When art imitates life, it isn’t always in the best light.

For the second season of Dr. Death, the series based on the hit Wondery podcast, viewers get an inside peek into the medical malpractices of the Italian thoracic surgeon known to the world as “Miracle Man.”

A charming surgeon praised for his innovative operations, Paolo Macchiarini (Edgar Ramirez) has a charm and wit about him that causes everyone around him to fall under his spell, especially investigative journalist Benita Alexander (Mandy Moore) who goes in for a story and ultimately finds herself entangled in a love scenario that changes the course of her life forever.

Who is Benita Alexander, the person Mandy Moore plays in 'Dr. Death'?

“She’s an investigative journalist who gets a lead on a story involving Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, who’s sort of pioneering this really exciting field of medicine called regenerative medicine and he’s implanting people with these synthetic tracheas and he’s just this world-renowned surgeon,” Moore told Blavity’s Shadow and Act. “She crosses the ethical boundaries and gets involved with him romantically and they have this relationship and get engaged and the lies come to fruition and everything sort of unravels and she has to put together the pieces of her life and this fairy tale that she thought she would be living with this man that she had fallen in love with.”

For Ramirez, the approach to becoming Macchiarini was a bit different in the sense that he worked to keep his research on the character tight in an effort not to let his judgment prevent him from fully tapping into the role.

Edgar Ramirez on playing Paolo Macchiarini

“I tried to keep my knowledge about the real character very, very tight because I had the feeling that the more I knew about the real character, the more difficult it would be for me not to judge him and I cannot judge my characters,” said Ramirez. “So I tried to keep the research very contained so that I could focus on the greatly crafted scripts we had.”

He continued, “Macchiarini basically lives in a fantasy and he’s committed to that fantasy until the very end. There’s no moment of introspection. There’s no moment where he realizes what he’s done is wrong and that he has caused so much damage to so many people. There’s never a moment of admission and that to me was very interesting because it meant that even when the facts were revealed, even when all of his lies were like a house of cards falling down, he was unphased until the very end.”

After portraying a character who has been bamboozled by someone like Macchirini, Moore hopes that it breaks people free from the shame of falling in love with a person who isn’t really who they say they are.

“I hope that she was able to come out of this experience, and other people who find themselves in similar situations, staying open, staying connected to the world and not punishing yourself, not feeling like you can’t trust the world around you,” said Moore. “I think there shouldn’t be shame about finding yourself in this position. There are people out in the world with this sort of pathology. They are so masterful at this degree of deception and preying on people at just the right time, with just the right vulnerability.”

She continued, “There is no escaping it. No one is immune to that, so I hope that she’s able to have grace for herself and recognize that it’s not her fault and that hopefully, she comes out the other end being an even better, stronger advocate for herself.”

Season 2 of Dr. Death premieres Thursday on Peacock.