How Five Days at Memorial Honors Healthcare Heroes From Hurricane Katrina

Vera Farmiga and Cherry Jones spoke to E! News about starring in Apple TV+'s Five Days at Memorial, which chronicles how doctors responded to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

By Cydney Contreras Aug 15, 2022 7:24 PMTags
Watch: Five Days at Memorial Stars Praise Healthcare Workers

Vera Farmiga and Cherry Jones aren't just looking to entertain with Five Days at Memorial.

The stars of the Apple TV+ limited series, which premiered Aug. 12, are hoping that viewers will come away from the show with a renewed sense of gratitude for the nurses and doctors who worked tirelessly through the coronavirus pandemic and other events. "Our healthcare workers, our doctors and our nurses, who operate with capital E empathy and determination, especially in the last three years, deserve the spotlight," Farmiga exclusively told E! News. "I do feel that in many ways, our show is an honor to them, a celebration of them."

Five Days at Memorial centers on Dr. Anna Pou (Farmiga) and Dr. Susan Mulderick (Jones) as they help patients during Hurricane Katrina, which wreaked havoc in New Orleans and neighboring cities in 2005. The natural disaster forces the doctors to make difficult decisions about the welfare of the patients, as well as their own staff, in the face of turmoil. 

Farmiga said she realized through playing Dr. Pou that these medical workers "have earned the name hero" for their work. "Just the sheer willingness to report to duty in catastrophes," she said, "that takes a remarkable type of human human being."

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But Jones doesn't just want people to clap for the frontline workers. She wants to see them moved to action within their communities, saying, "We're past the time of urgency in this country on almost every front that this series addresses."

Apple TV+

Jones added that it's no longer solely the politicians' responsibility to enact progress regarding climate change and racial equity. "I keep thinking it's as though the adults have left the room in terms of humanity," the Succession star explained. "We don't want to tackle the hard things and if we do, we want our politicians to take care of it, when it's we have to take care of it because we as the people are the ones who have to be ready to make sacrifices to save the air and the food chain for our children and our grandchildren and on and on."

She continued, "I hope this series will be an offering that helps people think. And reminds them of a shameful tragic moment in our history and of the good people who tried to make it better."

To learn more about the events that inspired Five Days at Memorial, continue reading here.

New episodes of Five Days at Memorial are released Fridays on Apple TV+.

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