Why Five Days At Memorial's Julie Ann Emery Would Do Another Six Seasons Of The Show - Exclusive

Apple TV+'s docudrama "Five Days at Memorial," based on the book of the same name by Sheri Fink, drops viewers into Memorial Hospital in New Orleans in 2005 just as Hurricane Katrina hurtles into the city. Things only become more harrowing from there — after the hurricane's violent winds recede, the city floods, stranding the medical workers and their patients at the hospital as the power fails, the temperature soars, and food and water dwindle dangerously low.

The show illustrates the terrifying circumstances at the hospital with meticulous detail, ensuring that viewers can't help but wonder how they might have responded had they been there. Nonetheless, it's hard to imagine how difficult the crisis must have been for the real people who experienced it 17 years ago. In addition, given the realism of the depiction, it's also hard to imagine what the large cast of the limited series went through to bring the story to life.

When Julie Ann Emery, who plays hospital administrator Diane Robichaux, discussed "Five Days at Memorial" with The List, she said filming could get very intense. Fortunately, the cast was extremely caring and compassionate toward one another off camera, which, according to Emery, made their work on screen that much better. In fact, Emery enjoyed working with her fellow actors so much, she said she'd gladly do "another six seasons of the show."

'I have a great love for this cast'

Throughout "Five Days at Memorial," Julie Ann Emery's character is often in conflict with other healthcare workers at the hospital, including Cherry Jones' director of nursing Susan Mulderick and Vera Farmiga's Dr. Anna Pou. But for Emery, acting opposite Jones was one of the highlights of making the show. 

"I've been a super nerdy fan of Cherry Jones since I graduated from theater school and was saving all my pennies so I could see her in whatever play she was doing," Emery confessed. "It was thrilling to do those scenes and also nerve wracking because Cherry's such a beautiful, lovely person, and you want to live up to her level, and she works at a very high level. So does Vera; so does everyone."

Emery noted that because of the story's difficult subject matter, the cast members went out of their way to build a fun and supportive camaraderie behind the scenes, which made filming the show especially fulfilling. 

"There's such a generosity of spirit among this cast, and you can go further and deeper emotionally when you're also taking care of each other off camera," Emery observed. "We spent a lot of time together off camera in happiness and celebration of each other because the weeks' shooting was always very heavy and intense. I have a great love for this cast, and my only sadness is that we're not going to be together for another six seasons of the show. I'm so sad that it's a limited series and we're done shooting."

New episodes of "Five Days at Memorial" premiere on Apple TV+ on Fridays.