For fans of Grey’s Anatomy, hospital drama just got a lot wilder—literally. Shonda Rhimes has signed on to executive produce ABC’s new series Off The Map, which documents a group of American doctors who relocate to the rainforests of South America to help staff a rural hospital in dire need of assistance.
The show stars Martin Henderson, Valerie Cruz and Caroline Dhavernas, who is most well-known for her 2004 stint on Fox’s Wonderfalls. Her character, Lily Brenner, appears to be the most pure-hearted and, in some ways, naïve of the bunch. “She comes from Minnesota, and she’s left America to come to South America to work in this clinic in the jungle,” Dhavernas says. “She doesn’t know anything about the way of practicing medicine in that kind of environment, and she has a lot to learn. But she’s there for the right reasons: she wants to help, she has a really beautiful, open heart, and she’s very careful with the people she treats. She learns how to work from her instincts instead of by the book. In the jungle, you just do it the way you can.”
Dhavernas says the show, which is shot in Hawaii, has been a nice climate change compared to her time spent split between New York and Montreal. “I have a tree that gives me passion fruit right next to my bedroom balcony,” she says. “It’s a challenging show to shoot because we’re not in the studio, we’re somewhere in the water, in the wilderness. As soon as they can put me on a zip line or in a water tank, I love all that stuff. I take that over [shooting in] the operating room any day.”
Dhavernas has an apartment in the East Village, and when she's in the city she spends time at the High Line, visiting art galleries in Chelsea and wandering in Central Park. During this brutal winter weather, we’d rather join her in the rainforest—but we’ll settle for a TV escape. Off The Map airs Wednesdays at 10 PM on ABC.