When cast members of Shonda Rhimes’ two biggest hits, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice, came together at “Welcome to ShondaLand: An Evening with Shonda Rhimes and Friends,” an event put on by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, fans could only hope that some loose lipped actors would spill secrets left and right.
Who are we kidding? No job-loving actor on a Shonda show is going to spoil plotlines with their boss sitting on stage with them! But while Shonda runs a tight non-spoiler ship, Wetpaint Entertainment was at the panel to scoop up a few tidbits that will have you tuning in for more!
“All the residents are going through the boards,” Sandra Oh (Cristina Yang) told the audience at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theater. “William Daniels (St. Elsewhere) plays my proctor, and it was just such a marvelous day at work. You see such vintage Cristina. It’s like a Doctor-off! It’s really funny.”
“There’s a sense of nostalgia going on at Grey’s as we head towards the end of the season, simply because all of our residents are graduating, they’re going to become attendings. They have to take their boards, they have to interview for jobs all around the country,” said Shonda.
“We don’t know where people are going to end up in that sense...There’s this very nostalgic feeling of something being lost for all of them. And it’s really beautiful to watch because you’re suddenly realizing that Meredith and Alex and Cristina have grown up and things have really changed.”
“There’s also some really funny stuff. Some of our funniest stuff is coming up in the next few weeks,” Shonda added.
But a storyline that lacks humor right now is the relationship between Cristina Yang and Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd).
“The question of where they’re going, what I can say in a very general way is that hopefully they’re going to a place that is truthful for both characters, that is not an immediately solvable situation,” revealed Sandra, who recently told us that she doesn't know if there's light at the end of the tunnel for her character's relationship (though Shonda Rhimes says they won't break up). “We’re going to be in this storyline for a bit.”
“I’ve loved playing this storyline of where they’re at in the difficulty of a marriage with one member of the couple being unfaithful,” she added. “It’s great because you can trace it back to seasons ago. If you take a look at anyone’s relationship you can see places where things were glossed over, decisions were made out of haste, or out of some other reason. So it’s been great to play a storyline where a couple is coming head to head over things they haven’t dealt with, and seeing a couple trying to deal with things.”
As for the finale, Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey) put it best: “I haven’t seen the last two episode, so I really don’t know what happens in the finale. But I know Shonda is writing it, and it’s going to be good no matter what it is. So who cares? Just wait!”
Private Practice will continue to revolve around Addison’s (Kate Walsh) desire to have a baby, which begs the question: When is Sam going to give in and become a daddy?
“There is going to be a lot of stuff coming up and it may or may not involve a baby,” teased Shonda. “And it may or may not involve Mr. Diggs.”
“I think the end of the season of Private Practice is very pivotal for a lot of the characters. A lot of really profound things are happening for the characters,” she added.
When Private Practice returns in its new time slot on April 17, Shonda cautions viewers not to miss the very end of the episode. “If you miss the last two minutes you’re going to miss one of the things we’ve been building to since the show began. I think you’re really going to want to see that.”
“For all of the characters it’s a really dark journey that we’re going on at the end of the season,” she warned the crowd. “But there are also these really beautiful, really light, really amazing moments where characters — because of something dark that has happened — maybe find themselves rising in a way that they never have.”
One storyline that will combine grief with levity involves KaDee Strickland’s character, Charlotte King. “I feel like we’re watching Charlotte become a mother, which is something that I don’t think Charlotte King ever thought would be possible for her,” said Shonda. “There’s a lot of really great stuff that’s happening!”
Grey’s Anatomy returns with an all-new episode on Thursday, April 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
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