"Grey's Anatomy" fans all have their favorite couples: Meredith and Derek, Callie and Arizona, Cristina and Owen, Jackson and April. But another couple worth shipping might be walking down the aisle very, very soon.
HuffPost TV caught up with star Chandra Wilson to talk about Bailey's possible upcoming nuptials with Dr. Ben Warren (Jason George) -- "There will be a wedding before we finish out 2012, but that's all I'm gonna say about that!," she teased, presumably about the happily engaged long-distance couple -- but she also dished about this week's very special episode, which she directed.
For "Second Opinion" (Thurs., Nov. 15 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC), Wilson stepped behind the camera to direct her seventh "Grey's" episode, but this one marks the very first time in nine seasons that she's pitched a story to the writers. Keep reading for more on the rare disease she got incorporated into the show, what she got to direct her castmates doing (Cristina's dramatic return to Seattle Grace! Jackson and April's steamy hook-ups!), who is most difficult to direct and what lies ahead for Bailey.
It's always so nice when someone who's on the show, and has been living on the show for so long, can step behind the camera for a week, and I always enjoy the episodes you direct. What's Bailey up to this week?
Yes, this is my seventh time up at bat, and I knew that I was going to be directing this episode, but I didn't know the storyline. Cristina Yang is back in Seattle, so it's about how she gets reincorporated into the hospital. And we have some nice sex scenes with Jackson and April [laughs], and we also have Bailey being a busy-body and trying to get Arizona Robbins to get off of her behind and come on back to the hospital.
Beyond that, I was able to personally incorporate a character who is a Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) sufferer, and that was important to me because my oldest daughter is a CVS sufferer. There are so many sufferers out there that have never heard the name said out loud or said publicly, and this was a major confirmation for them, I felt, to be able to see somebody else go through what they're going through at home, or what their neighbor's kid or their nephew is going through, and to be able to validate that by saying I'm not crazy -- this intense nausea and vomiting that I go through has a name, somebody else has it, and now, maybe somebody can help me. So there was a lot of significance for me personally with this episode.
That's amazing that they were on board and able to incorporate that into the story.
This was the first time -- and we're in Season 9 -- that I actually made a pitch for a storyline. I'd never done that before ... I just never felt like I needed to. The show's been taking care of itself perfectly fine without my input! [Laughs.] But I did make that pitch, and not only were they on board with it, they also allowed me to make a public service announcement at the end of the episode for the Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Association that I'm the spokesperson for. If one extra person picks up the phone and calls to say, "Oh my god, I think that's me," that's a coup, but I would hope that it would be a lot more that get a chance to do that. I'm so very aware of the platform that I've been given with "Grey's Anatomy," and I feel a lot of responsibility in that position and want to do the best job that I can personally to use the gift that I've been given.
I love that you're taking full advantage of that. I also love that you said Bailey has a hand in getting Arizona back to work, because it's about time! Nothing else seems to be working ...
Yeah, and it's not necessarily on purpose. She hears Callie's gripes about what's been going on at home, and Bailey's been in kind of busy body mode this season [laughs], trying to find her way now that all her babies are grown and her son is in school. This opportunity just kind of presented itself, to see how is she going to help her friend.
I am always happy when Jason George comes to play. And there's some BIG stuff coming up for Miranda Bailey and Ben Warren!
Well, she completely accepted his proposal, even though he lives not only in another city, but another state! She's been married before, she's done that whole thing, and she thought she did it right the first time, you know? So she's not necessarily making all the plans to get married, but she told him yes and he's just gung-ho and excited and ready to get on with it. So now it's about how in the world do we get Miranda Bailey to the altar? [Laughs.]
And should she really be doing it? A couple of weeks ago on set, I talked to Sara Ramirez about all of Callie's domestic issues with Arizona ... with Callie often acting as Miranda's sounding board, I can't imagine she's really giving a lot of positive support to this marriage decision, is she? Is anyone? They all have their relationship issues ...
Yeah, nobody has a great perspective on our show right now! [Laughs.] But she does actually get some really interesting back-handed advice from Callie and from Cristina and from Dr. Webber -- none of them whose relationships have been great, but they actually have some great advice for her to consider in being able to go forward and choose to be happy with Ben.
When you're tasked with directing your colleagues, who is the most difficult to direct? Not in a bad way, but is there someone who's always cracking up or pushing your buttons, just for kicks?
[Laughs.] You know, I tell you, I'm in such a unique position being in-house because I know how our show works and I know everybody's temperament already. I know what's going to work from this person and what's going to work for the other, so I get a whole lot of appreciation when it's my turn! [Laughs.] If Patrick [Dempsey] needs to get out and go race, he's gone! If Ellen needs to get home to the baby, OK let's go! [Laughs.] It's already built in -- I know you and I know what you're gonna want, so we really move through our days and move through our scenes, and we get the stuff that we need. And we have a good time, because I laugh all the time -- I just don't allow it to be anything other than something that's fun.
Is there anything that you've wanted to happen for Bailey that hasn't happened yet? Something you'd love to see worked in before the series ends, whenever that will be?
Wow ... I have no clue what that would be. I literally have been riding this ride from the very beginning, and other than making the pitch for this CVS storyline, I have stayed so far away from that writers' room. [Laughs.] I feel like they do everything that they need to do for this character. Right when I think I know who she is, then something different will show up about her. Whoever thought she'd go into an on-call room? She was adamant that she'd never do that ... and here she is! I just have so much appreciation for what's being created. Whoever knew that I'd do the music event? I was one of those people the entire time saying, "I'll never do that. Never." And then there I was in the music event. I don't want to fix what isn't broken.
Shonda Rhimes might be one of the most persuasive showrunners in this business. The fact that any of you sang!
Oh yeah, she blamed the music event on the starving children somewhere. [Laughs.] Who are these starving children that I'm doing this for? [Laughs.] But that was the bribe line: It's for the starving children.
What else can you tease about the rest of the season?
Well, the plane crash and the ramifications are still rolling out legally, so there's an interesting place where blame ends up being placed, and we start to feel that in this episode. And that whole Owen and Cristina thing has an ending that's just crazy. You know how volatile those two characters are ... they are volatile. And yes, there will be a wedding before we finish out 2012, but that's all I'm gonna say about that!
Tell us: Do you think Bailey and Ben will get married? Will Callie and Arizona resolve their issues? And will Cristina and Owen get divorced?
"Grey's Anatomy" airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
Read ABC's full description of this episode:
"Second Opinion" - As the doctors continue with their lawsuit, they're forced to confront the realities of their injuries. Meanwhile, Bailey tricks Arizona into helping her with a pediatric case, and Cristina tries to find normalcy in her new environment.