Brooke Smith Joins the Grey's Anatomy Cast

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After several strong guest appearances over two years-plus, Brooke Smith is set to join the Grey's Anatomy cast as renowned heart surgeon Erica Hahn.

With her role cemented after last night, Brooke Smith talked with Michael Ausiello of TV Guide to discuss her character, what it's like to join such a talented ensemble, and whether or not Erica Hahn will be portrayed as a lesbian ...

TV Guide: Congratulations!
Brooke Smith: Thanks!

TV Guide: You must've had an idea this was coming.
Brooke Smith: Honestly, I wasn't expecting it, [probably] because I didn't want to be disappointed if it didn't end up happening. I thought it was really cool when TV Guide [floated the idea], because I thought, "Wow, I didn't even think of that!" And literally a couple days after we spoke, they called.

Brooke Smith Joins the Grey's Anatomy Cast

TV Guide: Did they come right out and offer a full-time gig? Or were they just offering another guest spot?
Brooke Smith: No, it was, "Hey, can you come full-time?" Thank God. I couldn't handle any more dabbling. It's too much. [Mock anguish] I feel like I want someone to commit to me already!

TV Guide: What was your first reaction?
Brooke Smith: You know, we were kind of excited. [Laughs] I say "we" because my husband and I were like, "Wow, OK." We had just finished [renovating our apartment] in New York, and put down a deposit on school for our little girl. But, aside from that, we just said, "All right, I guess we're moving to L.A. for a little while." But we're going back to New York at the end of this.

TV Guide: Do you like that Dr. Hahn is a little bit of an antagonist?
Brooke Smith: Yeah. I've heard people say [Dr. Hahn] is abrasive. [Laughs] Dr. Hahn is a workaholic and she's very professional and, you know, I think she feels that there should be professionalism at work, and when other people do things that aren't professional she gets a little upset.

TV Guide: And lord knows, there are a lot of people acting unprofessional at Seattle Grace.
Brooke Smith: There are! For God's sakes, c'mon, it's a hospital, people!

TV Guide: It's not a Motel 6.
Brooke Smith: Exactly! Lord.

TV Guide: Since you're sticking around, I guess it's safe to assume that they're going to delve a little more into Dr. Hahn's background… maybe give her a love interest?
Brooke Smith: I think so. Honestly, as of now, there's only a little hinting. I'm getting some suggestions….

TV Guide: Like what?
Brooke Smith: There might be a certain man there who's interested in me. But I don't know what Dr. Hahn will think of that. It's really interesting. I haven't worked like this before. We start shooting the next episode on Monday and I don't have a script yet. We'll get it tomorrow, and you just sort of read them out loud with everyone, and you're like, "Oh my god!" I know a little bit about her. And, certainly, I have a dialogue with the writers and I ask them questions and they sort of steer me down their same path. But I don't think anyone knows what's going to happen…. The other day I joked, "I know who I'm hooking up with!" There's this surgical nurse who's always there. When she's there I'm thrilled, because she always makes me feel very real â€" 'cause she's a real [surgical nurse]. I turned to her at one point and said, "Are you single on the show?" She doesn't even have a name on the show and I'm already trying to hook up with her.

TV Guide: I can see Dr. Hahn hitting it off with Cristina.
Brooke Smith: Secretly, we pushed for that. You know, Sandra Oh and I played lovers in [the off-Broadway play] Stop Kiss.

TV Guide: You know, there were rumors a while back that Cristina might be bisexual...
Brooke Smith: I know. I heard those rumors.

TV Guide: Then it's destined to happen!
Brooke Smith: That's what I think. But I don't know….

TV Guide: I think Dr. Hahn would make an awesome lesbian.
Brooke Smith: I think so, too.

TV Guide: Could it happen?
Brooke Smith: I honestly don't know. I've certainly let [the producers] know I'm open to it.

TV Guide: What was their reaction?
Brooke Smith: They were like, "OK, duly noted!" I think they wanted me to shut up already.

TV Guide: The fact is, Seattle Grace needs a gay character.
Brooke Smith: Well, hey, you called it that I [would be] on the show full-time, so...

TV Guide: Did the cast welcome you back with open arms?
Brooke Smith: They've been great. Everybody's great. It's very comfortable… which is weird. It feels like it shouldn't be, because it's such a big show.

TV Guide: And it hasn't always been the happiest place to work.
Brooke Smith: I guess that was last season. I haven't seen any of that. And I didn't see it the last time I was there. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm in some sort of bubble.

TV Guide: Any Grey's Anatomy scoop you can give me before you go?
Brooke Smith: I heard Seth Green is coming.

TV Guide: Eh, that's old news. Are you going to be in scenes with him?
Brooke Smith: Not yet. But we're doing a two-parter now, so maybe in the second part. I'm not involved with him in the first part.

TV Guide: Who are you involved with in the first part?
Brooke Smith: I've been working with Dr. Sloan... Izzie... and Alex... And I finally got to work with Dr. Torres.

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


i think they have totally made it look like hahn is gay in the last episode but they may be tricking . . .
No way will she hook up with Christina...
And Lexi and George are totally going to get together which is.. wierd... as if george has slept with nearly every character!
Love From Jane


i'd go for SloHahn... love the banter, the way she shoots him down turns him on... Clever. I'd love to see them give it a try.


Did John Glover play Mr Shanley on episode 5 Oct 2007...this is the guy that received his daughters heart in a transplant? $5 is riding on this....


Hahn is an indapented girl, who can reject mark, wich, not all girl can do.


I LOVE Dr Hahn, she's amazing and yes she really would be an AWESOME lesbian but I think it should be someone like Christina but i'm not keen on the whole Erica/Christina thing. she's pretty too=] x


it just seems like a lot of women b/c lexie is new, and now there's hahn (there was ava... but she's not a regular, at least not atm, and if you count ava than you would have to count norman) -- but i think you have to remember that addi is no longer with us.


Wow....Cristina & Dr. Hahn? that could be some great storyline! What a challenge! I'd love to see this one developed.


I think that it would be a great for the show if dr. hahn was gay. It would make the show even more diverse than it already is. And I think that she is a great addition to the show(even thoe there is way too many people on the show). Besides Bailey and Richard, hahn would be like the third/only adult working at Seattle Grace.


Sh*t i totally ment McSteamy


I say she hooks up with Sloan i think McDreamy will try to seduce her and she's look at him like "seriously?" and he'll be smitten


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

Burke was- He took something from me. He took little pieces of me, little pieces over time, so small I didn't even notice, you know? He wanted me to be something I wasn't, and I made myself into what he wanted. One day I was me Cristina Yang, and then suddenly I was lying for him, and jeopardizing my career, and agreeing to be married and wearing a ring, and being a bride. Until I was standing there in a wedding dress with no eyebrows, and I wasn't Cristina Yang anymore. And even then, I would've married him. I would have. I lost myself for a long time. And now that I'm finally me again, I can't. I love you. I love you more than I loved Burke. I love you. And that scares the crap out of me because when you asked me to ignore Teddy's page, you took a piece of me, and I let you. And that will never happen again.