‘The Good Doctor’: Richard Schiff Can’t Stop Saying Nice Things About Freddie Highmore

How cast members get along on their respective TV shows usually plays a big part in how well they develop proper chemistry. Thanks to astute casting departments, there seems to be a brilliant knack for finding those who not only have great chemistry on-screen, but also off. The Good Doctor is one of those shows where the cast developed similar relationships.

Not many knew how well Richard Schiff and Freddie Highmore got along on-set until Schiff did a few recent interviews talking about how they communicate. It turns out the two (who play Drs. Glassman and Shaun Murphy, respectively) are close off-set as well as on.

Schiff makes it clear how respected Highmore is in the industry for both acting talent and stellar personal life.

A father-son relationship that crosses over a little to reality

Freddie Highmore and Richard Schiff
Freddie Highmore and Richard Schiff | Bettina Strauss via Getty Images

Since Dr. Glassman on TGD is a bit of a broken soul due to his wife and kids walking out on him, he’s now become a bit of a surrogate father figure to Murphy. Of course, this leads to some push-back from Murphy because of he wants to stay as independent as possible.

All of this was a strategic writing directive for the show so we could see how an autistic person can function in real society. We’re finally seeing a series depicting autism with better clarity and how they face real-life challenges.

For Schiff, this was an important call in doing TGD. In a Deadline interview last year, he recounted how he hated doing medical shows, yet was drawn to this one because of his personal experience knowing real autistic people.

His praise of Highmore is also more than he’s probably given to another actor on record. This should make Highmore feel good since Schiff is still highly respected as an actor, including his years on The West Wing.

Schiff seems almost envious of Highmore’s talent

When asked about Highmore in the above Deadline interview, Schiff said Highmore was a “delightful guy” and the two always find a way to make a scene better together. In Schiff’s mind, though, Highmore seems to almost have it too easy.

According to Schiff, he tries to mess up Highmore a little bit about how easy life has seemingly been.

Perhaps there’s some truth there outside of Highmore’s intelligent and positive attitude keeping him in check above any actor of his age group. Part of this comes from never posting on social media while still having registered accounts on Twitter and Facebook. Highmore is on record as saying he wants to keep his private life private while preventing any risk to his reputation if potentially saying something wrong online.

Since he hasn’t had one controversial incident so far in his career, no wonder Schiff feels a bit envious since latter has likely paid his dues in a tough industry. Regardless, it truly does pay to take time out from acting to gain an education. Highmore did this by attending Cambridge University while filming Bates Motel.

Having an educational background does help many actors become better at improving themselves.

What does the future hold for the Murphy-Glassman relationship?

With Glassman such a strong father figure to Murphy, there’s a new layer of emotion at play now. Glassman was diagnosed with a low-grade glioma last season, something possibly greatly affecting his health.

Whether it becomes fatal for him remains to be seen. Should Glassman die, imagine what kind of setup of emotion that is for Murphy. As we’re learning, latter has stronger emotions than we ever knew, something we’re learning autistic people truly have.

The crossover of emotion to real life would likely be great should Schiff ever leave the show. Unique acting pair-ups like Schiff and Highmore don’t happen every day, which is why networks should try to hang on to those dynamics for as long as they can.