A Broadway actor almost went blind after a brutal random attack at a Manhattan subway station. He is now celebrating his recovery and returning to the spotlight.
After undergoing successful eye surgery, 33-year-old Alex Weisman appeared in NBC’s medical drama “New Amsterdam,” just 5 months after the surgery.
In the show, Weisman played a Superman character in Times Square who gets hit by a bus.
“I was filming a story about healthcare workers in the midst of the pandemic,” Weisman said. “I got to celebrate people who work in hospitals, which was fitting.”
Weisman was also an original cast member of Broadway’s “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.”
He has kept a positive outlook since his attack last November.
The suspect responsible for the attack, which happened at the 103rd Street station on the Upper West Side, was never found. But Weisman does not let that hold him back. “That person has nothing to do with my life.”
Weisman acknowledged that, as an actor, his face is his livelihood. After the attack, he was worried he might never be able to act again.
But doctors at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai worked to repair the damage.
“They were quick and efficient,” he said. “They understood the nuance of my situation and that I needed my face to work in the theater.”
One of the doctors, retina surgeon Dr. Gareth Lema, said that the patient’s injury was severe, but he was fortunate because the retinal tear had not detached from the center of his vision.
“We decided on a minimally invasive procedure where we basically lasered the retina and walled off the part that was detached,” he said.
The redness was kept to a minimum, which allowed Weisman to submit his audition tape for “New Amsterdam” just two weeks after his attack.
“My agent sent me the audition and was like, ‘No pressure,’ but I knew it was important to get on camera and see what I looked like,” he said.
“I sent it over with an apology, saying, ‘I’m so sorry if I look terrible, let me know.’
“And they were like: ‘Shut up. It’s fine. You’re great.’”
Now that he is back on track with his career, Weisman looks forward to securing more roles on TV and Broadway. The theater world is set to at least partially re-open after Labor Day in September 2021 after closing in March 2020.
“I’m hopeful,” Weisman said. “Since the age of 7, I don’t think I have gone for two weeks without seeing a play or being in one.”