Grey's Anatomy

We Asked Shonda Rhimes 9 Qs About Grey's — Here Are Her Answers

Ahead of Grey’s Anatomy‘s return on Thursday, Jan. 19, I put in a request to speak to series creator Shonda Rhimes about the second half of the ABC drama’s 13th season. She was unable to hop on the phone with me due to her busy schedule, but she agreed to answer a handful of questions via email. What follows are her unedited answers.

TVLINE | Nathan and Meredith: How will their relationship – or lack thereof – evolve during the second half of the season?
SHONDA RHIMES | Meredith’s journey is always interesting and complex. There are so many aspects to her as woman, a surgeon, a sister and a mother.

TVLINE | As close as Meredith and Alex are, and as romantically lost as they are, why haven’t they considered possibly becoming more than friends by now?
That’s like asking me why haven’t I had a certain kind of cheese. The answer is, ‘Because I haven’t had that kind of cheese.’

TVLINE | Are you interested in finding a way to bring Callie back into the fold this season, even if just for an episode or two? Have you had discussions with Sara?
I love Sara Ramirez and I love Callie Torres.

TVLINE | How will the dynamic between Arizona and Eliza (Marika Dominczyk) differ from the one between Arizona and Callie?
I don’t look at it in terms of dynamics and I can’t possibly compare Arizona and Callie’s marriage with what is currently barely a flirtation. The fun comes with waiting to see what unfolds.

TVLINE | If DeLuca were to drop the charges against Alex, what would be his motivation — DeLuca’s feelings for Jo (and what are those, anyway?), his sense of Alex’s actual remorse?
[Rhimes declined to answer]

TVLINE | How have DeLuca’s feelings toward Jo been developing over the course of this season, and how do you foresee them developing?
I think we’ve all had a chance to watch what’s happened between Jo and Andrew. I am not sure that it’s mature to put a name on what’s going on at the moment.

TVLINE | How will co-parenting impact Jackson and April’s separation? And what’s the possibility of Harriet bringing them together again as an actual couple?
This isn’t a new issue so we’ve already seen any and all issues that this might entail. It’s such a positive thing to watch our characters behave as fully formed adults who know how to co-parent. What’s great is that parenting has nothing to do with their storyline this season — it gets much more interesting than you’d imagine…

TVLINE | If Megan (Bridget Reagan) were to turn out to be alive, where could you imagine her fitting into the world of Grey’s, professionally and romantically?
I don’t even know how to answer this question as it confuses me deeply.

TVLINE | Will there be a wedding before the season is up?
Weddings do not define my characters. I thought we all learned that when Meredith nailed a Post-It note to her wall.

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127 Comments
  1. H says:

    This was very informative! /sideeye

    • Wordsmith says:

      Behold the power of TVLine: influential enough to compel TV’s mightiest to take the time to answer questions, but not quite enough to always guarantee that those answers will have substance.

    • Jones says:

      Probably not a good idea to beg a showrunner for spoilers and expect actual answers…

  2. Beverley says:

    A nonsensical article…why bother?

  3. Matt C. says:

    Geez, these answers are so vague or even passive aggressive. I hope this interview wasn’t as awkward for Michael as it was for me just reading it!

  4. Amelia says:

    What a waste of time.

  5. Caitlin says:

    Well, that was a bunch of non-answers.

  6. j says:

    Everything about this article is so weirdly hostile…

  7. Rebecca says:

    she sounds like Bill Belichick with those answers.

  8. Whatevah says:

    Wow..as forthcoming as ever.

  9. T. says:

    As useless as this comment

  10. Himbre says:

    Bizarrely evasive answers. I agree she sounds hostile. Why agree to do the interview?

  11. Katie says:

    Well then maybe don’t ask her stupid questions like romantic Meredith/Alex when it’s clear to everyone who pays attention to these characters that Meredith sees him like a brother and he her as a sister. Ellen said it, Shonda said it before, Justin said it. How many times do you still want to hear it? You should ask Shonda Rhimes questions like what motivated her to bring up Jo’s past as a DV victim only to make the entire storyline about Alex and the stupid trial? But nobody ever asks the important questions, it’s all about potential hookups.

    • anon says:

      Thank you for saying this. Nobody else ever does. Someone who praises herself so much on feminism should look at how this storyline is being handled and be ashamed of herself. They made it entirely about Alex and didn’t even bother showing us how Jo felt. That she was traumatized, hurt by what he said to her, scared, maybe having nightmares, feeling helpless, still being in love with Alex but also not being able to forget what she had to witness him do to DeLuca. DeLuca didn’t get much of a voice either because apparently a victim’s voice doesn’t matter. That’s what Shonda Rhimes has showed us with this storyline so far. As much as I love Alex, this wasn’t supposed to be his storyline, it was supposed to be about what struggles and pain Jo had to go through by having an abusive husband. And it was certainly not supposed to make him the hero in this because now everybody is hating on Deluca for suing ‘the poor guy’ when Deluca has every right to sue him. He got beat up for no good reason by his boss, if that happened to me I’d sue my boss too. But this entire storyline has been handled horribly and I’m just disgusted by it.

      • Pedro says:

        It was about Alex. Jo isn’t facing charges.

      • Isaburd says:

        Right! This writer paints herself as a feminist but continually writes female characters who are subservient to men!

      • Sam says:

        Why are you bringing feminism into this? Alex beat a man up, was arrested and charged with felony assault. This is Alex’s storyline and it should be about him. Making the focus of Alex’s actions be Jo’s feelings about it would’ve been wrong. Does he not deserve a storyline because he’s a male character? Are only the female characters supposed to have storylines and the focus be their thoughts and feelings about everything?

        “As much as I love Alex, this wasn’t supposed to be his storyline, it was supposed to be about what struggles and pain Jo had to go through by having an abusive husband.”

        — If you loved Alex like you say you do, you wouldn’t begrudge him finally having a storyline after several seasons of being on the back-burner. He has more than earned his own big storyline. You say that DeLuca has every right to sue Alex, but then you’re mad that he has a storyline even though it comes precisely from being sued. And you say you love Alex. LOL Let’s be honest, you’re saying you love Alex but you really don’t. You’re a Jo Wilson stan. When it comes to Jo, the writers couldn’t expand on the abusive husband storyline in the first part of this season because she’s been keeping everything a secret. You would see the logic in that if you took your Jo glasses off for a sec.

      • Mei says:

        First of all, Jo is probably the worst written character on the show. She’s extremely whiny and annoying and that is the reason why Jo is not WELL received by majority of the fans. This Domestic Violence storyline was very last minute in opinion…. She was somehow able to testify for Callie’s case in season 10 without the lawyers figuring out about her past…but if she testifies for Alex’s case the lawyers will somehow figure out that she’s not Jo Wilson? How is that possible? They have to do a background check before they can use anyone as a witness. Secondly, Jo says that the lawyers can easily google her and figure out that she’s really not Jo Wilson????? And don’t even make begin the fiasco of Alex. 13 years of character development thrown out the window for this? I get that this season was supposed to focus on the originals but Alex deserved a better storyline. Something to do with his family or career but not this. What does Deluca matter? And why the hell are you starting a love triangle between characters like Jo and Deluca, who are already not well received by the viewers? You told us at the beginning of the season that Maggie and Meredith and Riggs was not going to be a love triangle…but it was. Now you are telling me that Jackson and April’s storyline won’t be about co parenting????? Which is what you said would happening at the beginning of the season. What does it matter, you have clearly neglected April and Jackson for this poorly written storyline involving Jo and Deluca. It’s really unbelievable that Shonda cannot make one couple work on this damn show.

        • Jecly says:

          Absolutely agree with you. Jo’s character is very problematic. Her storyline is the classic case of ‘all talk and no show’ which is why it is very very hard for viewers (inc me) to sympathize with her. I just can’t buy her abusive husband storyline because it isn’t convincing enough. We haven’t seen Jo over the years suffer through any PTSD regarding that or any glimpses that suggested she was a victim of domestic violence. These are the main issues with shoehorned storylines for the sake of drama, they aren’t earned. Everything with Jo is so shoeehorned it comes off fake and therefore makes her look so so whiny and annoying (which she is anyway). Also the Jo and DeLuca love triangle whatever isn’t something anyone wants to see because it would create drama just for drama’s sake. The best thing the show can do now is remove Jo and DeLuca from it. Also remove Maggie if she doesn’t stop whining about boys like a 12 year old.

      • Lola says:

        You don’t think she is going to have Jo’s husband come and that will be the second part of the season? This is what she does: lead in with one part of a story and then “surprise” when it all goes to hell. The same happened with Alex’s dad who was promptly killed by Christina’s protege for the subsequent storyline. This is all to throw us off folks.

    • rowan77 says:

      So THAT’s what she should have said – that she thought the question was off the mark and that Alex and Meredith have a brother/sister relationship that will not evolve into a romantic one because it would be weird and unrealistic. But you DON’T behave in a childish, passive aggressive manner and while claiming the high ground. He was doing his job – she was very unprofessional in her response. I just wonder why she reacted that way. What is underneath the hostility toward Michael?

  12. Cdeno says:

    A) I am surprised she choose to answer any questions regarding Grey’s
    B) her answers are all basically “I refuse to answer” considering she didn’t actually answer any of the questions

  13. Ppp says:

    I have learned so much reading the article… why even grant an interview … eyeroll

  14. Jess says:

    You know the fact that Meredith and Alex never even considered becoming more than friends should tell you that they JUST DONT SEE EACH OTHER THAT WAY. You know that can actually happen between a man and a woman right? It’s called friendship. Justin Chambers even called it siblinghood.

    • Ange says:

      I totally agree. It bothers me to no end when people feel every female character must be romantically involved with a male counterpart.

      • anon says:

        but that’s not even it, they feel like every male/female friendship needs to be romanticized and that’s simply not realistic. You can be friends with someone from the opposite sex, both being single and frustrated at times, and still never even think of them in that way just because your friendship isn’t one that could turn sexual or romantic. It’s stupid to think every male could end up hooking up with every female.

  15. Stacy says:

    I’d prefer she just politely refuse interviews on the basis of keeping the story as surprising and interesting as possible. This just seems kind of snotty.

  16. Jovana says:

    Wow, she seemed so full of herself, yikes.

  17. She is …. interesting. I find her a really fascinating person, but man, she is an odd one too.

  18. Lulu says:

    You didn’t ask THE question. When can we have another musical episode?!

  19. Clau says:

    This was just pointless.
    You could have just asked me those questions and left with nothing new.

  20. Alec says:

    Blink two times if you’re answering this against your will…

  21. I kind of love that Ausiello simply posted her unedited answers. I know she’s a spoiler-phobe and maybe she’s sick of answering the same type of questions over and over, but maybe if she actually took the time to answer thoughtfully she could contribute to the discussion instead of stonewall everyone. For example, even if she doesn’t want to give away what’s happening with Grey and Riggs, she could have talked about the complexities of sharing a secret with someone in terms of what impact it will have on Meredith’s life as a sister or as a professional. Will their hook-up be discovered? Maybe Meredith’s life isn’t defined by her sexual relationships, but I personally think it’s interesting to explore what happens when someone who has already had her great love story needs to move on with her life, and if Rhimes took more than one second to fire off her non-answers maybe she’d realize that there is something worthwhile in being asked these questions.

  22. Sara says:

    How disappointing.

  23. Nicole says:

    So… the only half scoop there is Japril got a real interesting storyline coming. I’ll take it.

    The rest? hahaha

    • G says:

      It’s Shonda, I wouldn’t trust anything that she said.
      She kept on saying great things about Calzona and look what happened there. And this was long before Sara left.
      And she said wonderful things about reuniting Mark and Lexie. We saw how well that worked.
      The less she talks about a couple that happier I am.

      • Jon Willis says:

        Ok but the Mark and Lexie thing is that both actors wanted to leave the show. And technically they are together… In the afterlife.

        • AB says:

          Chyler wanted to leave. Eric didn’t but he was killed because the network wanted some budget cuts and with Lexie gone he was the easiest cast member to kill.

  24. Dannie C says:

    I think pulling teeth would of been easier…

  25. KCatty says:

    And that would be why I haven’t watched Grey’s in years. Such arrogance.

  26. Jen says:

    Wow Shonda, don’t over do it or anything, wouldn’t want you to break a nail typing up these detailed answers! Writers, don’t waste your time trying to dig anything of value for the rest of the season, she didn’t even have time for a call she ain’t gonna have time to provide any answers with substance.

  27. LaDonna says:

    LOL! For me, that’s half the fun of Shonda…trying to glean answers from her non-answers. I would expect nothing less!

  28. SJ says:

    She’s quite a snatch, isn’t she? I think she’s getting a bit too big for her britches. I always knew she was an arrogant a–hole but this is a whole new level of awful.

    I kind of love how you basically put her on blast with this article.

  29. Deluca is wasted on Jo. Shonda needs to put him back with Maggie. They were cute together.

    I hate that Maluca was broken up to play third wheels to other pairings. One of the very many missteps of S13, AFAIC.

  30. Nicole says:

    I don’t understand why people are pressed with Shonda. She doesn’t have to answer anything about anything. If you want to know what happens, watch the show. Michael’s questions were so repetitive anyway, not like he asked her anything that we haven’t seen her answer 16 times since this summer.

  31. Dominique says:

    wow… she could’ve just declined if she didn’t actually wanna answer any of these questions. there is literally no new information in here and she has that mariah carey thing “i don’t know who she is” going on with half of the questions.

  32. Angel says:

    Honestly, she did not answer any questions and was a complete waste of your time. She was not cooperative at all.

  33. Dennis says:

    Ugh she is SO rude! All that fame got to her head!

  34. A. D. says:

    She’s such a snarky, snob

  35. TvLover says:

    I don’t watch the show much anymore, just read the recaps, but declining to answer a question, seriously? and then giving non-answers just doesn’t seem right to me.
    I understand if she’s bored with answering the same type of questions but why the secrecy and on that note, why do all of her shows now have ‘Top secret guest roles’?
    I gave Scandal a shot, just not for me.
    HTGAWM is still pretty good, but I wish Shonda would stop being so vague about everything.
    Lastly, Meredith and Alex a thing? Eww, nope, nope, nope.

  36. Pedro says:

    The title should read: “We Asked Shonda Rhimes 9 Qs About Grey’s — She Gave US No Answers”.

  37. Ray says:

    Not one actual answer in the bunch. Not really worth publishing.

  38. Casey says:

    Non answers and rude brush offs. Not worth the read

  39. Meghan says:

    I am SO glad that I wasn’t the only one who perceived her as rude and hostile in the interview! Poor Michael! Goodness Shonda, if you didn’t want to do the interview you could have declined! I’m sure your cast would have been happy to take the interview off your hands and would have acted MUCH more gracious!

  40. PropertyOf says:

    She says, “Weddings do not define my characters” – HOWEVER, so many of her characters have married each other, and some have even divorced each other and then married *other* characters!!!)

    • Mel says:

      Right! Shonda is exactly like Amy Sherman-Palladino attitude with Qs on Rory’s dating life… That’s been huge focus on your show, don’t make love stories so prominent if you don’t want fans to wonder about those. Such arrogance

  41. rowan77 says:

    Wow – That was some serious passive-aggressive hostility from Ms. Rhimes. You’ve been such supporters of Grey’s. I wonder why she chose to react in such a nasty way?

  42. Lisa Echerd says:

    Why didn’t you just give a giant NO COMMENT. It would have saved us all some time.

  43. Brandi says:

    WTH was that?!?!? That was the dumbest thing I’ve read. She didn’t answer one question. Geez Auss, are you bored or something? smh..,

  44. Jeff C says:

    How I imagine other responses from Shonda’s day to day life:
    -“Hey Shonda, how are you doing today?”
    Shonda: “I know, right?”

    -“Hey Shonda, are you ready for the meeting?”
    Shonda: “Oh my god, I LOVE pizza!”

    Hahahahahaha girl chill

    • lizzie says:

      I think it would be more accurate to day Shonda Rhimes RESPONDED to your questions. She didn’t actually ANSWER anything!

  45. Lori Sauter says:

    A total waste of server space.

  46. Meredith Grey says:

    Grey’s Anatomy é uma série maravilhosa nao é a toa que está há 13 anos ..mais tem umas coisas que poderiam ficar melhor…a Shonda poderia ouvir os fãs as vezes …

  47. Vi says:

    Waste of an interview, she said nothing.

  48. Chris J. says:

    I think the non answers just speak to Shonda reaching a very unpleasant diva status.

  49. T. says:

    It doesn’t excuse her lack of professionalism, but maybe next time people will concentrate on asking her about rationale+analysis behind the storylines instead of desperately looking for a scoop.

  50. Csr says:

    What if DeLuca actually beat himself up and framed Alex? It was a hallucination of Alex’s.