Jessica Capshaw Talks Grey's Anatomy Infidelity and the 'Long, Load Road Ahead' for Calzona

Grey's Anatomy Season 10 Calzona DivorceWhen last we tuned into ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, the storm swirling outside couldn’t hold a candle to the tempest brewing between Drs. Arizona Robbins and Callie Torres, after the former’s infidelity was unexpectedly revealed. Can Callie get past being cheated on, again? And why did Arizona stray, anyway? Jessica Capshaw offers TVLine her in-depth take on the estrangement at hand — and how Arizona will have to earn any new happiness — as Season 10 kicks off tonight at 9/8c, with a two-hour premiere.

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TVLINE | Coming out of the finale, were you concerned at all about how Arizona would wind up portrayed, her infidelity now outed?
Obviously nothing is black-and-white in any matter of the heart, but it seems like there were two ways to go: Arizona gets villainized and is completely not understood and no one gets it, or she manages to find some understanding — and then after that, she plays the rest of the season as some penitent partner and all that. So yeah, there definitely were some choices to be made about what would happen going forward but I didn’t have any anxiety, because I feel trust.
    This is actually my fifth series regular year and there’s a very nice feeling about it. It feels safe. I feel taken care of. I know that between the writers and Shonda [Rhimes], nothing is off limits to talk about and the stories will go down and things change.

TVLINE | Right. They’re not going to slap a scarlet A on Arizona’s chest and throw her under the bus.
If that was a good story to tell they would, but like I said, so many things have happened on the show and you just go with it. You trust that they’re amazing storytellers.

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TVLINE | As the premiere opens, are Callie and Arizona still mid-argument Grey's Anatomy Season 10 Calzonaor have they retreated to their corners?
They are mid-argument. They’re going to have to hash this one out. There is a very, very long road ahead for this couple. Nothing is for certain. Again – matters of the heart. Like when I talked to you last, this is no small thing. This is a huge betrayal. And once you get through the shock of being betrayed like that, by someone you’re supposed to love the most in life, the next step is you have to understand why. Why it happened.

TVLINE | Well, it’s been intimated that the catalyst for this fling may have been more than just the whole leg business.
I mean, I definitely believe that. In playing her, I’ve imagined that there is a lot missing from their relationship. In terms of if you think about the laundry list of things you want in a partner, a lot of things are missing for them. And I don’t think they were in the beginning, but through the maturation of their relationship and alllll of the things that have happened to them, there was change.

TVLINE | From the clip that’s been released, it appears Callie is acting out, right out of the gate.
Yeah, I saw that clip. [Laughs] I like to think that I live a really honest life — I’ve been married almost 10 years and I’ve got these great kids, I pinch myself all the time – but when I came back to work mid-summer, after we all had had this wonderful break, it would be like all that happiness [Makes whooshing sound]. Every time I walked into a scene, it would be having to play someone who’s just done something horrible! So, it’s definitely being dealt with in the beginning of the season. I would come out of work and be like, “I really am a good person! I really am!!”

TVLINE | You can tell from that clip that Arizona was not expecting the news to be blurted out so fast, so publicly.
The funniest part in playing that scene — I think it was my first scene of the season – is that Kevin [McKidd] was in the scene, Jesse [Williams] was in the scene, Patrick [Dempsey], Ellen [Pompeo], Sandra [Oh] and Chandra [Wilson]. That’s a pretty full room. [Laughs] And during every everyone’s coverage, when Callie says that to Arizona, everybody had the same reaction — no one knew where to look! Like, “OK….” Everyone wanted to disappear. Including me.

TVLINE | Is it evident or expressed to Arizona that part of what Callie is dealing with here is that she’s been cheated on by a spouse again?
Interestingly, no. I’m sure that will come out, but they’re definitely dealing with their present. It’s not turned into breaking dishes. And it’s not going into, “Well I did this and you did that.” Not yet.

TVLINE | Shonda told me that this storyline was never about Lauren, Grey's Anatomy Arizona Laurenthat it was never about continuing with that character. Still, are you a bit sad that Hilarie Burton’s gone?
I love Hilarie, she is so much fun. I feel so fortunate, because as soon as we read that storyline at the table read, everybody just went, “Oh my god. Good luck to whatever lady comes in to play this part. Everyone’s going to despise her.” And as devastating as the storyline was, I think she did such a wonderful job. When I thought it was going to be Armageddon for the fans of “Calzona,” there actually were a ton of people who leaned into [Hilarie's] portrayal of someone really taken with Arizona and the story that got set up by it.

TVLINE | So, what can you say – is there couples’ therapy ahead for Calzona? My only hesitation is I feel like we just did that, a couple years ago, with Cristina and Owen.
Yeah, I was just about to say that. No, they’re dealing with them in a different way. They’re trying to figure out what comes next. Because you have to remember, they have a child; Cristina and Owen didn’t. And that’s a heartbreaking aspect to it.

TVLINE | What else would you like to say about the new season?
It’s very exciting. It’s very fresh. There’s a really rich story with the interns and weaving them into the attending doctors’ lives. That’s been such a strong part of the first quarter of this season that we shot, beefing up all their stories and understanding who they are – without, obviously, losing all the characters that you’ve come to know and love in the past 10 years.

TVLINE | Shonda has said it’s lighter, more fun — are you seeing that?
Yeah! Yeah, it is. Obviously my storyline isn’t… [Laughs, a lot] But you know what — and I’ve been told to be vague with you – I think the cool part is that while Arizona has just done a very, very bad, bad thing, she’s not a bad person, and she’s trying to find her way back to who she was when she first came on the scene. Listen, she’s not going to be wearing the wheelie sneakers, because she has the one leg now, but she’s going to get back to and perhaps wants to find her way to the character that first showed up and was not doom and gloom and was kind of fun, who said “awesome” and “super” a lot. The lighter, funner part is definitely ahead for Arizona; she just has to earn it.

Want more scoop on Grey’s Anatomy, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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34 Comments
  1. JJM says:

    The fact being that Arizona obviously knew there was STILL trouble in their marriage, but didn’t say anything to Callie goes to show that there isn’t only a lack of trust, but it lacks good communication. I’m not saying Arizona is wrong for cheating, but I don’t think it’s right. She knows Callie has been cheated on before and how it effected her in the past, so she should have gone a better way about it than sleeping with someone else. However, knowing that Callie wanted to give her marriage with George another shot only goes to show that she’ll give Arizona another chance too. Still, I can’t wait to see Callie smack Arizona down every chance she gets.

    • Aimee says:

      I’ll say it…Arizona was wrong for cheating. I don’t think she is a terrible person though. Her reasons for cheating come in to play. She didn’t do it because she likes to sleep around or because she was mad ad Callie and wanted to get back at her. Arizona has a lot of unresolved hurt and pain and darkness in her life right now and unfortunately the way she chose to deal with it was irrational and wrong. I understand why she did it but there is no excuse for it. I hope she gets back to “awesome” Arizona again but as Jessica said she has to earn it.

  2. Emma says:

    I love Jessica Capshaw, I love Arizona Robbins and I am leaning into what will be a painful journey for them. As long as Arizona doesn’t turn into a puppy dog running around pleading with Callie ALL season long then I’m all fro the ‘drama and thrills’ as JCap would say.

  3. yulo says:

    Oh JCap, I love you. She’s such a smart lady. And I am excited to see her play this. Happy Grey’s Day!

  4. Frenchie says:

    I’m kind of appalled that therapy isn’t going to be one of the ways they try to deal with this – especially because they have a child! I get it that Cristina and Owen already did that, but this story likes to recycle storylines all the time (re: cheating. So many people have cheated on their spouses on this show!).
    And to hear that the interns roles are going to be beefed up is – although expected – disconcerting. Aside from Jo who’s now in a relationship with main-man Alex, the rest are going to be chewing up scene time that I personally would rather see on the rest of the docs.
    I do hope that the fact that Callie has been cheated on by a spouse before does come up – whether it just on Callie’s side or with/for Arizona too. You just can’t avoid something like that! It’s part of that character’s (Callie’s) reality and I’m sure it plays in to how she deals with all of this and what’s going on in her mind.

    I’m really excited the show is back!

    • Babygate says:

      I agree with your sentiment about the interns. I don’t like them much and I especially dislike Shane. Can’t stand to see him in a scene but Shonda is clever. She’s forcing us to watch them by intertwining their stories with the characters we actually care about. Which, by the way, I resent. April and Jackson are still polarizing after 4 seasons. I don’t know that these interns have that much time. But I don’t understand why people say that this show is full of cheaters. There’s only been one bonafide cheater and that was Webber who had a sustained affair with Ellis. Derek had left Addison when he met Mer. Yes Addison was a cheater but she’s gone. Mer, Cristina, Bailey, Callie, April, Jackson have never cheated. And yes, Callie slept with Mark after Erica but they were not exclusive and the moment they were, Callie stopped. BTW, Mark was a cheater also. Owen and Arizona cheated once under strenuous circumstances. He was drunk, angry and had kicked Cristina out and Arizona we all know has PTSD, even though I still hate that they went there with her. Even Alex was faithful once he was committed. I hate cheating, but I think that cheating once does not necessarily make a cheater. It’s just my opinion because I read so many comments where people say that everyone at the hospital is a cheater and I just think that’s a broad generalization.

      • Julz says:

        Oh I didn’t mean that the show is FULL of cheaters – I just meant that, because the article was stating that “couples therapy” has already been done and to counter that cheating has been done on this show, too, and yet the show continues to use that as a vehicle for storytelling. You’re right, Webber cheated on Adele. Addison cheated on Derek. George cheated on Callie, Owen cheated on Cristina, and now Arizona cheated on Callie (these are all people who were/are MARRIED – the cheating that really counts). Whether they are on the show anymore or not, my point is that the story of cheating has been done before so why can’t therapy be repeated as well? That was what I was trying to get at. :)

        • Berry says:

          You failed to include Derek’s cheating with Mer and Cristina and her sex friend while she was still married. Be fair. Are you using multiple handles? ;)

  5. Olivia says:

    OMG please yes, bring “awesome” Arizona back. PLEASE. I don’t care if they fix their marriage or not, just give me good characters. Snarky Callie and perky Arizona, even if broken up, are a thousand times better than the tired couple drama.

  6. Tracy says:

    I love Jessica and always enjoy her interviews. Thanks, Matt!

  7. Natalie says:

    Jessica Capshaw is just a delight. I want “awesome” Arizona back too!

  8. peter says:

    callie is always the victim some people forget that she have a baby with a MAN while with arizona and arizona didn’t even said a word
    yeah they have an argument about africa but they were still a couple

    • Julz says:

      Um, no. Callie and Arizona were BROKEN UP when Callie slept with Mark/conceived Sofia.
      And if you really wanna go there, Arizona was the one not paying attention to the road and crashed the car which severely harmed Callie and Sofia, and yet Callie never blamed Arizona or threw it back in her face, so…

      • Jazz says:

        If Callie would have put her seatbelt on, like Arizona asked, she would have had minor injuries. And, the reason it was off was because she had to answer Mark, after they had only been gone for 10 minutes.

        • GreysGreysGreys says:

          actually, if I remember correctly, Arizona only asked Callie to put her seatbelt on in the flashback/dream sequence intro to “Walking On Sunshine”. And they were definitely broken up when Callie slept with Mark.

    • JJM says:

      If I recall, Callie said, “Arizona, if you get on that plane you and me are done do you hear me? We are over!” and Arizona’s exact words were “We are in the middle of an airport SCREAMING at each other. We’re already over”. So no, they were not a couple at the time. Callie sleeping with Mark – something she had done in season five on more than one occasion – was nothing new, nor was it cheating. Both were single and both made the choice. The only difference in outcomes for that pregnancy was that Arizona chose to stay and Lexie didn’t. Still, Lexie and Mark are another matter.

    • LeSo says:

      I remember a scene a few seasons ago where Arizona was very clear about her disdain for the family situation that she was entering into. She said that Callie was living a bi-sexual dream where she had the woman that she loved and she was having a baby with her best friend. Callie was living her dream, but it was NOT Arizona’s dream. All she wanted was for them to be on the beaches in Spain together.
      Along the way, Arizona has proven to be selfish in one way or another, but she was also (seemingly) willing to make sacrifices to maintain her relationship. Both Callie and Arizona have plenty of flaws, just like any people/couples do. Without placing blame on either side, I’m really just anxious to see how their story plays out. I would really enjoy seeing a couple work through their issues like adults instead of giving up when things get hard. I truly believe that they love each other deeply, but neither of them feels like they are being heard right now. It certainly seems to me that communication is the biggest problem for them right now, so I definitely agree with Jessica in that everyone needs to understand WHY this happened before they start playing the blame game. They need to be honest about their feelings and perceptions and then attempt to repair things once all of their cards are on the table. Until they can get to that place, I think they’ll just be spinning their wheels.

  9. Cdn_fuzzy says:

    I hate this storyline. Grey’s has become way too angst-y and all about drama for the sake of drama, which is what this storyline is. I miss the glory days of consistent original story circa seasons 1-3.

  10. Tav says:

    “There is a very, very long road ahead for this couple. Nothing is for certain.” Hope this isn’t just lip service with their reconciliation being a foregone conclusion; that would be so boring and render the whole storyline pretty pointless.
    “In playing her, I’ve imagined that there is a lot missing from their relationship. In terms of if you think about the laundry list of things you want in a partner, a lot of things are missing for them.” Exactly. A split wouldn’t be a bad idea and actually makes sense for them.
    “there actually were a ton of people who leaned into [Hilarie's] portrayal of someone really taken with Arizona and the story that got set up by it.” One of those people right here; Shonda should definitely play into the actors’ strengths/chemistry and bring Hilarie/Lauren back. She brought a spark to Arizona and the show on the whole.

  11. thatgirlp says:

    Love u JCap! Thx for the interview Matt. I know there is a LONG HARD road ahead for Callie and Arizona, THE HURT and TRUST issues from the cheating along is a lot. Then you add all the unresolved resentment from Arizona and the leg. Arizona has never dealt with the trauma from the plane crash and they definitely need couples counselling. Their communication skill suck as a couple. Too much sweeping stuff under the rug. I hope they can stay together… they have a kid, they’re board members at the hospital they work in and they share the same circle of friends.

    I want Arizona to back to being the AWESOME and SUPER character that she used to be. Yes she has lost a lot but she can get back to loving herself and who she is now and IMPROVE on that.

    We ALL love Calzona, let’s be nice to one another!

  12. The whole “the person Arizona cheated with” bit seems like a rehashed of how Callie outed Izzie sleeping with George. There’s too much “been there, done that” with this show. It’s time to be put to pasture.

  13. Azerty says:

    That storyline would be a little bit interesting if they kept Hilary Burton around. Make her bisexual and hook up with Jackson or whatever. But TBH I don’t care at all about Calizona. Shonda said they are end game so we definitely know where this will go.

  14. Babygate says:

    That last part kind of confused me. There’s a lighter side to Arizona already? I thought his while thing would take a while to work out. I want them to get back together but in reality, I don’t see how you can overcome this. Callie was blindsided by Arizona who cheated with someone she had literally just met. It wasn’t like George and Izzie who at least loved each other and were almost passed out drunk when they slept together. This infidelity feels more deliberate and thus much more incomprehensible and harder to overcome. How can Callie trust her again? She took a chance when she took Arizona back after the Africa debacle. Even then Callie didn’t trust her and felt that Arizona would hurt her again if she took her back. Because there’s an inherently self-centered side to Arizona that’s been evident before. Maybe they should call it quits. After all, Arizona really showed more desire and Passion for Lauren than she has for Callie since S6. It feels stale with Callie and Arizona. Anywho, really good interview. I admire how articulate JCap is and how well she conveys the meaning and intent of her storylines.

  15. grace says:

    I might care about all this Arizona/Callie angst if I thought it was actually anything more than just another ploy to keep these characters from having to honestly show sexual intimacy on scene on par with the other hetero couples.

    First it was the split over babies, then Africa, then a car crash, then a plane crash/amputation, and now cheating. Every year its another excuse to heap pain and angst on the same sex couple without EVER providing the payoff/happy balance of sexual intimacy every other het couple gets.

    Where is A/C’s mer/der like prom night hook up? Their bailey/nurse what’s his face or even Callie/Mark on call room sexcapades? their Christina/Owen boiler room or upteen make-up sex scenes? Their Jackson/April first time in a bathroom passion? For that matter where the heck is the C/A passion? The closests we’ve come to see any was a brief elevator kiss while they were broken up.

    I’m sorry but they are supposed to be married and in love but i have never seen them have a bedroom/bathroom/oncall room/ anywhere else scene that was on par with any of the other het couples – even the old chief and jacksons mom got more on screen action.

    So honestly i just can’t buy into this latest contrivance that Arizona has PTSD (which of course apparently isn’t being mentioned or treated and that she is now some awful cheater. Just give her her scarlet A and put her in sack cloth and be done with it.

    Christina didn’t want kids and spoke out against both men who “took pieces of herself” from her. AZ’s character got no such lee way from Shonda, she was rewritten from a no kids no way girl into accept raising marks kid with callie in a twisted threesome that bordered on sisterwives, and has been giving up pieces of herself/her dreams and aspirations every season only to have callie finally actually take a physical piece of her/cut off her leg.

    Shonda put this show in the celluoid closet last year when she had callie waiting in bed for sex with AZ, only to dump AZ out of a plane and cut her leg off/kill her spirit and leave her a shell of herself. That’s the classic hollywood image/message of punishment for gay sex as documented in the celluloid closet. Then Shonda slammed the door on said closet when she took AZ’s “good man in a storm” scene with callies dad – and twisted it into “cheater in the storm” finishing off the characters total disparagment body and soul.

    I’m through waiting for AZ to actually be given a POV of her own and I’m disgusted with the specious arguement that the only lez couple in primetime network tv should be treated as everyone else. It is tiresome. If they were treated the same, we would have seen their sex lives portrayed with the same passion and on screen visuals as the het couples. If they were treated the same AZ wouldn’t be the only doc singled out to be physically maimed. If they were treated the same their constant humilation and distruction, would have been balanced with romance and intimacy that went beyond a fully clothed peck on the lips fade to black or made a joke of with chicken pox or someone walking in on them. If they were treated the same their union and family would NOT have included Mark as a constant fixture in their love life who was lonely so had to be allowed to make/be part of their dinner plans, allowed star at AZ’s boobs and to dominate callies attention. Callie and AZ would have made their own family rather than AZ having to accept raising callies child with mark. I adore Jessica Capshaw and fully appreciate how well she comes across both on screen and in this and other interviews. But to be honest,I’d rather see Grey’s end the relationship and let Capshaw move on to another show where she could actually play a lead role.

    • lynn mccray says:

      I totally agree with everything you said. this couple is never treated like the others. if your going to have a lesbian couple on your show, then you need to give them the same type of intimacy as the others. the best hot scene I’ve seen between A/C was when they was in the on-call room in season 6 episode 12. It’s almost like, we will do enough to satisfy the gay and lesbian community, but at the same time not so much that the head honcho’s at ABC don’t bitch about it and pull the plug on the character. #LOVEISLOVE. just be true to the characters. all of them. still love the show.

  16. jane says:

    I never liked them together anyway. Arizona needs to find a lady who is really into ladies and not one that goes back and forth. I mean, last time they were on a break Callie got pregnant with Mark’s baby. She shouldn’t have cheated on Callie but they’ve had so many problems. I really think this clears the way for Callie to go back to men and end up with Owen (like they were in alternate Grey’s reality), so, he can be a Dad and Christina can leave with a clear conscience. Too convenient?

  17. Leigh says:

    The publicity for this upcoming season of GREY’S makes it seem super un-fun and why would I want to spend an hour each week watching two of my former favorite characters rip each other to pieces?

  18. Hillary Beach says:

    In The Last Season Arizona Said To CallIe Don’t Ever Leave N Callie Said That She Won’t Leave Wat Does Do Leave Her Over N Accident That Lauren CoSted Them There Marriage That Stupid Person

  19. KT says:

    Ok…..how does Arizona magically have her leg back??

  20. everybody made a mistakes, you just need to accept it. i definitely gave my two thumbs-up to you Arizona Robbins. your such a awesome person and i’m learning to you a lot.. i’m still like and adore you even you do that thing..

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