American actress Jill Flint, who plays a doctor in medical drama The Night Shift, makes a case for working women and reveals why she considers herself a late-bloomer.
Tell us about Dr Jordan Alexander, the character you play in The Night Shift. “She’s very passionate and good at what she does. There’s no problem she can’t fix and she doesn’t give up on what or who she loves. She’s tough. I could never be an ER doctor. I could never look at someone in extreme pain and know exactly what to do. I know what it’s like to have someone in your life suffer PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] and, in that sense, I can relate to Jordan. I know what it’s like to be close to someone who’s suffering greatly and not be able to fully reach them or help them. I understand that sense of helplessness. Also, there’s a loyalty in Jordan that I respect.”
What message does Alexander send working women? “Part of the reason why I’m attracted to her is because she has no fear. She doesn’t ask for permission, she’s not trying to be everyone’s best friend, she just does her job. Women do get boxed in and may think they need to embody a man in order to succeed and move forward. I like the idea that you can be a woman unabashedly and still be an achiever.”
How do you balance work and family? “It’s difficult but that’s how life works. It requires understanding from my family [Flint comes from a family of motoring enthusiasts and is married to artist Drew Conrad]. When I work I put 110 per cent into it and when I’m off I don’t go near work. When I have free time I devote it to my family and myself. It’s a juggling act but I feel most invigorated when I’m doing what I love. It allows me to be passionate about other things in my life.”
Did you always want to be an actress? “No, I didn’t grow up even thinking that acting was an option. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do – I guess I’m a late-bloomer. It took me a while to discover it but, once I started, I really fell in love with [acting] and its challenges.”
What would you like to achieve? “People always ask me this question and I feel like I’m doing it. My achievement is to live life to the absolute fullest. I want to conquer the s**t out of life.”
What do you know now that you did not when you started acting? “That it takes a long, long, long time and a lot of devotion to be good. And I’m still trying.”
The second season of The Night Shift premieres on Wednesday at 8.50pm on Sony Channel.