As Sarah Drew, who plays Grey’s Anatomy‘s Dr. April Kepner puts it, “It was as if somebody had actually died for real and we were mourning it, the way we were weeping at the table read” for the Season 8 finale, which killed off Chyler Leigh‘s Dr. Lexie Grey and sent Kim Raver‘s Dr. Teddy Altman packing.
And while obviously everyone is alive and well, Drew can’t help but feel the loss of two gal pals and colleagues.
“Chyler is a very dear friend…. She and I have always been such good buddies,” she told TVLine at Tuesday’s Thirst Gala, where Leigh was being honored (see photo, right). “And Kim has been an unbelievable support as I went through pregnancy and early parenthood. She went out of her way to care for me and give advice, so I was tragically sad to see her go.”
The happy news for Drew is that while series boss Shonda Rhimes has been hinting that Lexie and Teddy might not be the only faces not returning this fall, she already has received her official pick-up letter in the mail, “so I’m definitely back,” she reports.
Not that she didn’t have a scare or two as Season 8 drew to a close. “Anybody can go at any time, especially on Grey’s…. so there was always that bit of trepidation,” she admits. “But I’m in this place in my life where I have to let go and say, ‘Whatever will be, will be. If I get killed off, I get killed off.’
“But I’m really glad I didn’t get killed off,” she makes clear.
Nonetheless, April’s professional prospects are likely to be few after not passing the boards. “She’s going to freak out, I am sure,” Drew ventures. “I’m really excited to see what happens.”
Maybe April will soothe the professional sting by focusing on her personal life – namely how Jackson Avery (played by Jesse Williams), who late last season became Kepner’s first lover, fits into it?
“They have a very deep friendship. But I don’t know if that’s going to evolve into a romance or not,” Drew says. “I think it could be really interesting either way.” (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)