Chyler Leigh plays Lexie, Grey’s Anatomy’s lone competent intern. In real life, she gave birth to her third child last week. On screen, her family life is not nearly as stable. Her relationship with half-sister Meredith is strained. She was thrilled when Meredith asked her to be a bridesmaid. But last week, Izzie was the one who ended up walking down the aisle. Will Lexie get to be in the wedding party on this Thursday’s season finale? Leigh discussed weddings, the show’s mid-season slump, and Izzie’s fate with Fancast.
Was it difficult to keep it a secret that Meredith and Derek weren’t the ones getting married last week?
It’s been crazy. How much information gets leaked is just incredible to me. A lot of people had heard about it or figured it out. We’re on lock and key with our scripts when we get them especially towards the end of the season. Obviously something as huge as a potential wedding between Meredith and Derek was hard to keep under wraps. I think it went over really well and it definitely teased enough people to get them to watch and be excited about what’s going to happen. I love Alex and izzie’s relationship. I think the writers have done such a great job with it. To see that come to fruition was really exciting, as a fan myself.
Are Meredith and Derek going to tie the knot this week?
They’re still planning on getting married. It’s just a matter of when and how at this point.
Can you give us a clue about Izzie’s fate?
It’s still too early to say anything because I honestly don’t know. Katie (Heigl) does not know either. Whatever it is, they’re going to do a fantastic job with it.
Is it true something shocking is going to happen to George?
Yes. George delivers some news to Bailey that shocks everybody.
Lexie’s got an interesting relationship of her own. Other than the fact that he looks like Eric Dane, why is she so drawn to Mark? He’s so much older. Is it because of her Daddy issues?
I don’t think the age factor came in at all. I think there’s just a genuine confidence that he was for some reason able to bring out in her. A lot of times, it was something that the writers and I worked out, Lexie would stutter or have a hard time getting out what she wanted to say. With Mark she doesn’t. He makes her feel like a woman. He believes in her as a doctor. A lot of people think that her aspirations with the relationship are more to further her career or get her into surgeries but the bottom line is she’s just a really good doctor. He sees that and he gives her the opportunity.
The first time they slept together was ambiguous. Sadie had just advised her to use him to get ahead. What was Lexie’s motivation?
There was a necessity to feel wanted. When Sadie said, “He’s totally into you,” that was an awareness Lexie didn’t have. It was much less about Lexie wanting to get her career going than it was, “Gosh any sort of positive affirmation, be it physical, be it verbal.” It was kind of the same thing when Lexie slept with Alex. It caused her to make a decision she wouldn’t normally have made.
During the middle of the season, Grey’s got a lot of criticism for its storylines, including the one where Lexie and the interns were operating on each other. Was that tough? Did you want to tell people it would get better soon?
That aspect definitely came into play. Friends who are fans of the show were like, “What are you doing?” Several times I definitely said, “Just wait.” As far as shows go, especially shows like this, where people are so invested, you kind of have to take criticism with a grain of salt. If you listen to every bit of it, and tried to adhere to what everybody wanted, it would make a mess of the show. The writers know what they’re doing. They’re planning well in advance. I’m sure some things change but they’ve got the whole season planned out. There is a goal in mind.
When you joined the show it already was a big hit. Were you worried people would think Lexie was the Cousin Oliver of Grey’s?
I was definitely nervous. You never know what to expect when you’re coming on to a set that’s well established, especially as far as relationships go. I came in literally at the end of the Isiah Washington thing and when Kate Walsh was going on to her own show. It was quite a whirlwind. The first script when I showed up was, “Girl in the bar.” That’s what is said for my character. That first scene where I’m hitting on McDreamy was like, “Oh my God.” I got so much crap from so many people. They’ve done such a great job of integrating my character into the cast. I’m very grateful to have the job that I have.
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