr. Jed Bishop (John Hannah), the Chief of Emergency Medicine at York Memorial Hospital in Toronto.

But Bash is told he’ll need to redo his residency in Emergency Medicine from the bottom and despite his obvious talents intuition, and training, starting over is not an easy road and his life experience is not a perfect match for the strict protocols at York Memorial. Through perseverance he makes inroads, developing camaraderie with his new colleagues, including the driven Dr. Magalie “Mags” LeBlanc (Laurence Leboeuf), the reserved and ambitious surgical resident Dr. June Curtis (Ayisha Issa), easy-going pediatric ER physician Dr. Theo Hunter (Jim Watson), head nurse Claire Malone (Torri Higginson) and even earning the respect of Dr. Wendy Atwater (Linda E. Smith), the department’s second-in-command who runs a very tight ship.

Jed Bishop (John Hannah), the team’s demanding, inscrutable boss, looms large and keeps everyone on their toes with a unique compassion and commitment to his staff that also connects them.

Season two picks up with Bash and his fellow residents reeling after Dr. Bishop suffers a stroke. With everything at the hospital destabilized, the place that Bash had started to consider home suddenly feels precarious. As the team adjusts to new colleagues while dealing with the challenges of life, unexpected faces from the past leave Bash seriously doubting whether his transplant into this new world was successful.

Bash’s hard work, compassion and hopefulness tell a universal story about the human ability to not only survive, but ultimately thrive when our lives suddenly change course.

Creator Joseph Kay returns as showrunner and executive producer. Director Stefan Pleszczynski joins as executive producer and will direct six episodes. Additional executive producers include Bruno Dubé, Jocelyn Deschênes, Virginia Rankin, Tara Woodbury, Josée Vallée and Adam Barken.

“Transplant” is produced by Sphere Media in association with CTV and Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Please visit the official show site at: https://www.nbc.com/transplant.

For the latest “Transplant” news, videos, and photos, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram:

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John Hannah

Dr. Jed Bishop

TRANSPLANT -- Season 2 -- Pictured: John Hannah as Jed Bishop -- (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)
John David Hannah stars as Dr. Jed Bishop, the legendary, elusive and inscrutable Chief of Emergency Medicine who keeps his staff on their toes and always at the ready, in NBC’s drama “Transplant.”

Hannah came to prominence in “Four Weddings and a Funeral, for which he was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. His other film appearances include “Sliding Doors” and “The Mummy” trilogy.

His television roles include “McCallum,” “Rebus,” “New Street Law,” “Cold Blood,” “Spartacus,” “A Touch of Cloth,” “Atlantis,” “Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” “Overboard” and “Trust Me.”

Hamza Haq

Bashir “Bash” Hamed

TRANSPLANT -- Season 2 -- Pictured: Hamza Haq as Bashir Hamed -- (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)
Hamza Haq stars as Bashir “Bash” Hamed in NBC’s “Transplant,” a trained ER doctor who fled his native Syria to come to Canada. He must overcome numerous obstacles to resume his career in the high-stakes world of emergency medicine.

A Canadian Screen Award winner for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2021), Haq was also honored as one of Canada’s Rising Stars by the Hollywood Reporter in 2017.

In 2018, Haq appeared alongside William Shatner and Russell Peters as twins Amal and Gopal in the CTV miniseries “Indian Detective,” and earned critical acclaim in the CBC drama “This Life,” for which he earned a 2018 Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Guest Performance. Other notable credits include recurring roles on the Cinemax series “Jett”
opposite Carla Gugino; “Quantico,” starring Priyanka Chopra; and “The Art of More,” with Dennis Quaid and Kate Bosworth.

Additional television credits include “Designated Survivor,” “The Bold Type,” “Being Human” and “Best Laid Plans.” He hosted two seasons of the International Emmy Award-nominated children’s series “Look Kool” and plays Jassie on the CBC Gem digital original drama “The 410.” On the big screen, Haq has appeared in “Bon Cop,” “Bad Cop 2” with Colm Feore, “The Death” and “Life of John F. Donovan” directed by Xavier Dolan, Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!” and “Run This Town,” detailing the turbulent final year of Rob Ford’s tenure as the mayor of Toronto. He also had a role in “My Salinger Year,” which opened the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in 2020.

Haq is a 2020 recipient of RBC’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award and recently partnered with the Canada Media Fund’s Made | Nous campaign as ambassador to celebrate Islamic History Month. He spoke at the 2021 TEDx Toronto Fall digital event series “Uncharted,” using his public platform to speak on issues important to him, including refugees’ rights, racial
injustice and combating stereotypes, and was honored as Playback’s Breakout Star of the Year.

Raised in Ottawa, Haq is youngest of four siblings born in Saudi Arabia to Pakistani parents and has called Canada home for almost 20 years. He holds a bachelor of arts in film studies with a minor in law from Carleton University.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

Back to the Primetime Articles and Interviews Page

John Hannah and Hamza Haq of "Transplant" on NBC

Interview with Hamza Haq

TV Interview!

Hanza Haq of "Transplant" (photo from Fabrice Gaetan/Sphere Media/NBC)

Interview with Hamza Haq of “Transplant” on NBC by Suzanne 10/9/20

It was great to speak with Hamza, who’s a smart, thoughtful guy, clearly on the rise. I’m enjoying watching his work on this show.  If you haven’t watched “Transplant,” yet, you’re really missing out.

Suzanne:   So, tell us how the audition for your show went. I know it was a while ago now.

Hamza:  Well, I had a pre-existing relationship with both CTV, the network, and Joe, the showrunner, on two different shows. So, when they decided to partner up together, I was kind of the unofficial front runner…[But then] they wanted a Syrian for the role. So, they told me, you know, “We all wanted you to play it, but we’re really going to make a concerted effort to try to find a Syrian within Canada to really tell the story.”

As much as I didn’t like losing a part, if there was Pakistani character that I didn’t even get to read for, I would have been quite upset. So, I just accepted that that was the way that it was gonna be.

Then they did their due diligence, and they searched for actors of Syrian decent across Canada for several months, and I was just fortunate that they couldn’t find him.

I’m sure…just given the nature of the opportunity certain people get and what they hear about it, you know, I ended up getting the part, and I’ve been doing my best to do justice to it ever since.

Suzanne:   Great.

(crosstalk)

Have you started shooting season two yet?

Hamza:  We have not. We have not. We were slated for August, and here we are in cozy old October, still waiting. You know, frustration aside, everybody’s very happy to make sure that we provide a safe environment for everybody to work and all that jazz, cope with precautions, etc, etc.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I hope they start on that soon, because, the the daytime soaps here in the US have already started all back. They just do it very safely. I don’t know the details, but I guess they test everyone regularly, and everyone wears masks, and whatever else they do. Some of the other shows, I think some of the primetime shows, have started, but you never know, right?

Hamza:  Absolutely not.

Suzanne:   Did you do any research for the role before you started filming it?

Hamza:  Oh, of course, I mean, as far as the medical stuff is concerned, we’re all very happy that we had – first things first, the writers did all their research to make sure that everything was medically accurate. Then all of us on the cast, we went to boot camp to try to, you know, choreograph all the things that we have to do in trauma situations and surgeries and all of those things. So, that was taken care of.

As far as character is concerned, I was given several documentaries and readings and novels to sort of get into the mindset and really understand better the the conflict that happened and is currently happening in Syria still ten years after the fact, you know, since [then], and just trying to understand and have conversations with people who went through it or something similar. We had a wide range of consultants who lived this exact experience, who were able to be very generous with their time and their experiences. So, all that money [went] to bringing this to life.

Suzanne:   Great. And what about your accent? What are you basing that on?

Hamza:  So, I had a couple of dialect coaches to help get the accent right. Then there was some fine tuning based on the region that he [is from]. You know, he’s from Aleppo, so we tried to get that regional accent but also tried to use a little bit of the fact that he may have gone to school in more of an upper scale, maybe British, educational system, that kind of thing. So, there’re a couple subtleties here that aren’t completely, you know, Syrian Syrian, but it’s sort of an amalgamation of his life experiences. So, I worked with about three or four people tirelessly, and three of them were actually Syrian refugees. So, I was very happy to have that experience – fortunate, rather.

Suzanne:   Wow. So, it’s very authentic, in a lot of ways, this show.

Hamza:  We’re doing our best, I think. With such an important story, I think everybody is just going to try to do their best to do justice to the story and the experiences of the people who went through it. So, I think authenticity was definitely the goal, and I certainly hope we hit it in a lot of areas. And there’s a lot of areas yet to go, and, hopefully, we’ll hit those in seasons two, three, etc.

Suzanne:   I saw a video of you, and you had tattoos on your hands. Do they have to cover those up with makeup when you do the show?

Hamza:  No…it was just Henna.

Suzanne:   Oh, temporary?

Hamza:  I had a little red carpet affair in Berlin, and I like to flex my own culture and get a little South Asian Henna done before the ceremony or whatever. So, yeah, that was fun, but it it faded within four or five days.

Suzanne:   Okay, so it was temporary. So, were you surprised when the show got picked up for TV in the US?

Hamza:  I’m cocky, but no. It’s a very good show; the goal was to try to get as many eyes on it as possible. It’s a very universal story. So, we heard, “Hey, they have enough faith in the show that they’re gonna take this to American audiences,” and everything like that. So, I will say I was very happy when it happened, but surprised, no. It was like, “Well yes.” The fact that it happened, you know, we’re all very fortunate. We’re very blessed with the getting such tremendous feedback from American audiences. Also, it’s very nice.

Suzanne:   Oh, good. So, you’ve gotten a lot of fan reaction?

Hamza:  Yeah, I mean, I’m not on Twitter, which is where a lot of those things happen, so, I hear about a lot of these things, which is really great. The numbers don’t lie, either, you know, the team will [be] like, “We held 4 million or $3 million,” or however many it was. That’s just great. So, I would imagine that if people are maintaining it, there’s x amount of million people watching it every day, I would imagine that it’s generally positive, that those who are watching it are enjoying it. So, I’m happy about that.

Suzanne:   Well, I see you on Instagram. Is that not you? Or somebody posting for you?

Hamza:  No, Instagram is me; Instagram is me, but I try not to get too big headed. So, I don’t read all the comments. It’s really easy for me to get big headed, and I love the attention, and I love all that stuff. But I try my best not to lean too far into it. I’m grateful. I’m grateful, yes, everybody commenting on my eyelashes. I appreciate it. Yes, they are real. Yes, I’m sorry that a lot of people have to spend a lot of money getting these eyelashes, but, sorry, I got them from my dad.

Suzanne:   So, how are you and Bashir different besides the obvious, like not being Syrian.

Hamza:  Bashir has a tremendous amount of confidence in who he is as a person. His ability to stay steadfast in decision making outside of his work is something that I very much look up to; I’m very easily influenced by other people. I’m quite insecure about a lot of things, and Bashir has this very, you know, fortified sense of self and a sense of identity, which is something that I’m working towards.

Where we’re similar, is our brashness and our arrogance when it comes to the jobs that we do. I [lose] the insecurity as soon as I’m on set. I feel like I know what I’m doing, and I feel like I can tell a story. And sometimes, I would say, not to the degree that Bashir is, I can rub people the wrong way in terms of, you know, like me arguing with the director or the writer that this is the way that it should be done and everything like that. I don’t think it gets to a point where I’m ever yelling or going behind someone’s back being sneaky about anything, but when it comes to work, I think we’re both similarly confident in what we do.

Suzanne:   The only problems he seems to have, is the whole PTSD and not wanting to get help for it and maybe a little too much pride that some people have, you know, not wanting to get help, not admitting that he has problems.

Hamza:  Yeah, that’s a predominantly male issue, I think. I think a lot of guys can relate to that. That wasn’t too far of a stretch for me either, like, “No, I got it. It’s fine.”

Suzanne:   What can you tell us about working with Sirena, who plays your little sister?

Hamza:  Oh, those are easiest scenes. I feel so connected to her and protective of her. You know, a young actress comes on to set, and you just want to make sure that she’s doing okay, and it was very easy. I see her as my little sister, and I want her to succeed, and I want her to be safe. I want her to have fun and learn and all of those things. So, you know, the dialogue just lent itself to this very immediate connection that the two of us already had. So, it was beautiful. Like, it’s not difficult to want to provide, you know, to want to make the world a better place for Amira, or Sirena as well.

Suzanne:   Yeah, the scenes with her, you can tell that you like her, and she’s adorable. So, I can’t imagine even now.

Hamza:  Yeah, she’s really cool. Easily she’s gonna be the biggest star out of this. Right now I’ll go on record saying she’s going to be the biggest star out of all of us, mark my words.

Suzanne:   Do you have any funny stories about filming the show?

Hamza:  I have several. I just don’t know what I’m allowed to say.

Did you know John Hannah was in The Mummy? He hates that I keep bringing that up, but I would say that on the first day that we all met, I was so excited when I heard that he was going to be a part of the show. And I thought we waited a whole 30 seconds before we yelled that at him. I was like, “I’ve seen that movie like one hundred times. It’s my favorite movie,” and stuff like that. I think the more I say it, the more it grinds his gears a bit, but I’m never gonna stop doing it.

Suzanne:   Oh, that’s funny.

Hamza:  Yeah, I mean, the whole thing was really fun. Like, you know, we would all get together after work, like often party together. You know, we went rock climbing with Jim Watson, and we did Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Ayisha Issa, you know what I mean? You know, anytime we wanted a good restaurant to go to (unintelligible) incredible, you know, recommendation, and she could get those reservations too. So, it was just everybody brought their own thing to it. And we just loved each other from go.

Suzanne:   Oh, that’s cool. That’s great. Yeah, it’s it’s a great cast. I enjoy it. I liked him; he was in so many great TV shows. And Tori Higginson, she was wonderful in Stargate Atlantis. I don’t know if you ever saw that show.

Hamza:  Yeah, I worked with her on the show in Canada as well, called This Life. That’s where I worked with Joseph Kay before. So, it was really nice when she joined the team as well.

Suzanne:   Oh, cool. That’s nice. Yeah, it’s always nice to see people you know, already. Is there anything else that you’d like to tell your fans?

Hamza:  Keep on watching. I’m grateful that people are learning so much about Muslim culture and Arab culture and, you know, go up there and vote. Register to vote and make your voices heard.

Suzanne:   Well, thank you. And I really enjoyed the show. I’ve been watching it. NBC let me have all the episodes, but I like to watch them on the TV. So, I enjoy it. And I’ve been telling everybody to watch it. So, good luck, and I hope – and you said you already have a second season right? You just haven’t filmed it yet.

Hamza:  Yeah, we’ve been picked up, and we’re we’re in limbo, like much of the world. But, hopefully, as soon as we get we get the go ahead, we’ll be all like tremendously happy to continue telling the story.

Here is the audio version of it.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

MORE INFO:

Bashir “Bash” Hamed

 

“Transplant”

Hamza Haq stars as Bashir “Bash” Hamed, the new ER doctor who fled his native Syria and must overcome numerous obstacles to resume his career in the high-stakes world of emergency medicine, in NBC’s drama “Transplant.”

Raised in Ottawa, Haq is the youngest of four siblings born in Saudi Arabia to Pakistani parents and has called Canada home for almost 20 years.

His television credits include the CTV miniseries “Indian Detective,” opposite William Shatner, Russell Peters and Anupam Kher; the CBC Gem crime-drama miniseries “The 410”; and the CBC drama “This Life,” which garnered critical acclaim and earned him a 2018 Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Guest Performance.

He has had recurring roles on the Cinemax series “Jett,” starring Carla Gugino; “Quantico,” opposite Priyanka Chopra; and “The Art of More,” co-starring Dennis Quaid and Kate Bosworth. Other notable credits include “Designated Survivor,” “The Bold Type,” “Being Human,” “Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays” and “Best Laid Plans.” Haq also served as host of the TVOKids program “Look Kool.”

On the big screen, he’s held supporting roles in “Bon Cop Bad Cop 2,” with Colm Feore; “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan,” directed by Xavier Dolan; Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!”; “Run this Town,” opposite Mena Massoud and Nina Dobrev; and most recently, “My Salinger Year,” starring Margaret Qualley and Sigourney Weaver.

In 2017, he was named one of Canada’s Rising Stars by the Hollywood Reporter. Haq holds a Bachelor of Arts in film studies with a minor in law from Carleton University.

August 2020

“TRANSPLANT”

Premiere: Sept. 1, 2020

When Dr. Bashir Hamed (Hamza Haq, “Quantico”), a charismatic Syrian doctor with battle-tested skills in emergency medicine, flees his war-torn homeland, he and younger sister Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus) become refugees, struggling to forge a new life in Canada. But if Bash ever wants to be a doctor again, he must redo his medical training from the ground up and obtaining a coveted residency position is nearly impossible.

When a horrific truck crash nearly kills a senior doctor right in front of him, Bash saves the doctor’s life and earns a residency in the biggest Emergency Department of the best hospital in Toronto.

Yet for all Bash’s experience, it’s a tough road. Bash’s training is different, his life experience are unique to him and he’s not an exact match for his new colleagues, who include Dr. Magalie “Mags” LeBlanc (Laurence Leboeuf, “The Disappearance”), a ferociously analytical second-year resident who pushes herself relentlessly; Dr. June Curtis (Ayisha Issa, “Polar”), a reserved, ambitious surgical resident whose loyalty doesn’t come easily; and Dr. Theo Hunter (Jim Watson, “Mary Kills People”), a pediatric Emergency Fellow whose small-town upbringing is cracking wide open as life at the hospital changes his worldview.

The team works tirelessly to save lives and win the approval of the legendary head of the Emergency Department, Dr. Jed Bishop (John Hannah, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), all the while managed by sharp-eyed, acerbic Dr. Wendy Atwater (Linda E. Smith, “19-2”) and supported by longtime head nurse, the deadpan, confident Claire Malone (Torri Higginson, “This Life”).

Through it all, Bash tries to meet the demand of his new country and new job, while trying to pay the bills, raise his little sister and carve out a new life for them both in this unfamiliar land. It’s a journey that’s universal to people everywhere. Bash aims high and is determined to succeed, and those around are quick to see that his passion and hopefulness are contagious. But will his newfound life reject him, or will this “transplant” take?

A major success story as CTV’s the most-watched Canadian series in total viewers this broadcast year, “Transplant” will showcase its bold and powerful storytelling to a brand-new audience.

Joseph Kay, Jocelyn Deschênes, Bruno Dubé, Randy Lennox, Virginia Rankin, Jeremy Spry and Tara Woodbury serve as executive producers.

“Transplant” is produced by Sphere Media in association with CTV and NBCUniversal International Studios, a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios.

August 2020

Please visit the official show site at: https://www.nbc.com/transplant.

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Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Hanza Haq of "Transplant" (photo from Fabrice Gaetan/Sphere Media/NBC) TRANSPLANT -- "Trigger Warning" Episode 106 -- Pictured: (l-r) Hamza Haq as Dr. Bashir "Bash" Hamed, Jihn Hannah as Dr.Jed Bishop -- (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)