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The Good Doctor would be difficult to imagine without Freddie Highmore in the leading role of Dr Shaun Murphy. However, the star very nearly didn’t play the medical drama’s iconic role – here’s everything fans need to know about why this was.
Why was Freddie Highmore almost replaced on The Good Doctor?
Fans of The Good Doctor might find it difficult now to imagine anyone else but Highmore in the lead role.
His performance as Shaun has won much praise over the three seasons of the show so far.
What’s more, Highmore’s sensitive and emotional portrayal as a young doctor with savant syndrome has even seen him nominated for a Golden Globe award for best actor.
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Therefore, it might be shocking for some to find out he actually almost did not take the role on the series.
While it’s clear to viewers he is perfect for the role, both the star and the show creators had their doubts about the casting.
Having just come out of being the lead actor in the series Bates Motel, Highmore has previously revealed he initially turned down the role.
This is because he knew the commitment which came with joining another long-running show.
He told Ad Week: “When you’ve just finished a show that had been on for five seasons, you’re aware of the necessary commitment that is behind it.
“And the fact that you need to choose wisely because otherwise you could end up on something that you might not want to be doing for years and years.”
However, the star then revealed to the publication how he spoke it out with the creator David Shore and decided it was right for him.
He signed on as a producer as well and they decided to cap each season at 18 episodes.
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Highmore added: “You’d never want to just be doing more for the sake of it.”
As well as his reservations, the producers also reportedly had some of their own as they were initially hoping Shaun would be played by someone older.
According to IMDb, the producers wanted someone to play the role who was at least 25-years-old.
In response, the star reportedly said to them “but I AM 25”.
Thankfully Highmore was eventually cast in the series and has gone on to appear in three seasons so far.
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He will soon be returning in the fourth outing of the show, which has already been confirmed.
Viewers last saw him emerging safely from the rubble of the earthquake before he reconciled with Lea Dilallo (Paige Spara).
Continuing into the new series, it is likely the doctor is also expected to deal with the fallout of Dr Neil Melendez’ (Nicholas Gonzalez) tragic death.
The new series is expected to air later this year if filming is able to begin once again as planned.
The Good Doctor is expected to return later in 2020.
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