As we are approaching Season 14 of Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes has shared some insider secrets in her video lessons on television writing masterclass and Elle was kind enough to share. Grey's fans are pretty excited about this new information, to say the least. And we bet there are loads of other interesting facts you've yet to discover, too! So, here are 20 fun facts you probably didn't know about Grey's!
1. Cristina Was Originally Supposed To Fall In Love With Denny
Cristina's original plotline involved her falling in love with a dying patient. (Oh, yeah. And her father was supposed to be a major donor to the hospital.) But excuse me? What? This is something we cannot even fathom. Cristina would never and we absolutely loved Izzie and Denny.
2. The Original Title Was Terrible
So, Grey's Anatomy could have been called Surgeons. Okay, we get it. ER and House were short and simple, but Surgeons would have been so incredibly boring. We also know that there was a time it would be called Complications. We're pretty thankful for this change and the title we got!
3. Shonda Wanted The Show To Be A Dramedy
LOL. Shonda said, "I don't believe in melodrama and I don't believe in EARNEST SAPPY MOMENTS." How the tables have turned. Hilarious!
4. Riggs Was Once In A Britney Spears Music Video
It's always hilarious when you spot someone from Grey's in something you've seen a long time ago. But, it's a shame that Riggs wasn't on the plane in this classic Britney video, considering he was in a plane crash before. I mean, we don't know what happened to that plane when it went off into the distance! (For those of you wondering, he comes in around the 2:47 mark.)
5. Meredith And Her Mother Could've Had A Different Relationship
Meredith's voiceovers were meant to be from her visits to her mother with Alzheimer's. We never really got to see much of Ellis, whose name was also originally Helen. But, when we saw her, it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies. It would have been interesting to see where Shonda took their relationship if Mer was comfortable enough to visit multiple times.
6. Erica Hahn Was Fired From The Show
Remember when Hahn suddenly left the show right when things started getting good? Well, it looks like ABC just told Brooke Smith, who plays Hahn, that they couldn't "write for [her] character anymore." As much as we love Arizona, that was just a dirty move on ABC's part. At least it seemed like Shonda fought for her to stay.
7. "Grey's" Was Pitched As Another "Sex And The City"
To pitch and sell the show to get it started, Shonda explained that Meredith's point of view was like "a more grounded version of Carrie's articles in Sex and the City." She evens adds that she would call the show Sex in the Surgery. Despite not liking this, it worked out in the end.
8. The Show Might Not Have Been Set In Seattle
It was originally thought that the show would be in Boston, Philly, Chicago, or New York City. But, it was always going to be in a big city. Despite wanting to set the show in her native Chicago city, Shonda didn't want the show to be too much like ER. So, the show would eventually be set in Seattle!
9. Jackson Avery Was Once A Teacher
Jesse Williams, who plays Jackson, was a teacher before getting cast in Grey's. Beauty and brains, huh?
10. Shonda Pays A Lot Of Attention To Her Characters
To make her characters feel real, Shonda does A LOT. She stocked their lockers with things that would reflect their personalities. Mer has"stacks of old birthday cards she was planning to mail but never got around to." She also made notes about each character that made them more whole in her mind. For example, Preston Burke's mother owned a restaurant in Alabama. So, this is what it takes to be a world-class writer.
11. Preston Burke Was Supposed To Be Married (With Kids)
So, Burke's originally storyline revolved around him feeling trapped with his family and wanting to leave his wife. Whoa! That would've made Cristina's storyline so complicated.
12. Derek Shepherd Was Also Supposed To Have A Kid
Burke Wasn't the only one who was supposed to have a child! Shonda revealed that Derek was supposed to have a teenage daughter that convinced him to take the job at the hospital. Very interesting indeed.
13. Callie Torres Literally Got To Choose Which ABC Show She Got To Star On
So, Sara Ramirez, who plays Callie, performed on the Broadway show Spamalot so they let her pick which ABC show she wanted to be in. In an interview with Oprah Winfry, Ramirez said, "They said, 'Be on our network. Pick a show'...They send me every show they had and Grey's Anatomy was my favorite, and I said, 'That's the one I want to be on.'"
14. Richard Webber Was Once VERY Different
Chief Webber was originally described as "not a warm man - with his patients, with his students, with his family." Perhaps it was his standout audition that made Shonda and co. decide a shift in Webber's personality, because the Chief is probably the kindest and wisest characters on the show.
15. We Now Know Why Meredith Loves Tequila So Much
Shonda has previously mentioned that her characters are defined by what they drink. Their personalities are reflected in their preferences. Shonda has also commented that Meredith and Cristina drank a lot of tequila because "you never saw women drinking on TV...women weren't the hard drinkers."
16. Alex Karev Wasn't In The Original Plot
In fact, he wasn't even added int other show until after the pilot was shot. Thank the Shondaland lords they did, though! Because if there were no Alex, Mer would be the last one standing. And we don't think we could handle that!
17. Not Everyone In Grey's Is American
In fact, both Jo Wilson and Owen Hunt are both British - Jo is English and Owen is Scottish. When you hear their normal accents, it will blow you away! They hide it so well!
18. Miranda Bailey Was SO Different
Not only was Bailey's original name Deborah, she also was supposed to be "surly, quirky, and sorely lacking in people skills." This is definitely not the Bailey we've all come to know and love! Oh! And she was supposed to have an "odd but hot" sexual relationship with George! We're pretty happy Shonda stuck with naming Bailey's son after him instead!
19. The Doctors Had An Unhealthy Habit
So, apparently, smoking was a pretty big thing amongst all of our favorite Grey's doctors, especially Meredith! You would think that smoking would be highly frowned upon in a group full of doctors, though. We're pretty glad we didn't get a taste of this one.
20. Shonda Has A System To Get A Diverse Casts
This is her recipe for avoiding cliches and having diverse casts: "Take half the characters that you made men and make them women. Take one character you were gonna cast one color, cast them differently. I think it's important for people to rethink because what people see on television changes what people think about themselves." If only all shows would do this - maybe we wouldn't have such a big issue in Hollywood.
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