BWW Exclusive: GREY'S ANATOMY Cast Interviews & Panel Recap from Paleyfest
BWW TV had the chance to catch up with several members of the GREY'S ANATOMY cast on the Paleyfest Red Carpet and then get some scoop from the official Panel discussion. Here is a transcript of interviews with: Jerrika Hinton, Jason George, Kelly McCreary, James Pickens Jr., Giacomo Gianniotti, Chandra Wilson, Caterina Scorsone and Debbie Allen and some tidbits from the panel.
Jerrika Hinton (Dr. Stephanie Edwards)
BWW TV: So Stephanie had an interesting solo surgery that quickly turned devastating! Will that affect her confidence level? Will we see it impact her moving forward?
Jerrika Hinton: I'm not sure if it's the confidence level that's affected, but its just kind of questioning the approach to the job and just 'what is it that we're doing'. It's a bigger question than just personal confidence and like how this is affecting me. It's one of those existential questions. That's the zone that she goes into.
Jason George (Dr. Ben Warren)
BWW TV: I've noticed that Ben has become the guy who, in the middle of a surgery is the one to tell the others to stop bickering and focus on the patient. What is it about Ben that makes him that guy?
Jason George: I think more than anything, Ben is a grown-ass man! (Laughs). Ben was a doctor already. He's been through a version of this before-granted, not for surgery but for anesthesia. So I think having been there, you know, a lot of these folks were his peers as opposed to his teachers...and then he went back to school. So to a degree, he's got that weird balance. It's the same thing that causes him problems when problems come down the line. By the way, once you face the full on raging Bailey, he is kind of ready for anyone or anything.
Kelly McCreary (Dr. Maggie Pierce)
BWW TV: So...Maggie's mom is coming back! What can we expect from that? Can you share anything?
Kelly McCreary: Well Maggie's going to find out that her mother has been sick and it's a double wammy-there's the fact that she's sick, which is frightening and scary and sad, but there's also the fact that she hasn't known...and other people have.
BWW TV: And that's bothered Maggie in the past about other things.
KM: Yes! And Maggie really struggles with that.
BWW TV: Ok, I love the Sister Lady Chief Trifecta. Can we expect more scenes with the three of you?
KM: Yes! You know, in times of trouble, people lean on our family and so when Diane comes in, it's a time for everybody to really rally around Maggie.
James Pickens Jr. (Dr. Richard Webber)
BWW TV: The look of utter heartbreak on your face when you walked into that room and saw Arizona...
James Pickens Jr.: Oh ya...
BWW TV: Is Webber going to have a friend to lean on?
JP: He will. Obviously that was a little betrayal there. He felt it was a betrayal. But I think the bigger picture is trying to get these doctors in line. Obviously the insertion of Eliza Minnick and her way of teaching is obviously diametrically opposed to mine. But I think in the end, we both want the same thing. We want great doctors. She's going about it her way and I'm going to go about it my way. I feel very strongly that my way is the best. And she does as well with her way. I think it will play out with me trying to bring her into my fold. I think it will come to a happy medium.
BWW TV: It will be exciting to see how you get there!
JP: Thank you.
BWW TV: So our Broadway World readers would love to know-Do you have any plans to hit the stage in New York any time soon?
JP: I would love to! I would love to. I've been away for a little while. That's where my background is...on Broadway and I'd love to get back there and do something. Always [the issue] with me, it's been the window of time [needed], but I'd love to get back there!
Giacomo Gianniotti (Dr. Andrew DeLuca)
BWW TV: So on a scale of 1 - 10, how big is Andrew's crush on Jo.
Giacomo Gionniotti: Twenty.
BWW TV: Do you think she knows
GG: She definitely knows. I think we've seen that she knows on the show. He's sort of hinted at it with "you deserve better" and all that.
BWW TV: I mean, you shared a sandwich with her!
GG: Ya (laughs) Camilla and I joke that every scene we have together, we're eating and that by the end of the season we're just going to be these enormous cows.
BWW TV: That's amazing! That's right! There was a scene with cookies too!
GG: So ya, I think she's aware that he likes her, but since he hasn't out-right forced her to deal with it, like "hey, I like you...what do you think about that?" He hasn't been that direct, that we haven't really seen it come to fruition. I think by the end of the season, we're going to see that be resolved.
BWW TV: Any scene you're in now with Alex is automatically awkward and interesting. Are we going to see more of them? I just love that dynamic now.
GG: It is. It's fun to play, certainly when they are forced to be together in a room and obviously they would love to be in any other room but that one. I'm hoping that they can sort of repair that because before that, he was a really great mentor for him. It seems like [Andrew] is a natural in Pediatrics and obviously Alex is amazing in Pediatrics so I think there could potentially be a great teacher in him and then a great student teacher relationship [could come] out of that.
Chandra Wilson (Dr. Miranda Bailey)
BWW TV: So..Bailey's had an interesting season. I don't think she regrets the decisions she's made but do you think she regrets the way she went about doing it or do you think she's like "No. I'm a Dragon, and this is right for the hospital"
Chandra Wilson: She doesn't regret a single thing! (Laughs). Decisions have to get made and sometimes they're hard and it doesn't matter if there's some Katherine influence in there. It's very important for her to stand firmly in the position that she's in-firmly in the title, and it's very important that as far as everyone else is concerned, these are her decisions and she's gonna stand by them and everyone else is gonna come along-even if it's kicking and screaming.
BWW TV: She is the Chief!
BWW TV: So our Broadway World fans would love to know-Any plans to hit the stage any time soon?
CW: Oh my gosh. I can't wait for whenever the next opportunity is. I'd love to get back and work (laughs) so whenever I can find the time to get in!
CW: I do have my next episode is coming up in about 3 weeks I think. I do two a season. I believe the next one is 19 or 20.
Caterina Scorsone (Dr. Amelia Shepherd)
BWW TV: What can we expect to see next with the Owen and Amelia situation?
Caterina Scorsone: I think it can't get much worse so it's gotta get better...right? I mean, we've gotta do something! (laughs). I know that in the episode that's coming up next, they make contact. They do end up talking about their stuff for the first time. I don't think they're going to get all the way through it in the next five minutes, but at least they're in the same room and they're starting to kind of discuss.
BWW TV: So I believe Amelia may be the only character in the history of TV to start out as a main character on a spinoff and then move to the original show!
CS: Really! That's incredible!
BWW TV: There are also almost 2 types of Grey's fans...the ones who are intimately familiar with your character's backstory and then the ones who aren't...
CS: I think for the people who didn't watch PRIVATE PRACTICE there's a lot more frustration and consternation about how unavailable [Amelia] is to Owen right now, and I think they're really upset about it, but the people who have watched PRIVATE PRACTICE are like 'No no no you don't understand! The trauma is huge" and so there's a lot more patience for her journey from the people who have watched PRIVATE PRACTICE. But, a lot of the people who have only watched GREY'S have now gone back to watch PRIVATE PRACTICE and there's this whole kind of lovely secret story that they get to explore and they get to see the evolution...Though I had someone tweet me the other day and they were like "I'm watching PRIVATE PRACTICE. How is this the same person?" And I think the key to why she's the same person is that she started as this very kind of adolescent character on PP and through the course of that show and all the things that she went through...it changed her as a person. And then she shows up in Seattle having been through all of this stuff and she kind of packed it away and moved on with her life and now with Owen, she is kind of forced to revisit the trauma that she thought was safely stored.
During the same interview, Ms. Scorsone was asked by another news outlet about the longevity of the show...
CS:These characters have become so real to people and real to the actors who play them, and so just like you and I continue to evolve throughout our lives-its not like "ok 3 seasons, I'm done" I think these characters have become friends for the audience and so we want to keep checking in with them as they go through maturing and getting married and getting divorced and having children and having tragedies and overcoming those tragedies. We love them and we want to keep finding out how they're doing. So who knows, that could go on for eighty-nine years (laughs).
Debbie Allen (Dr. Catherine Avery)
BWW TV: Broadway World loves you!
Debbie Allen: I'm happy about that!
BWW TV: First question for you...Is there a greater punishment than withholding "Hamilton" tickets from a loved one?
DA: (Laughs) YES!!! He's not coming home! I'm in bed alone! Come on! I'm the one being punished!
BWW TV: This is true. And she gets to go with April and that's an interesting new friendship!
DA: Ya but I'm not sleeping with April! (Laughs)
BWW TV: Fair enough!
DA: It's been a dry season! (Laughs)
BWW TV: Oh dear! (Laughs). Do you think he's coming home shortly?
DA: I hope so! I hope so! I mean I'm not allowed to reveal too much , but it's in the cards for us to be together.
BWW TV: So you wear many hats on this show. [Executive Producer, frequent director, and guest star].
DA: I do.
BWW TV: Are you there just about every second of every day?
DA: I'm there usually at like 6 or 6:15 every morning. I start in the makeup and hair room-cuz that's gonna tell us how the day is gonna go! And then we go from there...from either directors that are prepping or directors who are shooting. If we have a younger director, I'm with them all the time. Ellen just directed and I was with her every moment...and she was amazing.
DA: I appreciate Broadway World. For FREEZE FRAME You all gave us a great [review]. Right now, nothing could be more important than what that is. The violence and the racial divide and the economic divide in our world.
BWW TV: Absolutely.
(See the BWW review of FREEZE FRAME...STOP THE MADNESS here: /los-angeles/article/BWW-Review-FREEZE-FRAME-Combines-Art-Dance-and-Music-to-Affect-Social-Change-20160207 )
After the Red Carpet, the Paleyfest audience was treated to a screening of the episode that airs on March 20th, entitled BE STILL MY SOUL. It was Ellen Pompeo's directorial debut! No spoilers, but this one is guaranteed to make you laugh and cry..and it was very cathartic to do so in the Dolby Theatre with hundreds of GREY'S fans!
Following the screening, Moderator Henry Goldblatt introduced the cast. Every main cast member was present with the exception of Camilla Luddington. The panel was light and fun and the actors seemed to genuinely appreciate all the fan love they were receiving after 13 seasons. Justin Chambers (Alex Karev) pointed out that the show had not been to Paleyfest since season 1 or 2 and so it was pretty incredible to see the fan response that they received today.
Here are some other tidbits from the panel:
*When asked about what was most challenging in her directorial debut, Ellen Pompeo stated that she was not really all that nervous because she had been part of this show for so long and had the support of Executive Producer, Debbie Allen then entire time. She said that the technical stuff was certainly more challenging than directing the emotional scene work because she was so familiar with the scene work over the course of 13 seasons and she had a great deal of trust in the talent of her cast.
*When asked what aspect of his character he would like to explore more, Martin Henderson (Nathan Riggs) had the cast and audience in hysterics. "Just...you know...WHO HE IS would be good!" He added that he has enjoyed playing a polarizing and mysterious character.
*Jesse Williams was commended on his performance in the latest episode. Mr. Goldblatt asked him about the storyline of Jackson meeting his biological father. Williams pointed out that what he enjoyed the most about those scenes, were that Jackson was simultaneously provided this "great support system" by "best friend" April and also meeting the man who was this "absolute failure" (of a support system).
*Sarah Drew loved filming the Jackson and April centric episode (directed by Kevin McKidd) and said it felt like shooting a movie. It was filmed at the same time that other GREY'S episodes were being filmed, so they actually filmed with the crew of SCANDAL.
*When asked about that Jackson and April scene in the latest episode, and what this meant for them moving forward, Drew admitted that she did not know if long term their relationship would once again become romantic or not, but that this does show that no matter what, "they have so much love and respect for each other...they know each other so well...they will be ok" and "they will always be each other's person".
*Kevin McKidd (Owen Hunt) was asked about Owen experiencing his "greatest nightmare" all over again, now that Amelia (like Cristina) apparently no longer wants to have kids. He said that Owen is "really struggling" and is a "tortured guy" who really wants to have a baby and seems to believe that things in his life will be fixed by having a family,..but that Amelia does not want to have a family right now. Co-star, Caterina Scorsone interjected to emphasize the "right now". He stated that Owen loves her and "we will see what happens".
*When asked about her favourite thing about Amelia, Caterina Scorsone pointed out that between PRIVATE PRACTICE and GREY'S ANATOMY, Amelia has "been hit hard by life" and that her first large scale tragedy occurred at age 5 "and then they just kept coming". She stated that what she admires most about her, is that "through the most dire of circumstances, she has managed to pick herself up off the ground every time and continue in a way that tries to be of service." "She's trying to save lives. She's trying to bring life to people (even) though life has been taken from her so many times". She stated that she loves the "heart and tenacity" that her character has.
*When asked about the most challenging scene to film in all 13 seasons, Chandra Wilson stated that it was the scene where she gives birth.
*When asked what his hardest scene to film was, Justin Chambers stated it was "finding out that Jo is married", He stated that he is hopeful that Jo and Alex can make things work.
At the end of the panel, the cast stuck around to take pictures with their adoring fans. Fun times were had by all!
GREY'S ANATOMY airs on Thursdays at 7pm on CTV and 8pm on ABC.
Photo Credit: Michael Bulbenko