Chandra Wilson previews an all new GREY’S ANATOMY
On tonight’s all new episode of GREY’S ANATOMY (Season 9, Episode 21 – can you believe we’re almost to Season 10??), Bailey becomes the focus of a CDC investigation when several of her patients die. It becomes a tricky situation when her friends, her former students, need to act as board members first and foremost.
I recently spent some time chatting with Bailey (the incomparable Chandra Wilson) about what’s coming up tonight, what’s happening in the super-scary-sounding Season finale, and how the show still feels fresh, 9 years later.
I was just talking with someone about GREY’S and how we’re 9 years in, 9 seasons in, it still seems fresh, it still seems like they’re doing something new every week. Is that how it feels on set – are you still feeling that way as a cast, that it still feels so new?
It absolutely does! It still feels like there are new things for us to explore all of the time. We continue, every table read, to find out more about these characters’ history, some things that weren’t there before, but now, this is there history [laughs], so that gives us all these things to play! That hasn’t slowed down for any of us at all.
I thought about it too, about how Bailey’s been through much, how all of the characters have, too – I’d imagine as an actor playing a role like this for so long, it feels like you’ve been able to play multiple different roles over the year through Bailey.
Most definitely! It’s ever evolving. They’re very human, but it has allowed me as an actor to tap into a lot of the reserve because of what’s been required. Whether it’s holding on to whatever Miranda Bailey’s outward persona is, to unfortunately to have life’s certain events come in and knock her off her feet. There is all this nuance and human experience that comes and we get to explore.
This week, Bailey has to confront the CDC – what can you tease about where we go with the outbreak and what happens next?
Just like you said, Bailey has to confront what’s going on with the CDC. She doesn’t look at it like that at all [laughs]. They’ve gotta come in and do whatever they need to do, but it doesn’t have anything to do with her. She really can’t understand how that’s even a possibility, that any of her colleagues could think that she possibly could have done something wrong. She’s waiting for the rally of support where everyone is saying “okay, Bailey, we know it wasn’t you, but anyway, we’ve gotta do our due process,” but the only thing anyone is talking about the due process, and that really, really upsets her. [laughs]
What else can you tease for the next few episodes? Are you always surprised by the big events we see in the finale?
Certain for our finale episode, Seattle is about to experience a storm. The hospital is a trauma center, so we have to be equipped and ready for that trauma, even in the midst of hopefully coming to a resolution of the investigation and whatever repercussions it has, for Bailey. But we still have to be a hospital [laughs].
Like you said for tonight – they’re focusing on the due process. Does Bailey have allies? Does she realize it?
She has allies all over the place but she doesn’t see that! [laughs] All she sees is that they’re all board of director folks now, and they have to do that position and stand for the hospital, in her opinion, more than being her colleague or being her friend.
She’s taught so many of them now, too, so I’d imagine that she’s thinking “oh you don’t remember when I was in charge – you weren’t always a director.”
That’s exactly how she takes it! She doesn’t have a financial investment in the hospital, so her employment isn’t all that secure, her standing in the hospital isn’t all that secure. At least, at the very least, she would think that she would have the support at the bottom line of everything. She’s not able to be objective enough to see that, you know, they’re doing the same thing that she would do, if she was in their position. She can’t see that. It’s all very personal to her.
Playing the character for such a long time, what are some things about Miranda that still surprise and excite you about playing her?
I love her ego [laughs]. I love every opportunity that she has where it’s so apparent. Like in this! Her competency is never questioned. It’s interesting – you have to be open t learning as a physician, and it’s not that she doesn’t do that. She’s just not the kind of person that can handle the possibility of mistakes. That’s just not who she is. That’s a cool exploration for me. I find myself so far away from being a perfectionist [laughs]. It’s kind of nice to play that out as somebody!
We’ve seen you as a part of the recurring directors – have you directed any others yet to air this season, and will Season 10 hold some episodes for you?
I’ve been doing 2 a season for the last four seasons, usually 1 in the Fall and 1 in the Spring. My Spring episode this year was 917, which already aired, so you know, going forward, when my producer knocks on my door and says, “hey, it’s your turn again,” I’m ready to do it!
GREY’S ANATOMY airs Thursday nights at 9/8c – for more information on the show, head to ABC’s site, and don’t forget to let us know what you think of this week’s episode in the comments below!