The Doctor Is In
The Doctor Is In
As Dr. Maya Jacobs on Carol’s Second Act, Ito Aghayere delivers the laughs.
By Brantley Bardin

JUST TWO AND A HALF YEARS AGO, ITO AGHAYERE WAS making her Broadway debut in Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar’s Junk, playing a financial shark killing it in a man’s world. Now, as Dr. Maya Jacobs, the no-nonsense chief resident on the hit sitcom Carol’s Second Act, the Canadian-born actress is barking orders at Patricia Heaton’s late-in-life doctor.

“It’s been a joyride to play Dr. Jacobs, partly because it’s exciting to wield such power as a woman of color,” says Aghayere (pronounced Uh-GUY-uh-ray), who has a B.A. from Duke in political science and worked as an Obama White House intern while earning her M.F.A. in theater from Columbia University. “So often black actresses get sent scripts to play maids and slaves, so to have the opportunity to play a role that’s like the many black women in my family—who are doctors, engineers, and philosophers—has me in a constant state of, ‘Really? I get to do this every day?!’”

You do! The tone of a set is usually created by the top dog. What’s Patricia Heaton’s tone, and does her being a woman have any visible impact?


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May/June 2020