Grey's Anatomy Season 12

Grey's Anatomy: Derek's 'Killer' Speaks

When it comes time to list the Most Divisive TV Characters of 2015, it’s hard to imagine Grey’s Anatomy‘s Dr. Penelope Blake not ranking near the top. For not only was she largely responsible for the death of Patrick Dempsey’s beloved McDreamy, but she added insult to injury by invading his widow’s home (on the arm of one of Derek’s bereaved colleagues!), and then breaking the news that she had just gotten a fancy new job at Grey freakin’ Sloan (a gig that kicks off in Thursday’s episode).

Oh, and she’s also the first serious post-split girlfriend of half of a Grey’s supercouple.

What kind of actress would want to walk into such a s—storm?! I was curious about that myself, so I rang up Penny’s portrayer, Samantha Sloyan, in an effort to find out…

TVLINE | Did you know when Derek died that you would be back?
Oh, no. I had no idea.

TVLINE | What did you think when they approached you about bringing Penny back?
My first thought was, “What is the story going to be?” [Laughs] Just knowing the impact [Derek’s death] had, I was interested to know why I would be crossing paths with these doctors again.

TVLINE | Was there any trepidation about stepping back into the shoes of such a seemingly thankless character. I mean, you killed McDreamy. And you’re coming between Calzona!
I feel like it’s really wonderful to be involved in storylines that so many people care about. [Laughs] Even though the circumstances are difficult, the highly-charged nature of it makes it incredibly exciting.

TVLINE | After the skewering she took at that dinner, I actually felt sympathy for Penny. Meredith and Amelia were monstrous to her.
But what I loved about that was Meredith in the episode [eventually] says, “Now she’s a person.” We put ourselves in Meredith and Amelia’s shoes and, of course, here’s this person who you view as responsible for the death of the love of your life. But then what is it like when they’re in your home and looking at you? That’s one of the things I love about Shonda [Rhimes], because that’s a real question. It’s easy to hate people when they’re extracted [from your life], but what do you do when you see that they’re just a person?

TVLINE | What was it like shooting those tense dinner party scenes?
Tense. We were doing really long takes and it had a very theatrical [feel] to it, like doing a play. Every time I looked up I had the whole cast — all wonderful actors — looking at me and feeling all of their individual characters’ feelings. So it was wonderful for me, because it was that tense. I was in a roomful of people who were working together for years, and that all helped me [empathize] with how Penny must feel as the odd man out.

TVLINE | Did they all console you between takes?
[Laughs] Every single one of them. They were all so warm and open.

TVLINE | How did you justify for yourself as an actress that Penny wouldn’t have told Callie that she was coming to work at Grey Sloan?
Well, she says outside that it’s such a big hospital, but I don’t think that’s all of it. Penny and Callie’s [relationship] is relatively new. And I do think that the experience with Derek is the worst night of her life. I feel like she was just so afraid to share it.

TVLINE | What’s more tense — the dinner party or her first day at Grey Sloan?
[Laughs] It’s a toss-up. Penny now has to be at the absolute top of her game. If she’s going to step into this hospital with these doctors given her past, she better be on her way to being that better doctor that Meredith told her to be.

TVLINE | And for how long are you sticking around?
I don’t know. All I know is that every time I get to participate, I’m happy to be here.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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25 Comments
  1. Marc says:

    I like the character of Penny, but I don’t like that her appearance means that Amelia will be even more annoying.

  2. Shaun says:

    Excellent,was wondering how long it would take to interview her.She speaks well about her character and others.

  3. Brian says:

    I never consider her at fault for Derek death. Always thought it was the doctor in charge.

    • Correct! You know that the tiny minded always need to find SOME target for their misguided anger. “Person A hates you so I’ll hate you, too, simply on general principle.” Idiots logic, if you ask me 😕

  4. Mandy says:

    I don’t think she killed Derek. An episode with her was good but I’m less than thrilled about her sticking around. Let’s see – Meredith screams at her then bends and teaches her because Meredith is just so perfect and Penny becomes an awesome doctor. (while all the other characters get no story).

    • Frankie says:

      Nailed it. It’s going to play out pretty much like this and be stretched out to season’s end.

    • aph1976 says:

      Plus in a way Meredith and Penny are sort of bonded because Penny was there at the saddest moment in Meredith’s life.So Meredith might start to think that Penny has to succeed in become a good doctor or otherwise Derek’s death might have been for nothing.Plus i also think Callie and Arizona will eventually reunite before this season’s over and Penny’s just like a bump in the road before that happens.

    • I agree… To an extent. When the second part of this season began and Meredith is in therapy, you’ll see that she’s learning how to let go of all of her anger and that smug, passive-aggressive nature that she projects so well onto others. The situation with Penny was just the beginning of the current shift in tides with Meredith’s character

    • i wouldn’t miss her. no real appeal.

  5. Lucifer says:

    The headline said his killer is speaking, but Shonda Rhimes isn’t saying anything…

  6. Lorna says:

    She is kind of annoying. I used to hate Arizona, but I would actually like to see her and Callie reunite. Knowing Shonda though, this woman will be a cast member in another 3 episodes.

  7. Pat says:

    I am not to happy with the title of of “Derricks Killer”. Was he murdered by Penny,because as far as I can remember, he died and she was one of the doctors that was caring for him and I certainly do not remember her killing him,

    • Anna says:

      Right? Every doctor on this show has lost multiple patients (sometimes bc of their own screw ups), and they’ve never been labeled as killers.

  8. Jane says:

    I’m just so annoyed with this show adding character after character after character and not developing the ones they already have! There are so many characters who haven’t had anything going on in ages. I think the two who are always being sidelined are Alex and Jo , then we have Arizona who at least had the Herman storyline last year but other than is the first one Shonda ignores. I’m not quite sure what Webber has been doing since he hasn’t really bonded with Maggie all that much. Bailey never gets much to do either, same with Owen usually. But I really think it’s Alex and Jo she ignores more than anybody else. I can’t remember the last time they had a storyline together even though Shonda promised a focus on them this season and I can come up with at least five storylines for them off the top of my head. But all Karev ever does is tail after Meredith and make sure she’s alright. Guy has no life on his own anymore. And Meredith needs a break from all this crap already, Shonda keeps loading every possible drama and disaster on her shoulders. Also, making a storyline out of the doctor who “kulled” Derek now is the most unnecessary thing ever and again, extremely disrespectful to MerDer fans. Shonda has tortured them enough. I don’t need yet another character on this show when the writers can’t write for the majority of their characters anymore.

    • Jane says:

      *killed, before anyone makes a smartass comment about my typo that would diminish what I said in my comment. ;-)

    • Frankie says:

      PREACH! I rather they focus on the characters they have instead of feeling the need to continue to add more and more and more.

    • aph1976 says:

      Yeah Shonda Rhimes said that there would be more of a focus on Alex and Jo this season but she might have meant as both a couple and individuals.Plus on tomorrow’s episodes it seems Webber want to change his relationship with Maggie and i’m assuming that means he wants to bond with her more.

  9. Tee says:

    I hate meredith’s hair.

    • barbara ricciuto says:

      Thank you Tee her hair has become an unnecessary distraction, it’s a mess, somebody call a beautician please.

  10. aph1976 says:

    I had a feeling that we would see the character of Penny again because only Meredith interacted with her and some of the other characters had the right to confront Penny regarding her role in Derek’s death.Plus maybe Penny working at Seattle Grace is her way of making peace with what she did.However i’m also sure Penny to meet up with Meredith again so quickly and in Meredith’s home.

  11. Charm says:

    I don’t want Pinny to be a regular cast member, I still want Calazona to get back together. Not convinced that Pinny couldn’t figure out that a neuro surgeon and an orthopaedics surgeon would work together. Callie has been dating her, so there’s an awful lot she doen’t know about Pinny. HAs Pinny been working or studying anywhere in between that awful hospital closing? Not sure Pinny is going to be very good at first. How many times have we heard ‘you ‘re off my service said to residents?

  12. EM says:

    I didn’t think that Mer was monstrous towards her. She was in shock initially but rolled with it once she figured she’d only have to deal with her for a few hours and then never see her again. She lost it when she found out she’d have to see her every day. The actress playing Penny is doing a good job but I hope her arc doesn’t last that long. As others have said too many characters on this show as it is.