Grey’s Anatomy is staging a gut-wrenching hour for leading lady Ellen Pompeo‘s directorial debut on March 30 (ABC, 8/7c). But the actress wasn’t plagued with butterflies during her first experience behind the camera, despite the heavy material handed to her.
“I’ve been doing this show for 13 seasons, so I wasn’t really nervous about any of the scenes, not to sound arrogant,” Pompeo said during a PaleyFest panel Sunday, which kicked off with a screening of her directorial debut. “I was more nervous about the technical aspects… I have the best cast in the world to work with.”
Pompeo also thanked her mentor, Grey’s director-producer-actress Debbie Allen, for convincing her to take on the challenge. “This force of nature wouldn’t take no for an answer,” Pompeo said, pointing to Allen. “And I’m forever grateful to her for that spirit of generosity.”
As for the episode’s storyline, Pompeo said, “I couldn’t wait to make everybody cry.” (Spoiler alert: There may be a pivotal-ish death.)
More highlights from the panel:
* Nathan Riggs’ affection for one Meredith Grey may be putting him in the crosshairs of Mer-Der fans, but his portrayer, Martin Henderson, noted, “It’s been wonderful to play a character who’s been sort of polarizing and a mystery.” Speaking of Nathan and Meredith’s nascent romance, Henderson teased, “It’s impossible to be a great man without a good woman by your side.”
* Get ready for Maggie’s storyline to take a turn. “I think major life events enable you to shift your perspective and reevaluate what you think is important to you,” Kelly McCreary previewed.
* Reflecting on Arizona’s new romance with Eliza, Jessica Capshaw said, “There’s a real light and a real energy [to actress Marika Domińczyk]. I have no idea if she’s The One, but it’s been really fun” to explore their relationship.
* Jesse Williams hopes to see more of Jackson’s father, played by Eric Roberts. “I think there’s a lot left to do there,” he shared. Added Allen cryptically: “We’ve planted a lot of seeds this season, and that’s one… But there’s more coming.” As for Jackson’s dynamic with his ex-wife April following last week’s hookup, Sarah Drew would only say that “there’s so much love there, there’s so much respect, they know each other so well… They will always be one another’s person.”
* Owen and Amelia aren’t faring so well at the moment, much to his dismay, because “he desperately wants a baby,” Kevin McKidd explained. “Owen’s really struggling. He’s a very tortured guy. He thinks the thing that’s going to fix him is to have a family with this beautiful woman.”
* “The end of this season is hot,” Allen teased.