The Good Doctor has been on for five seasons. While it started off about an autistic savant surgeon, the series acted as a Trojan Horse for several other interesting and complex characters. One of them is Dr. Jordan Allen, played Bria Samoné Henderson.
After a recurring arc in season 4, Henderson was promoted to series regular this year. While she admits she was a fan of the show beforehand, in an exclusive interview with The DisInsider, Henderson reveals that wasn’t what initially sold her on the character.
“[Actors] get a lot of auditions,” she says, “And I just remember reading the breakdown for this woman. And I was just kind of like sold on it because…I’m a plus size actress and [there aren’t] usually roles for full figured women – or bigger women.”
She adds, “For Jordan, she’s full figured, she’s confident, she’s proud, she’s smart, she’s a hustler, she’s an entrepreneur, she loves money, she loves fashion.” So for her it was a no-brainer.
Even though she’s portraying a realistic looking person on TV though, Henderson made it clear that she doesn’t just want to act in roles written for her, she wants to create those roles too. There’s partially where the idea for her pilot, Virginality, came from. Inspired by the likes of Issa Rae and Michaela Cole and best-described as a cool cross between the latter’s Chewing Gum and Billy Piper’s I Hate Susie, in Henderson’s own words the show is “about the misadventures of a 30-ish virgin.”
“[She] is a TV writer’s assistant, and she wants to be in the writers room for a show,” Henderson says. However, “she’s always labeled with the words ‘pure’ and ‘clean’ and ‘innocent.’ And she’s pushed to kind of go outside of those limitations and really explore her womanhood – as she should – [because] she’s been depriving herself up for so many years.”
With a strong background in writing – and spoken-word skills that she’s been honing for years, she hopes she can finally say something meaningful with this potential show. She says that even though she currently dabbles in drama, comedy has always been her passion, so much so that her mom calls her Lucy: because she reminds her of Lucille Ball.
Henderson admits that she’s submitted the series to a multitude of festivals such as Sundance and SXSW, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s prepared to exit The Good Doctor just yet.
In fact, when asked if she would like to see her team meet up with doctor’s on ABC’s other prominent medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy, she said “[Admittedly, I have not heard anything about happening, but at the same time, I’ve [wondered], Why don’t we do a crossover episode?'”
She adds that meeting fictitious Dr. Miranda Bailey and her real life counterpart Shonda Wilson would be “amazing,” and that her presence on the show broke boundaries for the, “[representation of] black women and black men in a professional environment.”
Henderson will continue to post updates about her pet project Virginality regularly on her social media pages but, in the meantime, you can catch her every Monday night on ABC’s The Good Doctor.
You can catch the interview in its entirety below: