Australian actress Melissa George witnessed a real-life heart surgery in preparation for her role in the medical TV show Heartbeat.
The 10-episode series takes viewers inside the life of heart surgeon Dr Alex Panttiere, played by George, who has to balance her demanding medical career (she recently received a promotion) with raising two kids, and a happening love life.
“It’s a character-driven drama, but with comedy. It’s a tone that I haven’t seen. You feel something, but then you’re laughing,” the 39-year-old actress describes Heartbeat in an interview with TV Insider.
To understand her role in Heartbeat better, George paid a visit to an operating theatre. “I scrubbed in, and I stood next to the surgeon. When he pulled out the saw, I said, ‘You’re going to cut him open?’ And he just looked at me blank, like, how else am I going to get to the heart?” she recalls the experience. “He said, ‘Don’t worry, there’s somebody next to you in case you pass out.’ And there was, there was a special ‘faint person’ there to lay me down. But the fascination took over the queasiness.”
Heartbeat airs every Thursday at 10pm on Star World (Astro Ch 711).