Grey’s Anatomy has taken on a completely different feel this season. The depressing and heart wrenching storylines are a thing of the past, replaced instead by fun, lighthearted stories that give viewers insight into the complex lives of their characters. Sure, there are always going to be some pretty cool medical cases, but we are also getting to see a lot more of the doctors’ lives away from the hospital than we’ve ever seen before.
Grey’s has developed a sisterhood between Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) and Maggie (Kelly McCreary), and between carpool conversations and hang outs at Meredith’s house, these have become some of our favorite scenes to watch. Which is a bit surprising since when McCreary joined the cast in Season 11 we weren’t too sure what to think of Maggie. But she’s won us over with her quick wit and impressive work ethic that leads us to believe she is just building up steam.
To see if our inclinations about Maggie are correct, as well as get a preview of what to expect from Grey’s upcoming fall finale on Thursday, The TV Junkies spoke exclusively with McCreary.
TTVJ: Maggie’s character has really changed over the past year. She’s gone from being a little unfriendly and standoffish at the start to a really fun, much more easygoing and much more likable character. What’s it been like to go through that transition?
KM: Well I never noticed that she was unlikable; I always liked her very much. But I think what might have been read as standoffish was her forth righteousness and her analytical nature and those are qualities that I value very highly in people. I find it interesting to hear that that made her unlikable.
TTVJ: I don’t think that she was unlikable; more that viewers didn’t know what to think of her, at least in her first few episodes.
KM: I think that people try to always be the best version of themselves when they first show up in any situation and you try to stick to that persona until something happens. And in her case, her parents got divorced and she completely fell apart. And that kind of forced some of the cracks in her professional persona. I think that anyone can relate to that. Just how she can’t hold it together anymore as strictly professional and her insides are starting to seep out a little bit more. And it takes time, right? You move to a new place and start a new job and a lot of things are uncertain and you sort of hold on to the pieces of your identity that are safe. And then you can’t anymore and that’s when everything sort of spills over and that’s what happened with Maggie.
TTVJ: The sisterhood that has developed between Meredith, Maggie, Amelia (and sometimes Alex) has become one of our favorite parts of the show. Are those scenes as much fun to play as they are to watch? How do you guys keep a straight face in those carpool scenes?
KM: Oh my gosh, they really are fun to play. There have been a lot of really fun scenes to play this year. I’ve definitely noticed a shift in the show. I mean last year most of the characters on the show were going through really difficult things and they are all sort of on the other side of that and things are a lot lighter for them now. Those car scenes and the scenes in the house are the best. When we get the characters out of the hospital and we get to sort of explore their personal lives as they interact with each other and not just how they play out their experiences with their patients you get to really see when they’re playful and when they let their guards down and they’re just messy. I love that stuff. Personally, I like to laugh and be silly myself and those scenes playing with Ellen and Caterina and Justin [Chambers], we really do spend a lot of time cracking up.
TTVJ: Is this sisterhood going to continue to grow as the season goes on?
TTVJ: Or is it going to be the opposite?
KM: Yeah, without giving too much away, we’ve seen that Meredith and Amelia are at odds with each other over how Penny has become involved in Meredith’s life at work, and that really does change the dynamic between those two sisters. As we’ve seen all season Maggie just kind of in the middle and just trying not to be collateral damage. We are going to see a change for sure. And change causes growth so I guess it will continue to grow in its own sort of way.
TTVJ: Race has always been a bit of a non-issue on Grey’s, but last week it did come up in a rather interesting way with Amelia. How did you feel about how all that played out?
KM: That’s interesting that you say that it’s been a non issue. We don’t talk about how it affects the characters on the show in a direct way but it is always in conversation outside of the show. People always ask us to comment on the status characters of color and LGTBQ too. So the comments are always on the present. I was concerned that it might be a bit of a shock to the audience to hear it come from the characters mouth. But at the same time we have dealt with everything under the sun. Every social and cultural conversation that is controversial. We’ve talked about all of it. So for it not to come up eventually would be a bit ridiculous.
So I felt that the way it was handled, the language that was used, the characters that talked about it, the situation under which it came up were completely appropriate and right on time. It didn’t feel too preachy. I was almost concerned that we didn’t talk specifically enough about what white privilege means or what unconscious bias actually is and what the difference is between racism and unconscious bias. But the fact that Shonda’s touch on that particular scene and Maggie’s language about it was so light really gave people an opportunity to listen in a way where they didn’t feel like they were being preached at, but really could connect to Maggie and Amelia’s perspective and their experiences with it. So I was really pleased to be the one that carried out that storyline along with Caterina and Jerrika for that matter.
TTVJ: Maggie has started this rather interesting relationship with Dr. Andrew DeLuca, (Giacomo Gianniotti), what can we expect to see between the two of them? Is their relationship going to continue to be somewhat casual or are they going to start to form a more serious relationship?
KM: They do come up against a challenge this week. That’s exactly the questions that they face. Whether it remains casual or what exactly are they doing together? Is it appropriate and can it continue? I don’t want to give too much away but yes, that is exactly the question that they are faced with this week so we will see how it plays out.
TTVJ: There is obviously a bit of an age difference between the two of them, and kudos to Maggie in that department, but is that and the fact that he’s an intern going to play any more of a role in their relationship?
KM: Well that was initially the reason why Maggie was freaking out in the beginning right? The fact that there’s the age difference, the difference between their statuses and the hierarchy in the hospital and whatever that was professional for her. She obviously values her professional identity above everything else so that is why she was in so much turmoil. So that remains a question. It’s tricky, the fact that they’re in a workplace romance remains tricky for them in this upcoming episode.
TTVJ: Maggie and Richard (James Pickens Jr.) had an important moment a few episodes ago where he admitted to a friend that he has a daughter. Was this kind of a stepping-stone for them and their relationship?
KM: Yeah, I loved that. I think what is cool about their relationship is that it is such an unusual dynamic. This is a woman in her thirties that all of the sudden has a new dad, and he is the father of a grown woman. Where did the parenting come in? When can Maggie ask for support? In what way can she ask him to be a father? And that episode kind of brought up all these questions for them. She didn’t realize that she needed him to claim her and he didn’t realize that he needed to admit to messing up in his life in order to claim her. So these are the cool, unusual hurdles that they have to go through in order to get to know each other. I can’t wait to see what more the writers come up with in terms of what other unusual circumstances they can put these two in to deal with their father-daughter relationship.
TTVJ: Last week we saw Dr. Nathan Riggs (played by Martin Henderson) join the cast and join Maggie in the cardiac surgery department. This was obviously a shock to Maggie. How is that going to play into their working relationship?
KM: What I loved about their journey last week was that Maggie came around. She came around to respecting him and acknowledging that it wasn’t his fault that he was hired the way that he was. There’s a lot of mutual respect between the two of them. I think that if they can both work out their need to be alphas in the room they’re going to be a great team together and they’re going to do medical magic all over the place.
TTVJ: Riggs obviously has some bad history with Hunt (Kevin McKidd). Is Maggie going to play any part in revealing what that history is and will that play any part in their relationship?
KM: It will come out soon, I will tell you that much, but Maggie is not going to be involved in that at all. We saw last week how Meredith joined Owen’s team so you can expect to see it play out between Meredith and Owen and Amelia and Owen in the next little bit.
Are you enjoying the sisterhood as much as we are on Grey’s? Would you like to see Maggie and Andrew move forward with their relationship? Sound off in the comments below and take a closer look at the upcoming fall finale here:
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and CTV.
Christy is a self proclaimed and proud TV Junkie. Her love for TV began at an early age with shows like Degrassi, Alias, ER, Buffy, The X-Files & Friends. You can now find her watching, ok obsessing over, shows like When Calls The Heart, Saving Hope, Arrow, Outlander, Grey's Anatomy and many many others. You can catch Christy on Twitter at @ChristySpratlin where she will likely be live tweeting her favorite shows and talking about everything TV.