Are "Grey's Anatomy's" April and Jackson actually on their way to happy ending? Well, let's see what a road trip does to their relationship.
Sarah Drew, who plays one half of the up-and-down couple, says that there's a big Japril episode ahead as the series resumes its 13th season that will have the oft-dallying doctors on a business trip together ... away from the confines of Grey Sloan Memorial.
Meanwhile, the actress -- the mother of two children with her husband, academian Peter Lanfer -- admits that, as thrilled as she was to dive back into the "Grey's" drama, there's a pang of mommy guilt every time she heads off to work.
Moviefone: What can you say about where we're picking up with April and Jackson as the season restarts?
Sarah Drew: Well, there's a lot of fun things in store, especially for Japril coming up. We have actually -- it's going to air in March -- but a whole episode dedicated just to the two of us, where we go on a trip to Montana together for a case, a throat transplant. And it's really pivotal for the two of them, individually and also as a pair. But it's a really incredible opportunity for them to be kind of still and have to face one another with nothing else distracting them out of the normal environment.
And we're really, really proud of it. Kevin McKidd directed it. It's very different, tonally, than a lot of the other episodes. There's a lot of quiet space and stillness. It's not like frantic and moving super-fast. And it's really lovely.
How do you feel about them as a couple? Are they meant to be together?
Yes -- yeah. I think so. I mean, they've been through so much, and they still have so much love for one another. And they just need to get past their sh*t.
As an actress, you're not like, "Can you bring in somebody new to kiss?"
Nah. I already have two men that I'm regularly making out with. They don't need to throw another one in there!
How is your husband with this onscreen relationship?
It's always weird, but what's wonderful is that both Jesse [Williams] and I are super-professional. And we always have been.
Super-married, super-have-children. There's a really good separation that exists, but we have a really great working relationship together. We're good friends. It's totally safe in terms of my husband's perspective.
How's mommyhood treating you?
My daughter just turned two, and my son is about to turn five. And we're doing a "Harry Potter" birthday party because we've been reading the "Harry Potter" books. My husband has been reading them to him, and so he's on the second to last one. And he is, like, incredibly invested. My son is also obsessed with all things costume. He loves dressing up. So it's a costume party. Everybody has to come. So my daughter is Professor Umbridge. I'm Tonks, and he's Harry, obviously. And my husband is Mr. Weasley.
As you headed back to work after hiatus, did you feel a little pang of parental guilt?
Oh, yes. I feel like the whole women-can-have-it-all -- there are elements about that that are definitely true, yes. But I also feel like it's kind of a great, big lie. I say that only because I agree that women can have all of the elements, one-hundred percent they can. But there will always be a tug and a push and a pull, and you will always feel like you're sacrificing something for something else -- always. I don't know how anybody can ever get around that. It is inherent in our DNA, and maybe people would disagree with me. But that has been my experience.
I will say there are times when my daughter reaches for the nanny before she reaches for me, and my heart breaks a little. But I really, really love my job. And I'm a much more present mom because I go and do something that I love a lot, and I feel very fulfilled by it. And I come home refreshed and energized to be mom. So it's an interesting balance. And I think I'm going to be challenged by it forever, and I welcome that challenge. And it's a good challenge.
Have you ever been taken in by the breadth of medical information you've recited on the show and think, "I think I know what's wrong with you"?
No, no. Do not trust me with anything medically related! The only thing that I feel like I've gleaned is that when my kids fall and clonk their heads, I immediately check their pupils to see if one is bigger than another. And I keep them awake for a while to make sure, and stimulate them to make sure they're not getting drowsy. There are a lot of things that I feel like I've said as a "doctor" and then I find myself doing.
When you've had some time off, what's it like that first day back on the "Grey's Anatomy" set?
It's interesting, because on the one hand, I'm super-psyched to be back because I love my job. I really do -- I love the people that I work with, and I crave routine so intensely. But being home with the kids for the whole two-week Christmas break ...
"Where's the nanny now?"
Yes, that's exactly what I was saying every, single day. [Laughs] Oh, that sounds horrible, and now I have a pang of mommy guilt by saying that out loud. But there you go. It is a whole other job that is as consuming and requires different emotional gymnastics than work does. And, sometimes, the emotional gymnastics at work are a hell of a lot easier than the emotional gymnastics at home with the children. So it's different.
I crave the balance. I crave having time there and time at home. That's when I am absolute happiest.
"Grey's Anatomy" Season 13 returns Thursday, January 26, on ABC.