NBC’S New Amsterdam has remained a fan favorite forever. The extremely popular series is airing the fifth season and is reaching its conclusion soon. Though every cast member has managed to win the hearts of the viewers, Sandra Mae Frank stunned the viewers with her stunning portrayal of the fiery and bold oncologist Dr. Elizabeth Wilder.
Dr. Elizabeth Wilder is someone who isn’t ready to get influenced by anyone. She is adamant about fighting and resisting Dr. Veronica, who is not managing the hospital very well, thanks to her cost-cutting tactics. Wilder’s character is portrayed by the very talented Sandra Mae Frank.
Is Sandra Mae Frank Really Deaf?
Since Sandra’s character in the series, New Amsterdam, is deaf. People are curious to know whether she is deaf in real life or not. Well, yes, Sandra is deaf in real life. She was only three when she lost her hearing power.
Frank is winning hearts with her excellent portrayal of the character of Dr. Elizabeth Wilder, an oncologist. The similarity between both is that they are deaf and do not employ any device like a hearing aid or vocalized speech to help them hear.
Sandra says that she and Dr. Elizabeth are similar in many aspects. Both are bold and confident and try to navigate their surroundings as deaf people. Sandra says she is indeed lucky to get a chance to play this role.
Sandra Always Loved Acting
Frank always had an inclination toward acting. But she knew that as a deaf person, things were going to be tough for her. At that time, the only popular deaf actress she knew was Marlee Matlin. Frank knew well that it would be an arduous journey to pursue her acting journey as a deaf person.
Initially, she had a hard time getting any roles. The school and the theatre wouldn’t be really keen to have a deaf character. But she managed to convince them that with the help of her best friend and interpreter, she would manage it easily.
Sandra Is Grateful To Her Crew For The Support
Frank says that she would not have managed to play this role perfectly if the crew hadn’t supported her so much. Frank reveals that the sets had a deaf woman named Jackie Roth. She is no ordinary woman as she holds the position of the Director of Artistic Sign Language.
The script, which was originally in English, was translated into American Sign Language. Frank says that Jackie was always with her. She also provides her notes about what she should sign and handles the translation part very well.
Also, another person who played a crucial role in helping her manage the shoot well was her interpreter, Chris Matthews. Sandra says that without him, she would be actually lost. And the other cast and crew could connect with her only because of Chris.
Sandra draws a distinction between herself and her character, Dr. Wilder. Dr. Wilder does lip reading in the show, but Sandra can’t. While Chris is Sandra’s interpreter in real life, in the movie, it is actor Conner Marx who portrays the role of Sandra’s interpreter Ben.
Sandra Didn’t Intend To Step Into Acting
Do you know Frank had plans to become a teacher? She did have some exposure to the reel world as she would frequently participate in the theater when she was in high school. Frank decided to get admitted to Galludet University. She was going to major in teaching.
But the heart always follows the true passions. Frank was busy doing a major in teaching, but she would also pursue acting in her free time. A professor noticed her and asked her to step into the theatre world. She was very talented and was made for something bigger.
So this beauty majored in both teaching as well as theatre. Soon Frank got opportunities to star in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, Switched at Birth, etc. She was in the news this year as she gave a stunning performance at the 2022 Super Bowl.
Sandra Loves The Character Of Dr. Elizabeth
Sandra says that she got to learn so much due to her character. She is reaching her 30s and trying to know who she is as a person. For her, Elizabeth is actually a role model. She finds so much power and strength in Elizabeth. Sandra studied at a mainstream school with other students who did not have any hearing defects.
Sandra has always mentioned how her family would do anything for her. Though Elizabeth doesn’t have the same dynamics and relationship with her parents, Sandra can still relate to her in some way. Sandra says that her hearing loss is not any curse or disability. But it’s a blessing that has helped her to shape the course of her life in a distinct way.