'Grey's Anatomy' scoop: Can 'annoying' April be redeemed?

greys-anatomyImage Credit: Danny Feld/ABCNews that Grey’s Anatomy has promoted Jesse Williams (Jackson) and Sarah Drew (April) to full-time series regulars next season has elicited mixed reactions from viewers. Yay for Jackson—but not so much for his Mercy West cohort, who hasn’t exactly endeared herself to viewers. The fact that she nearly got Derek killed in last month’s harrowing hostage-themed finale certainly didn’t help. Among April’s biggest critics: Drew herself! In the following Q&A, the beloved Everwood alum weighs in on her polarizing alter ego, discusses the possibility of an April/Derek/Mer triangle, and reflects on her roller-coaster year.

Series creator Shonda Rhimes said she felt like April became “part of the tribe” in the finale. Did you feel the same way when you shot the episode?
I definitely had that feeling. April has been kind of annoying this past season. [Laughs] Just neurotic and really insecure, and this was the first time she was able to band together — both with Cristina and Meredith — to help solve a [crisis]. Most of my stuff before was with Patrick [Dempsey] and fawning over him awkwardly. So this was the first opportunity to actually bond in a positive way with them. They say tragedy brings people together, so I guess that’s what happened.

Fans have a love-hate thing going on with April. And it’s probably fair to say it became all hate when she nearly got McDreamy killed.
When we read that at the table read, I was like, “Oh, come on, guys, really? They already hate my character, now they’re going to hate her even more!” [Laughs]

Do you think she can be redeemed?
Lord, I hope so. [Laughs] I think [the heart-to-heart April had with Mer in the finale] was a gigantic step forward. The thing that’s fun about April is she creates controversy and that’s interesting to watch, even though people hate her for it. The people pleaser that I am, I always want everyone to like me and like my character, so it’s hard for me as an actress. But I think as a character she’s interesting, because she stirs stuff up between Meredith and Derek.

Do you think she will continue to stir stuff up between them?
This is nothing but my own speculation, but I don’t think that she’s going to come between Meredith and Derek. I don’t see it happening after everything that transpired in the finale. After her hearing how much Meredith is in love with Derek. After she witnessed the miscarriage. It just feels like April’s going to move on.

What has this past year been like for you? First you were hired, then you left, then you were rehired…
I definitely did my fair share of sweating in the past year. It’s all been really good news, though. Shonda wrote April for me because I’ve worked with her twice before. I walked into this role knowing it was only two episodes. I knew my character was going to be fired, so I wasn’t expecting anything beyond those two episodes. And then they called me the morning after the “firing episode” aired to check my availability and talk about a contract, and I was just floored. It was wonderful because when I came back to work I had so much support. A lot of the cast members were like, “We were rallying for you to stay. We’re so glad you’re back.” It was a wonderful surprise to move past those two episodes.

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  • Ann

    She’s an excellent actress and deserves more than being involved in the MerDer yawnfest.

    • lorna

      While she is a great actress, I have only liked her on Everwood. She was annoying on Supernatural and she annoys me here on GA. Send her to the new Rhimes show! Shonda keeps adding people and it’s ridiculous. No one cares about April other than like 3 fans.

      • Kervin

        Agreed. She is really annoying here on Grey’s. Ah well, let’s hope there will be improvements. By the way, which character did she play in Supernatural? I watch that show, but I don’t quite remember seeing her in it. Or maybe I do – was it a demon?

      • Stef

        Yeah Kervin, she was in 1 episode this year. She played a high schooler whose friend switched bodies with Sam in order to kill Dean and make a deal with a demon. Sarah’s character ends up getting possessed by the demon and killing the friends, I think. The kids were all supposed to be pretty annoying and in over their heads.

      • Kervin

        Thanks Stef. Yeah, I do remember that episode. The girl wasn’t so sure she was doing the right thing but before she could do anything about it – wham, demon’s in her. Haha. Thanks again.

      • Fresh

        She also played Sal’s(the secretly gay guy) wife on “Mad Men”–thought she was really good in that role.

      • Zach

        Meryl Streep is an excellent actress. Don’t throw around the superlatives, bitches.

      • Kaci

        Don’t forget Suzy Pepper from Glee!

        I’m biased, but I love Sarah Drew. I think she acts her characters well, and her characters are meant to be annoying. I don’t believe we’re supposed to root for her (like in Grey’s or Supernatural).

      • renee

        she’s gotta go. she’d have to donate her heart to get me past ‘it’s her fault derek got shot and subsequently that caused mer’s miscarriage.’ pathetic is the word that comes to mind whenever i see her.

    • Sammy

      If that’s how the writers wrote her character then I’m willing to give her a shot.If her character’s main goal was to be annoying then she did her job well.

    • alicia

      there is a “web//site” named “black // white / Cupid” for dating or relationship, black or white singles can go there to find something sexy or beauty online !!!! ;)

      • Gary Schaber

        What does some dating service have to do with a character on Grey’s Anatomy? Look where you are,and stay on topic,or go to the appropriate place for such comments as yours.

    • CC

      I totally agree! If anyone can redeem the character, it’s her as an actress more than the writers themselves, I think. She’s truly fantastic.

    • Captain Sweatpants

      Is she hittable? Can’t really tell from the picture …

  • Alex

    Thanks Mike for the interview!!! I e-mailed you saying that we’d love to hear from the very talented Sarah Drew, thanks so much for obliging!

  • Kelly

    The writers better work some magic for April. I, for one, hate her (the character).

    • rafaeladias


    • Steph

      I didn’t like her at all this season, but the finale definitely made her more endearing.

  • Brooke

    The actress is so likeable and was one of my favorites on Everwood, so I’m crossing my fingers for better stuff for her character.

  • britney

    Aw, I love Sarah (and Hannah!), so being annoyed by April (even as a non M/D fan) has been hard. So I really hope they do a good job of making this work! Loved this interview, it’s great to see the actor’s POV on things and their character when they play someone that’s not too loved by fans.

  • maiv

    Just have her stop being annoying. In other words, give her a better/actual story line!

  • A.D.

    God can’t stand that whiney no talent!

  • Annie

    How about April and Mcsteamy? That could be a cute pair.

    • Nicole

      How dare you! lol, crazy

  • ggny

    Sarah Drew is just too likeable there is no way that fans will still hate her after she get HER OWN storyline next year and not just be there to make it look like Derek is gonna cheat on Meredith

  • Dallas

    Nothing against th actress. She seems lovely, but Shonda Rhimes KNEW that putting the character April between the GA’s core couple and the last couple left from season one-MerDer, would cause an uproar (history shows it always does) Hence, Rhimes going on Twitter to “tr” to explain to fans that April would never come between MerDer. I think that gaaawwdd awful and considering that Shepherd never even looked at April, implausible SL is over, then maybe she can redeem herself. If not with the rest of the characters or fans, perhaps with Lexie. They seem like they could be friends. As long as Rhimes backs off the hideous “newbie has a crush on Derek” SL, I’ll give her a chance. Good interview. With all the lost baby talk, followed by the character April having to fight for a chance with fans, whether you like or hate MerDer, they cause the most buzz still on this show and as long as Dempsey & Pompeo stay, always will and judging by the fact that Rhimes always does this and the fans respond loudly each time, she knows it.

  • tvgirl48

    Maybe she’s likeable, I don’t know, I haven’t seen her in anything else before, but her storylines have been really unlikeable. The crush on Derek was out of nowhere and awkwardly staged and I didn’t realize she was supposed to be “in love” with him until people told me later online that her constipated looks were supposed to be loving. Then she gets Derek shot. I hope she improves since she’s sticking around.

  • Janey

    I can see Derek feeling protective of April, maybe mentioning that she reminds him of one of his sisters or something and there being an episode where Mer is bothered by that but I don’t see April ever coming between Meredith and Derek.

    • Ana

      God, no. So far, two of Derek’s sister’s are tough, bitchy women, not whiny or wimpy sad little girls.
      I doubt Derek will feel protective or whatever and if they do, my love for PD won’t get me through that SL.

  • Dominique

    Thanks for this interview Michael! I may not like April, but Sarah sounds like such a sweetheart, so genuine and down to earth.
    I hope GA will change her character a little bit. Less of a neurotic suck up and more of a friendly independant person. Goona take some though lol.

  • Ana

    SD seems nice but I still hate April. I hated her long before before her crush on Derek.
    I don’t like her, I’m not interested in her and I still want her gone. Most likely I’ll FF all her scenes like I did with Izzie. Yawn.

  • Brandon

    Somebody please let me know: how did she get Derek shot? She and he were on the catwalk and the guy came up and shot Derek then was about to shoot her but she told him all about herself and he walked away, I’m sorry but since when is being a survivor killing someone?

    • BJohnson

      Because Derek was talking to the shooter first on the catwalk as just man to man, not shooter to doctor, and he had lowered the gun, then April came into the catwalk and not noticing the gun referred to him as Dr. and was babbling about the shooter, it distracted Derek and jolted the shooter back to his task to kill Derek.
      I think that was one of the best scenes even with April walking in b/c it had you thinking Derek would talk the guy down. That scene and the OR scene, Bailey’s breakdown, and the final scene of the shooter with Richard were awesome.

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