Grey's Anatomy's Kevin McKidd Previews 'Trouble Ahead' For Owen and Cristina

For this Thursday’s Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 9/8c), cast member Kevin McKidd stepped behind the camera to direct an hour in which Derek is dealt a surprise, Callie and Arizona deal with their baby “bump,” and Bailey gets perhaps a bit too social in the OR. TVLine spoke with the great Scot about his turn calling the shots, getting “busted” by his leading lady, and what the future holds for Owen and Cristina.

TVLINE | I understand Owen has a date with the dentist this week, just so you could go and play director.
That’s right, yeah. [Laughs] He’s gone numb for the day.

TVLINE | What are the big storyline thrusts for this episode?
It’s the first day of Derek’s Alzheimer’s trial, and that’s addressed in a very sensitive way, as far as what the affliction it does to families and couples. I think Derek was under the impression it would be this analytical process, but it’s much more emotional than he and Alex thought. There’s also a fun storyline with Bailey, where she becomes a Twitter queen, sharing all the strident work she’s done. But she and Richard lock horns over that.

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TVLINE | Yeah, I was wondering: Do I really want a doctor tweeting from the OR?
Supposedly it’s become a great teaching tool in the world of medicine, because students can follow hugely famous surgeons and watch their decision-making happen moment-to-moment. And also there’s Callie, Mark and Arizona, who are really in murky water. How do you move forward with this strange family they’re creating?

TVLINE | Were you working with dramatic or lighter beats for the Calzona story?
It’s dramatic and quite light. Basically, it’s Callie’s moment to have kind of a meltdown. She hopes that Mark and Arizona can work together and both be in her life, but she’s anxious. She becomes kind of hyper-alert and ends up driving her OB doctor, played by Rachael Taylor, to distraction –- and with very funny, touching results.

TVLINE | As director, do have a small hand in steering a new character like Rachael Taylor’s?
A little bit. The actress brings her own thing, and she is fantastic, so you just capture what she gives you. It wasn’t so long ago that I started on the show, and it is nerve-wracking to step onto a ship that is already sailing. I talked to her a lot about my experience, and she told me that helped relax her.

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TVLINE | The episode synopsis also says, “Cristina is back, stronger than ever” – to which I say, “Thank God.”
Yeah, she’s being her old scrappy self, doing anything to trample over anyone in her way to get blood on her hands and cut. It’s fun to see her back to her old tricks.

TVLINE | Knowing Sandra Oh as well as you do, did you ever have to “catch” yourself doing something as a director that you know irks her?
Funny enough, there were a couple times like that. As a director you have to tell the story as clearly as you can, so sometimes you ask an actor to do things that may seem slightly obvious because its going to read well on camera. So I asked her at one point to do one thing and she was like, “No, no, no…. You don’t get to do that just because you’re director!” [Laughs] I was bang to rights, and we had a big joke about it.

TVLINE | I understand it’s not necessarily smooth sailing ahead for Owen and Cristina.
In Season 5, when Owen Hunt arrived, he was essentially a basket case; Cristina was there for him and supported him. In Season 6, he was flaky, all over the place, didn’t know who he loved, all that…. Now it’s his turn this season to pay Cristina back and be her man, her rock, to give her everything she needs. Sometimes he gets it right, sometimes he gets it wrong, but his intentions have been very good. Now that she’s back to full health, this being Grey’s Anatomy, what’s better than when there’s angst and disagreement? So yeah, there’s some trouble ahead for them – and hopefully some comedy as well.

TVLINE | What’s the trouble stem from – family planning?
They just have major disagreements. They rushed into marriage because they loved each other….

TVLINE | There are worse reasons.
Exactly, but sometimes you don’t find out everything you to find out what that person’s beliefs are about certain fundamental things. They haven’t quite done their due diligence on each other, and a lot of that starts to come to light. How are they going to move through that and stay happy, knowing that maybe what one person wants isn’t what the other person wants?

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TVLINE | What was your biggest challenge, directing-wise? Was it the tone of a storyline, a set piece….?
Some episodes we get to go outside, but my episode was very static. So my big challenge really was to change the location of many scenes from being two people talking in a room to “We are walking down a corridor” or “We are in the cafeteria.” Hopefully I kept things moving.

TVLINE | Are you personally all set for Grey’s Anatomy’s “musical” episode (airing March 31)? I hear it’s born of a medical crisis for Callie.
Yeah, it’s going to be told from her point of view, and it’s a big episode. We’re in the middle of recording all the final tracks, and it’s very exciting to do something that’s completely out on a limb for the show. It’s cool to be on a show that is willing to take some risks like that, because otherwise you can be doing the same thing, day in, day out, for a long time. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out!

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19 Comments
  1. Kiki says:

    As long as the Tedster stays away from Owen, I’m ok with C/O angst. Mostly because when there is angst, there is usually a hot wall kiss or some make-up sex. No need for them to become boring just because they are married.

  2. Kiki says:

    Oh – and just how freakin’ nice is KMK! I’m glad he’s getting to direct. Kudos to him.

  3. Cheery says:

    Ha! Never believed Owen and Cristina would make it. Besides, it seems fitting that the show would feature the juxtaposition of MerDer’s successful marriage with Cristina & Owen’s dysfunctional one.

    And while I used to want Teddy with Owen, Teddy and Henry make a MUCH cuter couple. You missed your chance Owen!

    • enijra says:

      teddy?? huh..!! she dont deserve owen because cristina deserve him more and owen doesn’t missed that u called “chance” because if not because of Cristina your Teddy became off the hook..!!keep it in your mind. cheery..!!

  4. Tanya says:

    Too bad Mer and Der are boring as toast now that they are married.

  5. Lisa says:

    Look forward to Owen and Cristina angst, it makes them exciting and not a ho hum boring married couple. I have faith they will make it through this too but will give us some exciting CO scenes along the way. Owen and Cristina have already made it through so much, they will make it through this too.

  6. xav says:

    I can only hope they break up. Cristina deserves so much better.

  7. Becky says:

    Love Owen and Cristina – they have the kind of love and connection that will make it through anything. Bring on the hot scenes I say, LOL

  8. LMSO says:

    I’m very excited to watch Kevin’s directorial debut tomorrow night and I’m looking forward to whatever the rest of the season brings for Owen and Cristina, bumps and all. Given that they *did* get married quickly it’s only natural that some things will come to light now that the immediate crisis of Cristina’s PTSD has passed. I absolutely expect that whatever conflicts they have to work through Owen and Cristina will make in in the end. To me they very much exemplify mature, comitted love in all of its complexity. And I’m with Kiki and Lisa. If the angst leads to more screentime, great scenes between them and lots of making up (complete with hot kisses and sex scenes), bring it on!

  9. Erin says:

    Kevin McKidd gives the best interviews. He is so detailed and thought provoking in this answers, can’t wait to see how that transfers to his directing.

    As for Owen and Cristina, that tidbit actually makes me excited for the rest of the season because it means CO will not be a boring married couple like others on the show. Cristina and Owen angst is the best kind as long as they are together and working it out. Love this couple because they always seem to plow through the bumps in the road and become stronger because of it.

  10. Kaite says:

    Sara has the best voice on the plant. I want her voice so badly. I’m not excited for the musical episode, I just want to hear her sing. It’s amazing.

  11. Stephanie says:

    As long as it’s sexy season 5 angst and not crappy season 6 angst, I’m happy.

  12. Karen says:

    Kevin McKidd is so charming, insightful and talented – lovely interview. I’ll watch the next episode because he’s directing, but otherwise, I don’t consider an episode without Owen and Cristina worth watching, even if I am delighted Cristina is back to being healthy. As for the upcoming angst, I personally don’t think Cristina and Owen need it to be interesting — these two are always exciting, in comic as well as serious moments, and are definitely the HOTTEST TV couple ever. Their unique and moving, non-soapy love story about equals turned me into a regular Grey’s viewer. Oh and McKidd bring out the best in each other onscreen and I just hope they get a storyline and screentime worthy of these two magnetic actors.

  13. Cinders says:

    Owen and Cristina are the most interesting couple on Grey’s. They have hot sexual chemistry and they do angst really well.

  14. jules says:

    Cristina and Owen are my least favorite couple on Grey’s. Owen is actually one of my least favorite characters on this show. I wish Cristina would get together with Jackson. Mark and Lexie are probably my favorite Grey’s couple.

  15. Luchie says:

    I LOVE CRISTINA AND OWEN!!!!
    THEY ARE THE REASONS WHY I WATCH GREY’S ANATOMY!!!!!!

  16. Lizzy says:

    Owen and Cristina are the most interesting couple on Grey’s. They have hot sexual chemistry and they do angst really well. I also like Callie and Mark!!! Dump the wishy washy chick.

  17. enijra says:

    cristina and owen are not good couple because they are “PERFECT”.lol.
    i keep watching greys anatomy because of them. They have everything,because they both strong enough to manage the worst of each other.They handle the worst so both of them deserve the best. but still i’m looking forward to jackson link with cristina and see how her hot,brave husband Owen hunt react on it..thats so exciting.

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