'Good Doctor' actor talks celebrating frontline heroes, empowering kids during pandemic

In addition to returning to work, Hill Harper has also been spending time inspiring underserved youth amid the pandemic.
Actor Hill Harper is excited to pay homage to the brave essential workers who have been carrying us through this pandemic on season 4 of "The Good Doctor."

"It's such an honor just to be able to play a frontline worker and to be able to celebrate these heroes," the actor said. "The doctors, the nurses, the hospital administrators, the healthcare folks, everybody on the front lines -- they're heroes. They've been putting themselves in harm's way."

As with previous seasons, Harper said the writers were inspired by true stories they've heard during the pandemic and have incorporated them into this season. Harper describes one scene in particular -- where his character, Dr. Marcus Andrews, is struck with a sense of utter loneliness while driving home -- as the most heartbreaking he's filmed.

"You can't interact with your family in the same way," Harper said. "There's a loneliness that many of our frontline workers and healthcare workers have dealt with through this that is even beyond just quarantine loneliness."

In addition to returning to work, Harper has been focusing on his own philanthropic efforts amid the pandemic. The actor recently teamed up with Saving Our Daughters, a nonprofit program geared toward youth from multicultural backgrounds, for a Q&A session and discussion about his bestselling books "Letters to a Young Brother" and "Letters to a Young Sister."

See also: Keke Palmer surprises the girls at Saving Our Daughters

"I've worked with the organization before and I'm so proud of what they do and the reach that they have," Harper said. "Whatever I can do to link and connect and encourage and inspire young women and young men -- it's great."

Especially amid COVID-19 and social unrest, the actor finds it more important than ever to empower communities of color. Whether it's through his books, a partnership with Saving Our Daughters or the Manifest Your Destiny foundation (a nonprofit Harper launched to educate and mentor underserved children), Harper is dedicated to instilling powerful lessons in today's youth.

See also: 'Mixed-ish' star Mykal-Michelle Harris visits Saving Our Daughters, gives life advice

"If we can just get our [youth] to start instilling those subconscious cues about how marvelous they are, to feel good about who they are...then it leads to all these other positive outcomes later on," Harper said.

"The Good Doctor" season premiere airs Monday, Nov. 2 at 10pm ET/PT | 9pm CT on ABC.
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