Surgeon Byron Hale is an old-school army surgeon: everything is by the book, no matter how archaic or inefficient. He has little patience for Dr. Foster’s new-fangled ideas about anesthesia or surgical techniques. Yet, despite his resistance to new ideas, Hale is in fact a skilled surgeon capable of working quickly under pressure, making Foster’s rise to prominence all the more difficult for him. Hale’s ambition and need for recognition are aided and abetted by the conniving Anne Hastings. Together they continually scheme to overthrow their rivals. Despite his lust for Anne, Hale has a roving eye for the nurses, especially Mary, frequently landing him in trouble with his lover.
Norbert on Byron:
Dr. Hale is kind of the antagonist of the piece. He's a Union doctor, very ambitious, rather narcissistic, egocentric, but a lot of fun. He and Foster have a classic rivalry, with Foster being the new kid on the block, with no military training, which I find very suspect as a military man. And a lot of the drama and the comedy of the series comes from pitting these two personalities against each other.
The show is really smart in that it has found a balance between the real horror of what it would have been like for these people, but there are injections of levity as well. I really love the scenes I get to do with Tara Summers, who plays my significant other, Anne Hastings. They are these great characters because they sort of present themselves as one way, and behind closed doors there’s a whole other story going on between them.
Norbert Leo Butz plays Dr. Byron Hale. Butz has been seen on Broadway in: "Big Fish," "Dead Accounts," "Catch Me If You Can" (where took home Tony Award, Drama Desk, Astaire Awards). Off-Broadway: "How I Learned to Drive," "Buicks" (Drama Desk nomination), "The Last Five Years" (Drama Desk, Lortel nominations), "Juno" and the "Paycock." His film roles include "Better Living Through Chemistry," "The English Teacher," "Greetings From Tim Buckley," "Disconnect," "Higher Ground," "Fair Game," and "Dan in Real Life." His television roles include: “The Deep End,” “County,” “The Miraculous Year,” and “Playing Chicken,” as well as “Bloodline” on Netflix.