Exclusive interview: Jocko Sims on returning to New Amsterdam amid a broken engagement

Jocko Sims on the set of New Amsterdam
Jocko Sims Pic credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Dr. Floyd Reynolds (Jocko Sims) gave up his job as head of cardiology at New Amsterdam and moved to San Francisco to be with his fiancé Evie (Margot Bingham) toward the end of Season 2, but now the talented heart surgeon is back and struggling to make a place for himself at the hospital he considers home.

Reynolds received a 911 call from Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) at the start of the season because Dr. Kapoor (Anupam Kher) required a very delicate heart surgery after surviving a life-and-death bout of COVID-19, a surgery which Max felt only Reynolds could perform.

And when Reynolds returned, he discovered a sense of guilt because, at that time, his hospital in San Francisco had only had three COVID-19 deaths as California hadn’t been hit that hard, while New Amsterdam had been decimated, including several members of the staff, and one of Reynolds’ favorite scrub nurses.

But now Reynolds looks to be back in New York to stay, and with no room in the cardiology department for his skills, he has to take a lesser position.

“He’s dealing with the health of his mother, which is compromised with her having been diagnosed with diabetes, and that’s just a reflection of the reality of the world we live in now,” Sims tells Monsters & Critics.

“It’s like in order to survive, you’ve got to keep surviving in a way. Life goes on. There’s other things that you still have to deal with, and the writers have done a great job of painting that picture in so many ways. It’s been awesome.”

Is Dr. Reynolds’ Engagement Over Forever?

But what about Evie? While it’s true that Evie returned her engagement ring to Reynolds with an apology for making him leave New York, it isn’t 100 percent clear if that romance is totally dead because Reynolds accepted equal responsibility, saying Evie didn’t make him leave; he wanted to go.

“Initially, the writers had planned for just a couple of episodes to go by before figuring out what was going to happen to Reynolds, and I think that they like basking in that unknown territory,” Sims continues.

“Much like with real life, if you have a relationship that’s long-distance, there are going to be some ups and downs. There might be some breakups. But you have to find a way to keep moving, and Reynolds will do that. He will be okay either way. Whether that means he will get back with Evie [at some time in the future], we will just have to stay tuned to see.”

Janet Montgomery and Jocko Sims on the set of New Amsterdam
Janet Montgomery, Jocko Sims Pic credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

New Amsterdam’s COVID-19 Complications

Even more than other shows, New Amsterdam was hard hit by the pandemic. One of the reasons for the delay was that it filmed its first two seasons in actual hospitals, including Bellevue and Kings County Hospital in New York City. New sets had to be built to replace those locations before production could resume.

“Everybody’s life changed,” Sims says of the pandemic and its effects. “We thought we would be on air in September/October and we got pushed back to March, and, then, of course, there is all the protocol.”

“For me, as an actor and performer, I’ve got a great sense of appreciation. I’m just so happy to 1) be alive and 2) thankful to have a job at a time when many people don’t all over the world, including our fellow actors in the industry.”

But more than just having the job, it is the ability to tell stories that people can relate to that Sims appreciates.

“People turn on the TV and don’t get hit over the head with the stories too hard, but also get a laugh here and there,” he says of his medical drama. “You still might need your box of Kleenex every episode. People seem to be digging it during this time, so that’s great.”

New Amsterdam airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. ET/9c on NBC.

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