The star of the new BBC medical comedy series This Is Going To Hurt says his character is “complex, well-written” and important for on-screen diversity.
Mbika Mod, who appears alongside Ben Whishaw in the series, said such pieces for South Asian women are “rare”.
The newcomer stars as junior trainee doctor Shruti in the series, which is based on the book of the same name by Adam Kay.
“As soon as I read the script I was like ‘this is mine, no one else can do this’. No one else should do this,” she told the PA news agency.
“It’s a very special and unique feeling that you don’t get with a lot of things you audition for.
You just don’t get young South Asian women written like thatMod Ambika
“Seeing a character like Shruti is really rare.
“She’s so complex, she’s so well-written, she exists on her own, and she has an amazing arc.
“You just don’t get young South Asian women written like that.
“When you audition you see a lot of the same tropes over and over again, so not only was Shruti as a character really refreshing to play, but I also think she’s important.
“That’s what she represents in terms of work, her age group, her ethnic minority, her class – she’s a working class character.
“But at the same time, she’s just one person, she can’t represent all the people who fall under those umbrellas.
“I just tried to make his experience as authentic and real as possible.”
Mod, 26, said she and Bafta winner Whishaw had a ‘crash course’ in how to perform certain medical operations, including a C-section, with three medical advisers on set to help ensure that “no corners were cut”.
“It was that way when we filmed the operation scenes, it looked as real as it could get,” she said.
“The prostheses, all the layers that would actually be in the human body, were exactly the same. We had to cut the layer exactly the same way.
She added: “I could definitely do a caesarean now if I needed to, definitely…”
Asked about her work with Wishaw, who plays the animated version of Paddington Bear, she said: “It was great, although sadly it didn’t have Paddington Bear’s body.
“It was really devastating.
She continued, “We all know Ben is one of the greatest actors of his generation, but he’s also so handsome and kind and unassuming and approachable and humble and really took me under his wing.
“He made me a better actor.”
This Is Going To Hurt airs at 9pm on Tuesdays on BBC One and episodes are available on BBC iPlayer.