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 ...

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

MEREDITH: "You don't get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was done! All the boys and all the bars and all the obvious daddy issues, who cares? I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I'm all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don't get to call me a whore."
DEREK: "This thing with us is finished. It's over."
MEREDITH: "Finally."
DEREK: "Yeah, it's done."
MEREDITH: "It is done."

Lexie: [narrating] Grief may be a thing we all have in common, but it looks different on everyone.
Mark: It isn't just death we have to grieve. It's life. It's loss. It's change.
Alex: And when we wonder why it has to suck so much sometimes, has to hurt so bad. The thing we gotta try to remember is that it can turn on a dime.
Izzie: That's how you stay alive. When it hurts so much you can't breathe, that's how you survive.
Derek: By remembering that one day, somehow, impossibly, you won't feel this way. It won't hurt this much.
Bailey: Grief comes in its own time for everyone, in its own way.
Owen: So the best we can do, the best anyone can do, is try for honesty.
Meredith: The really crappy thing, the very worst part of grief is that you can't control it.
Arizona: The best we can do is try to let ourselves feel it when it comes.
Callie: And let it go when we can.
Meredith: The very worst part is that the minute you think you're past it, it starts all over again.
Cristina: And always, every time, it takes your breath away.
Meredith: There are five stages of grief. They look different on all of us, but there are always five.
Alex: Denial.
Derek: Anger.
Bailey: Bargaining.
Lexie: Depression.
Richard: Acceptance.