A Second Interview With Brooke Smith

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As Dr. Erica Hahn, the heart surgeon who used to serve as a rival to Dr. Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington), Brooke Smith has now joined the fray full time. Here are excerpts from the actress' conversation with the Los Angeles Times ...

Question: So how did this come about - did you hatch some scheme with [Grey's Anatomy creator and executive producer] Shonda Rhimes?

Brooke Smith: No! I've been dabbling over there in Season 2 and Season 3. After every time I would hope they would call and also hope not too, kind of like when I used to be single. And they finally actually called!

Question: OK! So how's it going? Everyone is so unpleasant!

Brooke Smith: They are? You mean the characters.

Question: Indeed! A little gritty, a little narcissistic. . . .

Brooke Smith: Oh yeah. That.

Question: And your own is a little abrasive.

Brooke Smith: Yes. I've heard that word used before. What's the question?

Brooke Smith

Question: You're the first person to ever confront me on not asking questions. You must have been to a lot of therapy or something.

Brooke Smith: Oh, that was years ago, but I need to go back.

Question: Oh, we'll circle back to that. So?

Brooke Smith: [Erica Hahn] is a professional! She's a workaholic! She has little rules in her head about how you're supposed to act at work. That doesn't mean she can't break the rules. But everyone else is supposed to follow them.

Question: And you made your grand entrance as a full-timer? Was there cake?

Brooke Smith: No cake! I got a bottle. I got a little, you know, thermos. I think one thing that should be mentioned and applauded is that they have banished plastic bottles from the set. Isn't that cool? It's the first time I've seen it. The thermos says Grey's Anatomy Season 4. You have to be responsible with that thermos. You have to bring it with you. You have to hydrate. It's the desert here.

Question: I'm assuming that it actually turns out that everyone is nice with some exceptions.

Brooke Smith: I haven't met anyone who's not nice there. Truthfully! And I've known some of those people before. I did a movie with Patrick Dempsey, and I did a play with Sandra Oh in New York called "Stop Kiss." We were lovers!

Question: So you know each other quite well!

Brooke Smith: We do! When I first got to Grey's Anatomy, she told the producers I was a good kisser. Ooh, very controversial. And I did a Law & Order a million years ago with Ellen Pompeo. And T.R. Knight! I met T.R. at the O'Neill Theater Festival. Very highbrow. What can I say?

Continue reading this interview in the Los Angeles Times ...

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She got fired!!!! Stupid ABC!!!! Sorry I'm still not quite over that yet. But I"m making progress....LOL!!! I'm not as pissed as I was. LOL!!!

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Adding Brooke Smith to the cast as more than a secondary character was a bold and rewarding move. My faith has been restored in the show due to the chemistry and conflicts brought to the table by Smith. Smith is one of those actresses who are on another level; she's simply prodigious. I can't wait to see what's in store for Erica Hahn in season 5.

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I agree with Britt. I totally did not see that coming. But I love it as well. It's nice to have a female attending again! I love/miss Addison on the show, so its good to see a new strong woman in charge...Welcome Dr. Hahn!

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I totally didnt expect she'd become head of cardio but i LOVE it. She's a good actor and will make things really interesting.

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I am so glad she's a regular now. Good call Shonda! I just hope they do not do her character like they did Weaver on ER and write her as a lesbian. A woman can be strong and just as good as the male characters at what she does without being a lesbian.

Grey's Anatomy Quotes

When we say things like "people don't change" it drives scientist crazy because change is literally the only constant in all of science. Energy. Matter. It's always changing, morphing, merging, growing, dying. It's the way people try not to change that's unnatural. The way we cling to what things were instead of letting things be what they are. The way we cling to old memories instead of forming new ones. The way we insist on believing despite every scientific indication that anything in this lifetime is permanent. Change is constant. How we experience change that's up to us. It can feel like death or it can feel like a second chance at life. If we open our fingers, loosen our grips, go with it, it can feel like pure adrenaline. Like at any moment we can have another chance at life. Like at any moment, we can be born all over again.

Meredith

Doesn't matter how tough we are, trauma always leaves a scar. It follows us home, it changes our lives, trauma messes everybody up, but maybe that's the point. All the pain and the fear and the crap. Maybe going through all of that is what keeps us moving forward. It's what pushes us. Maybe we have to get a little messed up, before we can step up.

Alex (narrating)