“It is all totally new information,” maintains April’s portrayer of the hour’s newly-created flashbacks, which will illuminate aspects of the couple’s relationship both familiar and surprising. Ultimately, the backstory will “inform how they would up where they are now.”
But where are they exactly? Divorced? Reunited? Somewhere in between? In the following Q&A,Drew takes us behind-the-scenes of the episode’s “super weird” table read, reflects on a road not traveled with ex Matthew, and teases imminent closure for ‘Japril’ fans.
TVLINE | Is this episode all Jackson and April?
It’s entirely Jackson and April. To the point where the other actors were exempt from coming to the table read. [Laughs] Other [characters] make small appearances, but it’s mainly just the two of them. We go back 12 years to when they were interns at Mercy West and met each other for the first time.
TVLINE | Let’s go back to the table read for a second. So it was just you, Jesse [Williams] and Shonda [Rhimes]?
[Laughs] It was the two of us and the writers and producers. It was an intimate gathering. It was super weird.
TVLINE | Were there any April revelations in the episode that surprised you?
Not really. I had already created all of those in-between spaces in my imagination in order to connect all of these dots. A lot of it was sort of in line with what I had envisioned.
TVLINE | Does the episode ultimately give us resolution about whether they decide to go through with the divorce?
There is definitely some sense of closure, yes. You get an answer about the status of their marriage by the end of the episode.
TVLINE | Was there a moment during this breakup storyline where you thought, “They may not be past the point of no return, but they’re damn near close”?
I don’t ever think there’s a point of no return. Maybe that’s just my hopeful faith in the way that I look at relationships. [Laughs] I experienced a very dark time in my marriage and we emerged in a place of much more brilliant light, so I can always see the silver lining.
TVLINE | A lot of fans blame April for the breakup, since she left Jackson to mourn on his own. Do you think she did the right thing?
There’s a really great scene in this week’s episode — a 10-page scene between the two of us that was like shooting a one-act play — where we really dive into all of that. I don’t think there was a right or wrong in this situation. She was kind of dying. He could not help her heal. So she went [away] and it ended up healing her. And the byproduct was that she wasn’t there for him. I don’t know what [else] she could’ve done.
TVLINE | Do you think there’s a part of her that just wishes she went ahead and married Matthew?
I certainly think there would’ve been less drama! [Laughs] But the drama makes everything more exciting. Had she married Matthew, they would’ve been on the same page about a lot of stuff and been able to approach things from a similar perspective. But I think what makes Jackson and April so great is that they have different perspectives and they’re able to challenge each other. And I wouldn’t give that up for anything.