As the Madonna tune goes, Grey’s Anatomy‘s Dr. April Kepner is “Like a Virgin,” presenting herself to EMT beau Matthew as a smidgen more untouched than she really is. Will she be able to maintain the ruse? Or will a crisis at the newly christened Grey+Sloan Memorial Hospital thrust her back into close proximity with ex-lover Jackson? Sarah Drew previewed for TVLine what’s to come – and shared her wish not to die in this season’s finale.
TVLINE | I’m wondering, do you almost feel guilty with all this hospital transition drama going on, and April is just there cavorting with her hunky EMT (played by Justin Bruening)?
Totally. [Laughs] But she’s also trying to save lives. Let’s be clear. She is saving lots of lives… and also cavorting around with cute, very beautiful men.
TVLINE | From where she sits, is this transition for the hospital going to be getting any smoother anytime soon?
You know, I think she’s just so relieved to have the ER back, that she’s not really been thinking about the other stuff. Her whole thing is trauma, so as long as she has a place to do her thing, she feels good.
TVLINE | Will Grey+Sloan Memorial be a well-oiled machine by the end of the season?
Oh, I’m sure it won’t be. It’s Grey’s Anatomy, it’s drama. No, I think there’s going to be continued stress and anxiety. These surgeons all have their own pet projects that they want and they’re trying to get the money from the board to make their things happen…. It’s going to be a constant challenge for them to take care of the administrative stuff, being on the board and making tough calls.
TVLINE | What did you, personally, think of the hospital’s new name?
Oh, it’s awesome. I love it. It’s such a great way to not only honor the characters, but honor our friends who left our show.
TVLINE | As new responsibilities weigh on Jackson (Jesse Williams), will April be there for him?
She is sort of in her own drama, about what to do with her life and her men, so I feel like she has not thus far been incredibly supportive of him in his time of need. Hopefully that will change and she’ll show up for him in the next few episodes. But she seems pretty preoccupied with her own drama right now.
TVLINE | Well, speaking of that: How does Matthew measure up to Jackson in her mind?
I think that she in her head decided Jackson is not the right guy for her, but her heart is still very connected to him. And in her head, Matthew is exactly the right guy for her — he sees the world the same way she does, he has the same values, he really delights in her and loves things about her, where Jackson in the past has made fun of her, you know what I mean? But Jackson also loves her, cares for her and knows her better than anybody else on the planet knows her. I think if she’s going to wind up with Jackson – and I still don’t know who she’s going to wind up with — her head has got to learn how to communicate with her heart. It’s all very complicated! [Laughs]
TVLINE | It looks like next week, Matthew is going to end up on the other end of the proverbial stethoscope.
Yes, he will. He pulls a Superman and jumps in front of a child to protect the child’s body from an explosion, and he gets cut up pretty badly as a result — which is yet another reason why he’s such a perfect and amazing guy.
TVLINE | Does this scare prompt either of them to sit down and evaluate what’s really going on here?
Yes. The scare happens for him while she’s dealing with a pretty huge crisis of faith with one of her other patients, and Jackson winds up being there for her in a way that she needs. Then she goes to Matthew to try to talk to him about it and he misinterprets what she’s saying — and that leaves her even more confused than before.
TVLINE | Even further down the line, she’s going to contemplate telling Matthew about her actual virginity situation. What do you think his reaction might be?
Disappointment. When he told her he was a virgin, he wasn’t expecting her to also be a virgin, so there was the delight and the joy of [hearing that]. I’m afraid it’s going to be really sad — but the bigger disappointment is going to be that she lied. If she’d told him right off the bat, he would have been so understanding.
TVLINE | Are you hearing any whispers about what Shonda Rhimes has got cooking for the finale?
I have no idea. They won’t tell us anything.
TVLINE | Shonda indicated to us that it’s going to be on the quiet side — no gunman, no explosions, no catastrophes….
Yes. I’m sure — that’s usually how it happens. Usually every other year is a big, crazy event and then the off years are big, emotional turmoil events, but no death. I hope!