Grey’s Anatomy weddings are sort of like a (super dramatic) rite of passage on the show. There was the time Cristina had her eyebrows waxed off, and then there was Meredith and Derek’s quick ceremony at the courthouse. Callie and Arizona had a fairly drama-free wedding, and Bailey was able to enjoy her big day once she made it to the church. And let’s not forget Cristina’s living room wedding, or the time Alex recited stolen (but sweet) wedding vows to Izzie. The lesson: Big events are never perfect on Grey’s, they will probably make you cry, and a wedding ring does not mean forever in this world.
But in tonight’s mid-season finale, it’s April’s turn to walk down the aisle. Will she say “I do” to her hunky EMT or will she hold out for her even hunkier surgeon? We caught up with Sarah Drew to talk love triangles and the “shocking” last five minutes of the episode:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I feel like April is very calm and collected about this wedding, but I’m always scared she’s going to freak out, sort of like she did with her sisters last week. So what’s April’s mental state going into this episode?
SARAH DREW: I think she’s really gung-ho about this wedding. She has made this choice. She loves this guy, and she is excited to marry him. I think her firing her sisters as bridesmaids is just indicative of her growth. I think it’s her kind of having her Katy Perry “Roar” moment. That’s kind of how I thought about it. I actually was listening to that song on my way to work that day. She has been not treated seriously by her sisters for her entire life. It’s strange how that can happen in a family, where one sibling can just be the butt of every single joke and she’s like, “It doesn’t matter what I do, you will never see me for who I actually am.” And when they start to insult her in front of all of her co-workers who she’s worked so hard to earn the respect of, she just can’t do it anymore. I love that about her. I don’t think it was a break for her. I think it was a coming-into-her-own moment. A moment where she’s “This is who I am and you know what? I am not this little nothing that you’ve thought I am my entire life. Hear me roar!” [Laughs]
The promo is teasing her as a bridezilla. Will she get her way and get Jackson to attend?
What I can say is April really, desperately wants Jackson to be at the wedding. He is still such an important person in her world. He’s her best friend. He’s her best friend and all of that stuff got complicated by the relationship that they had, but she wants her best friend to be able to celebrate with her. So we see her wrestling with that, and she can’t quite figure out how to express it, which probably plays into the whole bridezilla thing. The other thing about her being the bridezilla is that all the doctors on our show are so self-absorbed. [Laughs] So it’s the day of the wedding and she has to stomp through the halls trying to find people to be fitted for their dresses and so it’s like, “This is unacceptable. This is my day to be special and you are not allowed to be all about you right now.” So we get to see some really fun moments, which I just love. So yeah, she desperately wants Jackson to come and she has to figure out how to ask him and how to make sure that that happens. But I can’t tell you whether he decides to actually come or not. That I’m not allowed to say.
Do you think she’s settled into Matthew as a husband, Jackson as a best friend? Or are there still some feelings there with Jackson?
I think like she said in the proposal scene when she re-proposed to Matthew: “Jackson will always be a part of my life. I will always have feelings for him.” She said that to him. “And that’s what you’re getting when you get me. I see eight different sides of everything, and I’m indecisive. That’s part of who I am.” So I do think that that is still present in her heart, but I think that she is the kind of person where she’s like, “Well I’ve made a choice, so I’m going to act according to the choice I’m making” as opposed to following her gut. So that’s where she’s at right now, in this episode coming up, she’s gung-ho. “I’m committed, I have made a choice. This is my husband, and then this guy will be my best friend.” And it’s confusing to say the least.
We have to talk about the big tease surrounding last five minutes. What was your reaction at the table read?
It’s shocking. It was really funny because when we were reading it, Ellen Pompeo, at the table read, just screamed out loud: “What What What?!” It’s shocking down to the last second. That was the cohesive reaction from the room. People were just like “Oh my god!” It’s exciting. It’s really fun.
The episode description mentions Derek receiving a life-changing phone call. Is that in last five minutes?
That is in that last five minutes. There’s a lot that happens in the last five minutes. Like tons. There’s things that happen with Derek, there’s things that happen with April, there’s things that happen back at the hospital, which is like, the stuff that happens at the hospital is insane in those last five minutes. And we’re kind of popping back and forth. There’s a whole lot of shocking craziness.
Finally, I heard that your real father played April’s father?
Yes! He’s walking me down the aisle! He doesn’t have any lines but they were like, “We need a red-headed dad to walk you down the aisle.” I was like, “You know that I have a red-headed dad, right?” [Laughs] And so my dad flew out and was here in the trailer. He took a picture of his paycheck that he got as a featured extra and sent it to me. He’s now officially a working actor. We had so much fun. In my real wedding, he walked me down the aisle, and he’s a pastor, so he actually did a costume change and put his robes on and then came around and then married us, so no dad really gets to do this twice unless there’s a divorce or a death or something. He had a blast, but he did realize how long it all takes.
Grey’s Anatomy’s mid-season finale airs tonight at 9 p.m. on ABC.