50 Things You Totally Didn't Know About The Making Of Grey's Anatomy
50 Things You Totally Didn't Know About The Making Of Grey's Anatomy
We all love Grey's Anatomy, but do you know what it took to finally get Grey's Anatomy running? Well, we'll give you a hint! It look a lot! So, here are 50 things you probably didn't know about the making of Grey's Anatomy!
1. Grey's Anatomy Was Inspired By A Show On The Discovery Channel
In an interview with Oprah, showrunner Shonda Rhimes said, "My sisters and I would call each other up and talk about operations we'd seen on the Discovery Channel. There's something fascinating about the medical world — you see things you'd never imagine, like the fact that doctors talk about their boyfriends or their day while they're cutting somebody open. So when ABC asked me to write another pilot, the OR seemed like the natural setting."
2. And When A Doctor Was Shaving Her Legs
In the same interview, Shonda said that Grey's really began to develop after a doctor told her how hard it was to shave her legs in the hospital shower.
3. The Show Wasn't Supposed To Be Set In Seattle
Grey's was supposed to be set in Shonda's hometown Chicago, but she was worried that it would be too similar to E.R.
4. But Meredith Grey's House Is A REAL House In Seattle
It's definitely not a set. Mer's house is very real.
5. The Show Wasn't Originally Called Grey's Anatomy
Yup! It was supposed to be called Complications. We're happy how this one turned out!
6. Isaiah Washington Was Going To Be Derek Shepherd
Washington originally auditioned to play Derek! He said," It didn't work out, and it went exactly the way it was supposed to go."
7. Alex Karev Almost Didn't Happen
In fact, the series pilot was filmed before Alev was even brought on! He was digitally altered to be in the pilot later on!
8. Sandra Oh Originally Auditioned For Miranda Bailey
All we can say is...thank god. We love Sandra as Cristina. (And Chandra as Bailey.)
9. But Oh Then Told Directors She Would Rather Audition For Cristina
Sandra said, "At that time I was practicing for what I wanted in my life, which I still practice today. And I saw the part of Cristina Yang and I wanted to do that part. So even though Shonda wanted me to come in for the part of Bailey, I said, 'No I want to come in for Cristina.'"
10. Ellen Pompeo Didn't Even Audition For Meredith Grey
Ellen said, "I didn't audition for Meredith Grey; I was offered the part by Shonda and the network. Shonda Rhimes wasn't really 'Shonda Rhimes at the time. It wasn't a big deal—it was just another pilot. I had done a movie called 'Moonlight Mile' that a lot of people in the industry had seen, and I got a lot of attention in the industry. I was meeting with a lot of studio people and directors after that movie, and then this opportunity came from that. My agent said, 'Just do the pilot and make some money—these things never go.'"
11. Shonda Knew She Wanted To Include Interns In Grey's Anatomy
Shonda said that she always wanted to choose interns over established surgeons to be on the show because "there's something really horrible about not knowing what you're doing for a living."
12. Shonda Didn't Know What Any Character Would Look Like Before Casting
When trying to cast characters, Shonda just cast whoever was best. She said, "I wasn't really trying to pull together any specific combination of characters together when I was picking the cast."
13. Except For Miranda Bailey
Miranda Bailey was supposed to be "short, white, blonde female," which is not how we see her today.
14. And Chandra Wilson Didn't Think She Could Even Audition For Bailey!
Chandra said, "I wasn't seen for it for a while and then finally casting in New York saw me because she's known me for years and said, 'Why not.'"
15. Patrick Dempsey Didn't Know McDreamy Was Married Until Mid-Season 1
Patrick said, "You really don't know what's going to happen from day to day most of the time. Stuff is always being rewritten and changed and storylines are being revealed to you...I didn't know I was married until halfway through."
16. And Ellen Pompeo Didn't Know Until The End Of Season 1
Yup! Ellen was even later! She said, "They didn't tell me that was coming. I was very surprised."
You and me both!
17. There Are Real Surgeons In Each Surgery Scene
Jim Parriot, the Executive Producer of Grey's, said, "We have a really terrific medical producer, Linda Klein, who stages these operations and brings in real surgeons so the handwork you see a lot of the time is a real surgeon tying a knot."
19. Addison Was Only Supposed To Be In A Few Episodes
Kate said, "Initially it was just probably going to be a few episodes...come in like a badass from New York and that'll be that."
20. When Patrick Auditioned, He Thought Shonda Rhimes Hated Him
After Patrick auditioned for his role, he thought that he wouldn't get the job. He was terrified of Shonda Rhimes.
21. The Writers Incorporate A Lot Of The Actors' Personalities Into Their Characters
Katherine Heigl said, "The writers incorporate a lot of our own personalities into the characters. I cook, I bake, I knit. Izzie's the super moral version of me."
22. Ellen Said That She Felt Guilt Free When Kissing Patrick Dempsey
In an interview with Oprah, Ellen said, "His wife Jill is very nice and very understanding, as is my boyfriend [now husband] Chris. So we're completely guilt-free."
23. Justin Chambers Already Had 5 Kids At The Start Of Grey's
Can you believe that our favorite Grey's bad boy was already married for ten years with five kids? We can't!
24. Heigl Read One Book A Day On Set
Justin revealed, "This pretty blonde will read a book a day on set. I'm not kidding you, a book a day."
25. T.R. Knight Was "The Funny One" On Set
In the same interview with Oprah, Heigl revealed that Knight has "the best sense of humor on set."
26. Isaiah Trained With Real Doctors
Isaiah said, "One of my best-kept secrets is that I continue to train with real doctors. I go to open heart surgeries whenever I can or brain surgeries whenever I can. That just helps me keep my edge."
27. Kate Walsh Thought That Derek And Addison Should Have Been Together
Kate said, "The best thing for everybody involved...is that Derek and Addison really should be together."
28. James Pickens Lassos To Feel Relaxed On Set
He said, "It kind of gets me relaxed and ready to roll."
29. The Crazy Medical Stories Are Often Adapted From Real-Life Cases
The Grey's team has a medical researcher for new cases. So, the craziness isn't that far off from reality!
30. Isaiah Was Fired For Using A Homophobic Slur against Knight
This article says it all.
31. Years After Heigl Left The Show, She Wanted To Come Back
She has mentioned how wonderful it would be to round out the character.
32. But Shonda Thought Otherwise
However, Shonda didn't have the same vision. She said, "We are on a track we have been planning, and the idea of changing that track is not something we are interested in right now." Ouch.
33. Knight Left Grey's After George's Screentime Decreased Significantly
Knight supposedly decided to resign rather than asking for more screen time.
34. Chyler Leigh Spend TWO DAYS Under A Plane When Filming Her Last Episode
She said, "I opted to stay underneath [the wreckage] for the most part over two days rather than trying to get in and out."
35. Jessica Capshaw Auditioned For Nurse Rose
And we're super happy she didn't get it!
36. And Kevin McKidd Auditioned YEARS Before He Got Owen
Grey's producer said, "One of the things that happens a lot in Shondaland is that we meet actors and love them, but they're just not perfect for that part. We met Kevin McKidd generally for a couple of different parts for him, until she created the role of Owen."
37. When Ellen Got Pregnant, The Writers Wrote Around It
At first, the Grey's team just shot from the neck up, but then writers just added a liver surgery into the show. Nice.
38. Chyler Leigh Never Finished High School
While Lexie Grey was a top student at Harvard, Chyler pursued her acting career.
39. The Amount Of Money Denny gave Izzie Was Changed For Creative Reasons
In order to make Denny's check legible to the audience, the Grey's team just made the money amount bigger. Hilarious!
40. Patrick Actually Wrote Down All The Post-It Wedding Vows
So, that means they're technically married, right? RIGHT??
41. Red Jell-O Is Used For Blood In Grey's Anatomy
Still gross. But, Sarah Drew mentioned that the blood on the show has a lot of silicon, red Jell-O, blood, and chicken fat.
42. Jesse Williams Was A Teacher
Jesse told Ellen, "I taught high school, I taught middle school, I taught kindergarten for about six months."
43. Sarah Drew Was Pregnant At The Same Time As April Kepner
Sarah actually announced that she was pregnant just after her character's pregnancy was revealed! Wow! Talk about life imitating art.
44. The Actors REALLY Prep On How To Perform Their Surgery Scenes
Ellen said, "When we have a specific procedure that we have to perform, the medical staff here is very knowledgeable and they always provide us with a CD or information from the internet about what the procedure is."
45. A Double Was Used For Sara Ramirez During The Musical Episode
Callie had a body double, but then digitally edited to add her face.
46. Sandra Oh Came Up With The Idea For Cristina Yang's Can't-Stop-Crying Breakdown
And then Shonda took it into consideration and wrote the episode! Nice!
47. Shonda Didn't Want Grey's To Be A Sappy Melodrama
In her masterclass, Shonda said, "I don't believe in melodrama and I don't believe in EARNEST SAPPY MOMENTS." LOL.
48. Every Episode Title Is Named After A Song
In fact, a lot of them are named after The Beatles and R.E.M. songs.
49. Kevin McKidd And Camilla Luddington Are Both British
Kevin is from Scotland, while Camilla is from England. Check out some YouTube videos. It's pretty amazing to see and hear.
50. Shonda Knows Things About The Characters That She Doesn't Reveal On The Show
In the same masterclass, it was revealed that "Even if information about a character doesn't make it into the script, Rhimes says she always keeps it in mind. For example, to make Preston Burke feel real, she constantly told herself that his mother owned a restaurant in Alabama."
How much MORE do you love Grey's?!
h/t: Marie Claire
Don't forget to check out all the Grey's Anatomy Season 14 premiere details!
Want more Grey's Anatomy?! Check out all of our Grey's Anatomy content!
Or do you want to test your Grey's knowledge? Take this quiz to see if you can name every Grey's doctor by one clue to prove yourself!
SHARE this article with your friends and family who love Grey's Anatomy like you do!!
WANT MORE GREY'S ANATOMY CONTENT? Check out and LIKE our Grey's Anatomy Facebook page for all things Grey's Anatomy!