Exclusive: Chicago Med’s Jessy Schram ‘finds her most confident voice’ on the hit NBC show

Jessy Schram in the NBC series, Chicago Med.
Jessy Schram in the NBC series, Chicago Med. Pic credit: George Burns Jr./NBC

Jessy Schram is a true renaissance woman.

The actor, singer-songwriter, recording artist, and Hallmark sweetheart loves to be on the move, and it is clear from her current schedule that she has no plan to slow down any time soon.

Tonight, she is gearing up with family and friends in Chicago to celebrate her latest gig: Her role as Dr. Hannah Asher on the fan-favorite show Chicago Med. The series has brought Schram back home, and she appreciates time with loved ones.

The episode is called On Days Like Today…Silver Linings Become Lifelines, which finds Dr. Asher going to great lengths to fight to keep a mother and her newborn baby together.

Also, Schram has an episode of Fantasy Island coming up in April in which she plays Laura, a jilted bride, who arrives on the island still in her wedding dress, having been left behind at the altar.

This devastated bride goes to the island to feel better, and the island surprises her with her imaginary childhood friend in a human form and helps Laura rediscover her inner child, and is able to help her move on.

Schram says she loves being back on Chicago Med and believes that she and her doctor character have grown and matured.

“I know that they wanted to show this powerful female doctor and what it looks like to fight against stigma,” she told Monsters and Critics.

“So, I knew a little bit of what’s happening now,” she said, “but I really didn’t imagine how intricate things have been getting with my character and how much of a voice she had so that’s been extremely interesting. Both my character and I have grown in so many positive ways.”

Read on for more about Jessy Schram’s family connections, her appreciation of Chicago Med fans, and how she loves walking around new cities during her free time.

Monsters and Critics: Please Talk about Chicago Med. What are you excited about for the Wednesday, February 22 episode? Tell me about Dr. Hannah Asher. 

Jessy Schram: What I love the most about tomorrow’s episode for Hannah is that it’s a very personal episode for her. Someone from her past comes back, and she’s fighting for a mother and a child to say together, and within that, because it’s wrapped up in her past, she sees herself in the situation, and I think it gets a little too personal for her which in turn, creates conflict between her and Archer and how to treat this patient and what happens next. So, it’s a very personal episode for Hannah, and it sparks a lot with her and the other people at the hospital. 

The new episode is exciting in that way, getting to see more from Asher and her past and kind of what’s been accumulating through the season. I think we’ve seen Hannah move forward, and she is empowered in so many ways, but it doesn’t mean that she still doesn’t struggle with her recovery and within her life, and when it revisits her, what does that cause within her present life? 

M&C: What has it been like joining this group at Chicago Med that’s been together for such a long time?

Jessy Schram: I came in and I thought I was gonna be beyond intimidated, and though I am still intimidated in small ways because I’m working with some of the most gracious and thoughtful and most talented actors, they opened their arms, and it was such a warm welcome. This cast and crew, for being as tight-knit as they are and in production for as long as they’ve been, are so welcoming, and that’s not always the case.

Jessy Schram in the NBC series, Chicago Med.
Jessy Schram in the NBC series Chicago Med. Pic credit: George Burns Jr./NBC

M&C: Did you pick up and move back to your hometown of Chicago for the current role?

Jessy Schram: I’m here for the 10 months out of the year we’re filming, and then whenever I get a chance, I get to go back to LA, so mid-coastal. 

M&C: Have you been able to visit some familiar places in Chicago?

Jessy Schram: Well, all of my family still lives in the suburbs of Chicago, so now that I’m getting to do this job, I’m getting to connect with my family on the daily as opposed to just every Christmas, which is just so amazing. I grew up in this place called Buffalo Grove, and there’s this place called The Buffalo Cafe that I remember was there years before I was even there, and driving past it, I was like, “Wow! I went here in junior high, in high school, and it’s still standing.”

M&C: Tell me about your Fantasy Island episode that’s coming up in April.

Jessy Schram: Oh, that was so much fun! We filmed in Puerto Rico, and I get to play the jilted bride who was left at the altar. She comes to Fantasy Island with the wish to be loved. In the process of my fantasy coming true, one of my childhood friends, played by Kyla Pratt, comes and kind of shows me different parts of my childhood and kind of the inner child I’ve forgotten. What’s cool about fantasy island is you think you’re there for one thing, but it shows you all the things you don’t normally look at. So, there are a lot of different bumps and bruises along the way, but it’s a show with a lot of comedy and a couple of tears. 

M&C: If you had a particular fantasy that Fantasy Island could fulfill for you, what would it be?

Jessy Schram: Oh gosh, I think what would a day be like without any anxiety? I’m a little anxiety freak, so that would be lovely. 

M&C: Do you have things that you do when you have downtime?

Jessy Schram: I’m a big walker. I love to walk anywhere and everywhere. It doesn’t matter the weather, I just love traveling to new cities, and I feel like the best way you can see it is by walking it. 

M&C: Have you met Chicago-based fans, and what have they said about Chicago Med?

Jessy Schram: When I’m not filming and I’m out and about, every other day I’ll meet a Chicago family fan. It’s so much fun. The best response ever was this past Sunday, I was in this bridal shop looking for a flower girl dress, and I walked in and this woman told me that I looked like one of the celebrities on her favorite Chicago show, and I kind of assessed the situation and I said, “Yep that’s me, I’m Dr. Asher,” and I got a full-blown scream for about 30 seconds to a minute and a hug. Some people are really excited, and it’s super cool for them. 

A lot of what I’ve experienced as well is people will say they relate to my character, whether it be someone dealing with addiction within their family or rather somebody who sells, there have been so many people within the Chicago area that I meet on the streets that tell me how much they’ve enjoyed watching [Hannah’s] journey and that it’s been really inspiring. So many people have told me about how much Hannah means to them, which means so much to me.

Jessy Schram in the NBC series, Chicago Med.
Jessy Schram in the NBC series, Chicago Med. Pic credit: George Burns Jr./NBC

M&C: What do you think you’ve learned about yourself from being back on this show

Jessy Schram: I’ve learned about myself as Jessy. I’ve learned that I’m more capable than I give myself credit for sometimes. I think that I get nervous a lot before I start things or when I’m acting, and I feel like I’m not good enough. This show has given me a platform of consistency and material that challenges me, and I feel like I’ve been able to settle into the process and really enjoy that as opposed to always being so scared if it’s going to be good enough. I think I’ve gained healthy confidence through the show.

M&C: What were you expecting when you joined the show versus what you got?

Jessy Schram: Well, originally, when I joined the show, it was back in Season 5 as a recurring character that was looking to be on the show more permanently. Storylines shifted and changed, and so I left the show just thinking what an amazing experience and what a fascinating character to play. Then, recently last season it was a complete surprise when they called me back. Coming back to this scenario, I really had no idea what was in store for my character. I knew that they really wanted to show her through, you know, that moving through addiction point of view and dealing with recovery.

M&C: Did you talk to any experts or do any research on addiction?  

Jessy Schram: Oh, very much so. I talked to a few people that deal with addiction, and then I also talked to people who work in the medical field, so it’s not just people that have the addiction but the people who deal with and treat addiction. I also watched an insane number of documentaries to try and figure out the clinical aspect of everything. I had to basically throw all of that away, and with the material and with myself, I had to go, “Okay, this is what I know about it but what does that look like for me? What does it look like for my character?” I did talk to a lot of people, and I continue to speak with people and read about it. There are little touchstones with Hannah that I try to remember. 

M&C: How much music are you making while juggling all of your acting gigs?

Jessy Schram: There’s not a lot of time because we film 10 months out of the year, but I actually just got done with a guitar lesson. I’m looking to make a Christmas album this year, so I’m super excited about that, but music tends to be the thing that we have around set and that I have in my personal life where you pick it up when you get to it. It’s not necessarily the main focus right now. 

M&C: Why do you want my readers to watch Chicago Med? 

Jessy Schram: I think that our show shows a lot of humanity, and it shows a lot of strength and care, and even though it can be stressful sometimes, it’s got a lot of heart to it. Tomorrow’s episode especially is one that I feel vulnerable with, and that is special to my storyline. 

Chicago Med airs on NBC on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET. Fantasy Island airs on Fox on Mondays.

Next, Exclusive: Hallmark’s Jessy Schram finds her way home in her new Christmas movie

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