Jason George: 'Grey's Anatomy' Season 12 Finale Will Leave 'Jaws on the Floor'
On "Grey's Anatomy," the staff at Grey Sloane Memorial never have an easy go of it, be it their love lives or their professional lives. And actor Jason George says Dr. Ben Warren is about to step into some serious trouble on both fronts.
As the series heads into its final episodes of its landmark, creatively re-energized twelfth season, George says that Ben will be facing some particularly tough transitions. Not only will he be struggling with feelings about his wife Miranda Bailey's significantly more powerful and lucrative position at the hospital, he's about to hit a major speed bump on the road to becoming a surgeon.
Still, he promises, the show's ever-present dose of black comedy will also accompany the drama, and George reveals his own surreal-but-silly experience while sitting in on a serious medical procedure.
Moviefone: Give me what you can tell me: what's around the corner in Shondaland, for you in particular?
Jason George: We've been teasing how Ben and Bailey have a lot of issues. There's a lot of friction when it comes to the fact that she's not just his boss, but his boss's boss. We tease that she earns a lot more money than him. Well, that's all going to come to a really explosive head.
It's going to get real hectic. At the end of the day, Ben has this real tough situation where he is a really experienced doctor, but a new surgeon. So you can think more of your skills than you might have, or you might be making the right choice. It creates this place where maybe he did the right thing, but they think he did the wrong thing. Or he did the wrong thing, but he thinks he did the right thing. So there's some situations coming up that are going to push all that really to an explosive level, and inevitably it spills over to their relationship.
How about his other relationships at the hospital? Does anything you mentioned affect his relationships with the other characters?
This thing affects his relationship with everybody. It goes down the line and people have to, everybody's got to take on this one. Yeah, it gets into everybody's face.
It's been such an interesting season. Can you describe the direction and tone of the show heading into the finale?
Like always, there's always going to be a sense of comedy, but it's always comedy that's born out of something real. So even when the situation is horrific or messed up, they'll find some kind of gallows humor, which is how doctors get through the really rough situations.
The thing is, I think the tone is ... it's going to end with ... there'll still be some jaw-dropping stuff in the finale. It's "Grey's," at the end of the day. There's going to be some fun light stuff, but it'll still, at the end of the day, we're going to end with some jaws on the floor.
Tell me your favorite interaction with a real doctor.
Linda Klein, who is a producer on our show, and is our consultant, and occasionally shows up on camera as Nurse Linda, hooked me and Giacomo Gianniotti up with going to see an open heart surgery. It was like a life-changing thing. I instantly get how doctors get God complexes. I'm like, you stopped a man's heart. There was no blood because it's all being bypassed in a machine. I watched his lungs stop moving. I watched the heart stop beating, and he went to work.
This is the crazy part that they never tell you: when they start the heart up, it's a really slow process. So after all this really tense thing of him sewing on the thing and they're talking, then you hit a spot where you just sit down for 45 minutes, where you're waiting for the heart to slowly start back up. They just talk, they gossip. It was really, really amazing to watch. I will remember that until the day I die.
What were your emotions going in? Were you like "I'm tough, I can handle this?" Or were you already kind of nervous or freaking out?
I knew I could handle blood. I watched all my kids be born by emergency C-sections. So I knew I could handle the blood, knew I could handle the room. I just didn't know what it was going to ... I'd never seen somebody like that: there's a man on the table who I don't know, but his life is really hanging in the balance. So that was weird.
What was really crazy was when his family who were out there found out that we were there, because they had to sign off on us being able to come into the room. They found out, and they didn't ask to see their doctor. They asked to see the two fake doctors who were in watching the doctor's surgery. So we were like, "He looks good...I don't know. I don't want to say anything because I'm not a real doctor. The real doctor will explain to you how he's doing." It was very funny, but they were great.
So you didn't give them a prognosis. Did you give them an autograph?
We gave them autographs, photos! They were lovely, but it was a little bit like, "You know, your dad's coming to life back in the other room. We're taking a photo." But they were being very positive and everything went very well in the room, so we all had a positive attitude about it. It was a little weird and surreal.
"Grey's Anatomy" airs Thursdays on ABC.