Grey's Anatomy

New Grey's Anatomy 'Villain' Talks Minnick's Weak 'Hookup Skills' and Fearing 'Crazy' Calzona Fans

Marika Dominczyk knew she was walking into a hornet’s nest when she took on the role of Grey’s Anatomy‘s feather-ruffling new surgical consultant Eliza Minnick, whose actions in last week’s episode led to the suspension of Meredith (Ellen Pompeo). And making matters more incendiary, she’s maybe-possibly looking to fill a certain romantic void in Arizona’s (Jessica Capshaw) life. 

“‘Calzona’ fans are crazy,” Dominczyk tells TVLine with a laugh, referring to the still-zealous acolytes of Arizona and her ex, Callie (former cast member Sara Ramirez). “I really appreciate their passion. I think it’s amazing. The show’s been on the air for 13 years and has an incredible fan base. And I’m so happy to be a part of it, even if it’s on the [negative] receiving end.”

The actress admits she has avoided going too far down the Internet rabbit hole “because I would probably see more of the people who don’t like Eliza. Luckily, the [fans] that follow me [on social media] like me and can see past [the ‘Calzona of it all]… You kind of have to just put your head down and do your work and not think about any of that stuff or else it’ll drive you crazy.”

Dominczyk — the real-life wife of Shondaland vet Scott Foley (who appeared on Grey’s before segueing to Scandal) — jokes that her husband’s one piece of advice to her prior to starting work on the ABC drama was, “‘Stay off Twitter.'”

The Brothers & Sisters alum nonetheless concedes that “being the villain is kind of fun… Eliza’s stirring up all these feelings.”

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Curiously, Eliza has thus far been reluctant to mix pleasure with business where Arizona is concerned — why is that? “Eliza takes her job crazy seriously,” Dominczyk surmises. “It’s a huge separation for her — work and personal life. Work comes first. And she’s at a place where people don’t want her there — and they’re vocal about it. And [yet] she has to continue to be professional. If that happened to me, I don’t know how confident I would be with my hookup skills.”

Her confidence in her surgical skills, however, will be evident in this week’s episode (ABC. 8/7c), which finds Eliza going “full-throttle with her teaching method,” Dominczyk previews, adding that it’s “definitely the biggest episode for Minnick” so far.

“I hope Eliza sticks around,” Dominczyk adds of her currently open-ended stint. “I don’t know if she’s going to stick around, but it’s been super fun playing her.”