AnnaSophia Robb Discusses True Crime Medical Drama ‘Dr. Death’

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‘Dr. Death’ tells the story of Christopher Duntsch, a Texas doctor who was accused of criminal negligence and later of murder. The medical professional, played by Joshua Jackson, had his story recounted on a Wondery podcast and was adapted by Peacock for a streaming miniseries. The cast is rounded out by Kelsey Grammer, Alec Baldwin, Christian Slater, and AnnaSophia Robb, the latter of whom plays the Dallas district attorney who finally decides to prosecute Duntsch.

Robb recently sat down with Collider to discuss ‘Dr. Death’ and what it was like learning the medical jargon surrounding the case.

While preparing for the role, the ‘Soul Surfer’ actress talked about meeting her real-life counterpart.

“I was able to speak with the real person, Michelle Shughart, and ask her questions and she was so kind and very open and candid with me. That was the foundation. It was our conversation and knowing her thought process to the whole thing and her motto. Her work motto is, do the right thing,” Robb explained.

“When I think of prosecutors, you think of these sort of like top hard, badass people, who want to lay down the law. That’s how I imagined them,” she continued. “But her approach is very empathetic. Her approach is very much, do the right thing. What is the appropriate form of justice? She thought, Duntsch gave these patients a life sentence, I’m going to give him a life sentence. Like, this guy, we need to get him into prison, but we also need to get as much justice as possible for the victims and their families. So that was her main focus. And it was super critical for me as an actor to be able to just talk with her.”

‘The Way, Way Back ‘ added that she had a bit of difficulty learning the medical jargon.

“So, when I learned it, I was memorizing it, and it just wasn’t sticking. And I would say, I don’t know what I’m saying, I started this in the wrong way,” Robb said. “And so I jumped on the phone with one of the neurosurgeons, who was advising.”

Robb continued, “And once I knew what was happening, and once I talked with our resident neurosurgeon, just to double check, and knew where everything was and what happened and what should have happened, then it was all visual for me. I was able to learn it immediately because I could visualize what had happened.”

‘Dr. Death’ is now streaming on Peacock.


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