Jesse Williams Previews Tonight's Grey's Anatomy

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Tonight on Grey's Anatomy, Jackson's mother Catherine Avery (portrayed by Debbie Allen) comes to Seattle Grace to perform a groundbreaking surgery. What kind of surgery would that be?

See yesterday's Grey's Anatomy sneak previews for all you wanted to know and more on that front. Suffice it to say, Jackson's mom certainly makes a splash upon her arrival at the hospital.

Williams previewed this week's episode at length with TV Guide. Excerpts below ...

Dr. J. Avery

On Catherine Avery vs. Ellis Grey: I would say she has a lot in common with her in that she is a bit of a narcissist, she's incredibly meddling and all-knowing, not only in medical skills, but that spills over to social confidence and relationships, just giving advice on every level. However, I would say she's very different from Ellis Grey (Kate Burton) in that she's very warm, very maternal and nurturing. She's a touchy[-feely] mom who wants to swaddle you up.

On who else Catherine works with: You're going to see Catherine get into it with Derek Shepherd. Her dynamic with Meredith is funny because Catherine starts meddling. She knew Ellis Grey, she knows the Chief, so she is aware of who Meredith is. Her trying to toy with Meredith a bit is to suss out what the deal is with Lexie. She's trying to play a not-very-slick meddling detective, usually directly in front of Jackson's face.

On why Lexie is MIA: He doesn't want to scare her off. He doesn't want to have her feel like she's being hit by a battering ram and getting grilled. He doesn't expect his mother to be there long. He expects her to show up, give a lecture, and take off. He doesn't know there's a groundbreaking procedure that she wants to do, and he has no idea she'll essentially be living there for that short time. With sending Lexie off, he's just trying to do something right.

On the future of "Jaxie": They will have to deal with the reality of working in the same space all the time, working with Mark, her trying to find her place, him having the pressure of fifth year, and also, Jackson trying to juggle everything. They've had a really nice stride for a couple months, so I'm excited to see where it goes. But you definitely will see them engaged in a very serious and relaxed dialogue and will actually be interacting in the coming episodes.

On Jackson's take on Mark: Yeah, it's nice that Mark is sometimes funny, sometimes a prick, but he's always cocky and confident. It's nice to see somebody put anybody with those characteristics in their place, or flip them on their heads where they're the one seeking approval when they're very stingy in dishing it out. It's part of Jackson's growth process with Mark in figuring out who this dude is. Will he be a problem or a real asset to Jackson?

On fans clamoring for Mark and Lexie to couple up: I take the audience's awareness very seriously. I always want to be mindful of that as we make decisions as actors to put time and energy into creating these characters. I'm aware that they have more information than Jackson does. When they see Jackson and Lexie, they're keenly aware of her history with Mark and they expect something to happen. They want to figure out if she's really over him and if she's moving on. It's a perfectly reasonable question, and what I've been enjoying playing is Jackson dealing with that in a mature way, being aware of it, but not being obsessed with it. Jackson is learning that he can't control everything.

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