‘Grey’s Anatomy‘s’ April incurred a lot of viewer wrath last season. The hapless resident was responsible for both a patient’s death and the shooting of Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd. Next season, April will be back as a series regular. ‘Everwood‘ alumna Sarah Drew, who plays the insecure doctor, is looking forward to attempting the difficult task of winning over the audience. She revealed how the shooting spree that ended last season will impact Seattle Grace, why she likes playing the character everyone hates, and how she has transformed the ‘Grey’s set from a place where actors choke each other to a happy land of bake offs.
You play one polarizing character!
She is polarizing! I love that about her.
Is it fun playing the person that the audience wants to punch in the face?
It’s really fun to play it, but the people pleaser in me wants everybody to like me. The stuff that they’ve given me to do in the last season is not very likable. It also leaves room for her to blossom and change and grow. There have been scenes in the last three read throughs I had where I just go,”Oh,I love April.” She’s so misguided. She’s so awkward. I feel for her. I hope the audience comes to her side and starts to like her for all of her quirkiness.
How is she going to redeem herself?
We’ll see relationships start to develop between her and some of the other key characters on the show. I think as the other characters warm to her, the audience will start to warm to her. She’s a really interesting character. She’s Type A. She’s neurotic. She is going to do whatever she can to be an incredible surgeon but she also deals with her insecurities by being passive aggressive and obnoxious but we all have some of those traits in us as human beings. So I find her entirely relatable. She’s not a hero. She’s human.
Is she going to continue to have her crush on Derek?
No. That is over. I think what killed it was witnessing the miscarriage and that scene with Meredith goes on and on and on about how much she’s in love with Derek and Meredith grabs her hand. In that moment, you see them accepting each other and April also accepting the scenario. It’s very hard to be with someone that you almost got killed… What I love about [April] is she’s kind of clueless when it comes to that. She’s never been in love, she’s never been loved, and so she doesn’t know how it works at all.
Watch April on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’:
What is the fallout from the shooting spree?
Our premiere starts off a few weeks after the shooting. We have the wonderful James Tupper playing our grief counselor. He basically is the gate keeper as to whether we are allowed into surgery again. We’ve all been dealing with the trauma in different ways. Some people are avoiding the sessions with him because they don’t want to deal with it, can’t even imagine going back into surgery. Some people are desperately trying to get back into surgery but are faking their way through it and he sees right through them.
What would you like to see April’s story be?
April said in the finale, ‘I’ve never been loved.’ I want to see her fall in love for the first time and I want to see it be a really beautiful coming of age thing. I want it to be a really sweet story, as opposed to ripping each other’s clothes off in the on-call room, where some of those insecurities start to fall away.
Avery doesn’t have a love interest, either.
I know, but… I can’t imagine them putting two new people together. Nobody’s going to care about that.
Who are your closest friends on the set?
I’ve bonded with Chyler [Leigh] and Justin [Chambers] and with Sara [Ramirez]. Sara and I had a bake off in my trailer. Jesse and I have trailers that are a slightly older version of the trailers that they have. Our trailers have full ovens and stove tops. Sara got very jealous of my trailer, which is kind of hilarious. She was like, “I think we should do a bake off.” Then I was like,”Bring it on.” So we showed up one day to work in our aprons. Of course mine is a frilly, flowery thing and hers is hardcore black with skulls and roses and swords. She baked a key lime pie and I made a rum cake. We brought it to the crew. Everybody had a taste. It was fun. It raised the morale.
Who was declared the winner of the Bake Off?
They were so different. It was like comparing apples and oranges. But I decided that she won because her pie went faster than my rum cake. But I also think that my rum cake, when you look at it you think it might be just a pound cake. It doesn’t look that interesting. Then you get like a wham, bam, thank you when you eat it because it’s full of rum.
You ‘Everwood’ alums are taking over ABC. Do you ever get together and talk about your success?
Emily (VanCamp) and I have such a funny relationship. We will get together once every eight months and stay up all night drinking and talking and then I’ll have to crash at her place because I can’t drive. I’ll sneak out at six in the morning and then I won’t talk to her for the next few months. We joke about it: ‘When are we going to have another one night stand?’
Who do you hope becomes April’s love interest next season? Are you ready to warm to her?