Grey's Anatomy

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For Brooke Smith, Returning is a Pleasant Surprise

by at . Comments

During Season 3 of Grey's Anatomy, Dr. Preston Burke, played by Isaiah Washington, suffered a gun shot wound that left him bedridden and out of commission.

In came Brooke Smith's Dr. Erica Hahn, an old rival and cardiothoracic surgeon at neighboring Mercy West, who substituted for Burke at Seattle Grace. While Smith loved the role as Hahn, she was never expecting it to become a permanent gig.

"I didn't really think it was going to work out," Smith said.

However, things took a different turn when ABC decided not to renew Washington's contract. With the actor off the show and his character out of Seattle Grace, Brooke Smith was called back to not only to reprise her role as Erica Hahn, but to act as the hospital's new head of cardiothoracic surgery.

Apart from it being a full-time job, Brooke Smith decided to give Grey's Anatomy a go because it gives her the chance to explore a character for a longer period of time.

"When I work on something that has a beginning, middle and end, I can create an arc. With Dr. Hahn, I need to figure out who she is," Smith said.

Brooke Smith Picture

Brooke Smith, the newest full-time Grey's Anatomy cast member.

That said, the 40-year-old has been busy doing research for her role, including watching heart surgery at a Los Angeles hospital and enlisting the help of the real surgical nurses who are assigned to the operating room on the show.

"It really stressed me out a lot," she said. "I didn't go to medical school. I have no idea what it really is to be a surgeon and yet I have to act like I'm really good at it."

Fans, however, will have to wait a little longer before seeing Brooke Smith and the rest of the Grey's Anatomy cast at work, as the WGA strike has caused production to shut down on the show for an indefinite period of time.

"I am sort of out of work," Smith said, noting her ironic situation. "I thought for the first time, I am going to have stability. That lasted for almost two months."

On the upside, Smith believes the strike will end soon.

"I am ready to go back, already," she said.

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

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Love and miss my cardio god. :(

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We need new stuff-there needs to be more than eleven episodes in the season so… hay we could right our own seceul for now. Really I want george and izzie together and Sugarland's song Want to is perfect for them the Chorus is Whole world could change in a minute
Just one kiss could stop this spining
We could think it through
But I don't want to, if you don't want to
We could keep things just the same
Leave here the way we came, with nothing to lose
But I don't want to, if you don't want to\ And the ending is amazing Never waste another day
Wonderin' what you threw away
Holdin me, holdin you
I don't want to, if you don't want to We could keep things just the same
Leave here the way we came, with nothing to lose
But I don't want to, but you don't want to But I want you Really they should be cool and take a step back from thier sex life and just take a trip together.The spoilers for episode 11 say that george's mother comes back. Maybe gearge will have to go somewhere and episode 12 will end playinas they drive off to where ever. They are the cutest together and I am tired of Merder's on off relationship let someone be happy. what do you think?

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I thought her character was from Seattle Presbyterian. Not Mercy West. But whatever. I absolutely love Erica... she plays her well.

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Talented, smart and beautiful...I l-o-v-e-d her character from the minute we were introduced to her.

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My second favorite character already :)

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Smith is ugly enough to be a real doctor

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)

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.

Meredith