'Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.' Star Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman on Why It Was the Perfect Time to Reboot the '90s Show
By Paige Gawley
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Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman is delighted by his latest project. The 37-year-old Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.star co-hosted Entertainment Tonight on Oct. 20, and told ET's Nischelle Turner why now was the right time to reboot the Neil Patrick Harris-led '90s series Doogie Howser, M.D.
Bowyer-Chapman plays Charles Zeller, a gay doctor, on the female-led Disney+ series, which stars Peyton Elizabeth Lee as a teenage medical genius.
"I think that the times that we're in right now, when it comes to female empowerment, and focus on AAPI representation, queer people in the LGBTQ spectrum being represented in mainstream television and film, this was the perfect opportunity to reimagine the world of Doogie," Bowyer-Chapman told ET. "Instead of focusing on the patriarchal stories that we're all so used to seeing -- the male genius, the male bosses, the surgeons, all of that -- bring in some females and show how fly, and fabulous, and brilliant they are."
The show's representation, Bowyer-Chapman said, was one of the main reasons why he wanted to be a part of the project.
"It was so important for me to be a part of this project, representing queer characters on such a massive entity such as Disney+," he explained. "I mean, it's everything that I ever wanted as a kid, to be able to turn on the TV and see reflections of myself bouncing back at me."
Inclusion is also a focus on his upcoming podcast, The Includr Pod, which is due out Oct. 27.
"It's all about deep inclusion and how to incorporate it into our everyday lives," he said. "I feel like, coming out of the pandemic, all of us are so aware of how the world was, and the steps that we need to take towards getting to a place that we all need to be as a culture and society. Each episode I sit down with experts who are far smarter than I am -- neuroscientists, psychologists, sociologists -- and we talk about practices of deep inclusion starting in the workplace."
Bowyer-Chapman's new podcast and Doogie role follow his stint on UnREAL, a dark, fictionalized series that shows the behind-the-scenes happenings of a Bachelor-style show. The change to something more positive was a welcome one for the actor.
"Being on something so family friendly, like Disney, is just such a wonderful opportunity, because it opens myself up to an entire new audience that I'd never really been exposed to before," he told ET. "... As much as I love working on these darker projects and psychological thrillers and such, we all have been in such a dark place for the past few years, [so] it was just so important for me to go towards what felt good."
Overall, Bowyer-Chapman said, "This felt like the exact right project at the exact right time."