'Black Box' Star Kelly Reilly Previews Her New Medical Series About a Bipolar Doctor and the Brain Cases She Treats
Kelly Reilly in 'Black Box'
The brain is the biggest mystery of all time — one that, despite modern medicine and technological advancements, humans have yet to solve.
The mysterious brain is at the heart of ABC's new medical drama, "Black Box." But it's not just patients who come in with neurological disorders — the brilliant doctor, Catherine Black, is bipolar herself.
As star Kelly Reilly told Yahoo TV, "There's nothing wrong with having bipolar [disorder], and there's nothing wrong with being a doctor while she's bipolar, as long as she's dedicated to her health and well-being." The interesting twist is that in the show, Catherine has decided to stop taking her medication.
Watch a sneak peek:
Learn more from Reilly about the fascinating cases in the show, Catherine's relationship to her psychiatrist (played by Vanessa Redgrave), and why the doctor can't stop dancing.
Catherine makes the crucial decision to go off her meds. Do you think it makes her a better doctor?
Absolutely not. I don't think going off her medication is a good thing. It's something that happens to people a lot, it's a very common, documented thing that happens to someone with bipolar disorder who hasn't come to terms with their illness. I'm not doing a documentary on bipolar disorder; I'm doing a very specific character. I've spoken to so many wonderful people who have bipolar who live incredibly balanced, happy, relatively normal lives — professionals, a lot of very capable, very interesting, and creative people. I'm not interested in the sob story. I'm interested in the truth of all those facets.
It sounds as if you did a lot of research.
I immersed myself. As an actor, my job is to try to portray something truthfully. I felt a responsibility to a community of people who live with this. I want it to be right. I want it to be nuanced. That's what I had to learn about — the great things about this disorder and the ugly side of it, as well. I also spoke to a lot of neurologists for the other side of her. I didn't really know anything about neurological disorders, so I had to go and become a student and find out the kind of person who's drawn to the science of neurology. It's the most mysterious part of medicine. So much is unknown about the brain — that's why it's called the black box. As Catherine says, it's the ultimate mystery.