April has enjoyed a pretty good year on Grey's Anatomy in creating a burgeoning relationship with Matt the paramedic. But will their blossoming love last? Are Jackson and April destined to be together?
When I spoke on the phone with Sarah Drew about her character, she excitedly talked about playing a part in a love triangle, her favorite scenes and where she wants to see April's character headed.
Read on for excerpts from our exclusive Q&A...
What have you enjoyed the most about playing April Kepner on Grey's Anatomy Season 9?
I've had a really fun time playing this love triangle. It's fun to sink my teeth into some deep emotional turmoil... because I'm such a romantic, I love watching new love, and I love watching the confusion, and the push and pull between the guys. It's a lot of fun.
Were you excited to find out you were getting a new love interest?
I was so excited. I was even like 'Hey, can I be in on the casting process? I want to read with different people.' I was so excited to be on the other side of the table for once in the audition room, but they ended up picking Justin [Bruening] because Shonda [Rhimes] was completely sold on Justin's reading from the moment she saw him. She was like, 'We actually don't need you to read with anyone because we're in love with him.' And I was like, 'Okay, sounds good!'
What do you like about working with Justin Bruening and delving into the relationship with April and Matthew?
Matthew and April's courtship reminds me a lot of my relationship with my husband. When we dated 12-13 years ago, there was a scene in Matthew's apartment that reminded me of the apartment that my husband lived in when we were dating. There's something about revisiting that time and innocence, of just discovering one another and going, 'Oh my gosh, you get me. We are on the same page!' It was delightful to revisit and remember, so I love it.
I love that he's the first person who has basically appreciated April for all the things that I've always appreciated about April, stuff that people on the show generally make fun of her about. He has this whole list like she's brave and beautiful, and a bunch of other stuff. This guy sees that and he's delighted in her. It's been fun to see someone who really gets her.
Do you think the relationship can last? Or will April end up with Jackson?
I think April has a hard time communicating between her head and her heart. In her head, Matthew seems like exactly the right person because he has the same world views and Jackson doesn't. But Jackson also challenges her in her way of thinking in ways that Matthew doesn't. And Jackson knows her better than anyone else because they're best friends. In her head, she wouldn't even think that being ultimately with Jackson could potentially work out, but I think in her heart she's very much drawn to him and I think she's sort of in denial about it. She won't even allow herself to even go there, but she has these moments where she is magnetically drawn to him and tries to figure out how to turn herself in the opposite direction.
Will Jackson's new role as hospital boss change their relationship?
Yeah, but she's not on the board and in that room hashing out big decisions with him. They haven't written it in that there's any sort of issue with her and him as a boss. She's still kind of catty and mean to him and kind and loving to him in the same why she always was before.
Is there a memorable scene or moment that you've filmed this season that has stuck out for you?
There's a bunch. I loved the whole pregnancy scare episode ["I Was Made for Loving You"]. I just had a lot of fun with the journey through all the emotional ups and downs and wrestling with what that could mean. And then that scene where [Jackson] proposes to her is so beautiful and so lovely. I love playing that.
I also really, really loved the romantic stuff with Matt so far. I loved the scenes where he lists off all the ways in which April is amazing, and her taking that in and allowing someone to appreciate and see her.
I even loved the scene where he says he's a virgin. It was such a beautiful moment of 'Oh, my gosh, there's somebody else that can get me.' And then she goes and lies. But I loved playing that scene. It was so sweet and innocent.
Will that lie come back to bite her?
Oh, of course. It's totally gonna bite her in the ass. You gotta keep the drama going.
Is there anything you want to see April do or be a part of that she hasn't yet?
I want her to pass her boards, which she still hasn't done yet. I think I would really like for her to figure out what she wants. I would also really like for her to stop feeling so damn guilty all the time about everything. I would like her to find the freedom in the choices that she makes in life, and allow what she believes to coexist with also loving herself. That's the therapy stuff, but that's what I think she needs.
She does feel guilty about herself a lot, doesn't she?
Yes, and it's an exhausting and super unattractive quality about her. It's also very real, and a lot of people feel a lot of guilt about stuff. I appreciate that it's there because it's an honest story, but at the same time, you know, I'd like her to grow and move past the stuff that is paralyzing for her.
What are your favorite types of scenes to film: doctor cases, relationships or comedy?
It's fun to do the doctor stuff. I love the episode that aired last week, ["Transplant Wasteland"] and all the stuff with the ALS patient. That was so wonderful to sink my teeth into and dealing with all of the emotional stuff. But I love playing the comedy stuff and the romantic stuff, so I can't really choose. I've just had a really fun year, so I've been grateful for all that I've gotten to do.
What can you tease about this week's episode, "Idle Hands?"
We find out about the sex of Meredith's baby. That should be fun.
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.