Ben Whishaw is set to star in upcoming BBC One dramedy This Is Going to Hurt later this month.
Adapted from former doctor Adam Kay's memoir, the series is set in a labour ward and recounts the highs and lows of being a junior doctor on the NHS's frontlines.
Whishaw plays the on-screen version of Adam Kay, and recently spoke to Radio Times magazine about how the series opened his eyes to the harsh realities faced by health professionals.
“The thing that the show has done for me in terms of opening my eyes is just the sheer levels of exhaustion,” Whishaw said. “It shouldn’t be shocking because it’s so obvious if you think about what these people are actually doing and dealing with every day. But I don’t think we’re encouraged to reflect on that. I think we take it for granted, actually."
He added: “One of the things that the show is trying to do is draw attention to the emotional and mental cost of working for the NHS and ask the question: what can we do about that? And what is our responsibility to these people and to each other generally?”
The series is especially poignant after the pandemic shed light on the sacrifices NHS staff have had to make.
Whishaw is joined by an equally talented cast that includes Dame Harriet Walter as Adam's mother, Alex Jennings as his boss and Rory Fleck Byrne as his boyfriend.
You can read the full interview in this week's print issue of Radio Times, out now.