There might be hope for Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) and April Kepner (Sarah Drew) after all!
Last week's episode of Grey's Anatomy saw the divorced pair open the door for a rekindled romance with a sexy hookup while in Montana on a case -- where they also met Jackson's estranged father (Eric Roberts). While the couple's future is still uncertain, Drew assured fans at PaleyFest on Sunday that Japril will always be together -- whether romantically or otherwise.
"I think the main takeaway from that experience in Montana is that these two people... there's so much love there, there's so much respect there. They know each other so well," Drew said during the Grey's Anatomy panel. "Whether it continues and moves towards romance or stays platonic, we know for sure that these two are going to be okay, and that they're always going to depend on one another, and they will always be one another's person."
"At the end of the day, who knows [what will happen]?" she added.
Williams also commented on the pair's connection, calling April Jackson's "best friend."
"He has a great support system and an absolute failure in the same experience," he shared of the tense scene when Jackson comes face-to-face with his father. "He's doing it with the full support of his person, his best friend, April Kepner."
"I was excited [for the scene]. It's been a big cloud over the character for his entire life, and my entire career playing him," Williams confessed. "It's been like, a big gaping hole, so being able to fill that in with a human being, with a person you can make eye contact with and ask all these questions... was a very exciting process."
"I really prepared myself by making sure I went over and understood my timeline, and what this character has been through, but also I was just really laid the table to be able to listen and be honest in the moment," he added.
Williams and Drew shot the episode on location in Montana, with Kevin McKidd (Owen Hunt) directing.
"We went off with Kevin to shoot episode 16 while all the rest of these guys were shooting episode 10 or 11, so we were shooting with the Scandal crew. We were working with a completely different crew, in a completely different set, on location. We were in the mountains," Drew revealed. "It really did feel like we were shooting a movie. It was really neat to get the chance to kind of get out of the hospital and follow just one specific story all the way through to the end, because we got the opportunity to really take time to listen."
"So much happened in the silence in that episode, which we just don't have the luxury for when we're servicing so many different storylines," she said. "So it was really amazing."
"I was so proud of Jesse and Sarah, and everyone... the work that we did," McKidd offered. "When I read that script, I wanted it to feel like an independent movie -- a really high end, quality independent movie. That was my approach."
"I really encouraged the actors to just breathe," he added, "and I think it turned into something beautiful."
While Jackson and his father hashed it out on Thursday's episode, there's clearly much more to the pair's story -- which Williams said he "would love" to explore.
"I really hope so, not just selfishly, for being able to work with such an incredibly talented actor [in Roberts]," he said. "I would love to. I think there's a lot left to do there."
"We've planted a lot of seeds this season -- and that's one of them -- that resonate in a lot of ways," added Debbie Allen, who executive produces the series in addition to starring as Jackson's mother, Catherine Avery. "But there's more coming."
As for Williams and Drew's relationship in real life, the 35-year-old actor said it's "much more stable" -- though Ellen Pompeo and Justin Chambers arguably had the most chemistry on stage, as Chambers sweetly gave up his coat for his shivering co-star.
"We don't fight, and it's really helpful. I think that generally, it's a really lighthearted set. We crack a lot of jokes and have a lot of fun and try to save the drama for what's on screen," Williams admitted. "We're carrying that with us for weeks at a time to deliver, to serve it up to you, so it's a lot of heavy weight, a lot of drama, and drama that we're trying to figure out how to articulate for you. So we try to keep it light."