SPOILER ALERT: The story consists of particulars concerning the March 11 episodes of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19.
The dramatic crossover midseason premiere of Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy culminated with the dying of a beloved physician, Andrew DeLuca, performed by Giacomo Gianniotti for the previous six years. He joined different Grey Sloan docs who died heroes whereas saving strangers’ lives, together with Derek Shepherd and George O’Malley.
Along by his sister Carina, performed by Grey’s alumna Stefania Spampinato, who now is a sequence common on Station 19. DeLuca rushed to comply with suspected kidnapping kingpin Opal. He was capable of observe her lengthy sufficient for police to arrest her, however he was stabbed within the course of, and whereas Owen and Teddy initially had been capable of stabilize him, DeLuca ultimately died of his wounds. (You can learn Deadline’s recap and an interview with Grey’s and Station 19 showrunner Krista Vernoff here.)
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ & ‘Station 19’ Showrunner Krista Vernoff On Tonight’s Shocker & Its Aftermath
DeLuca was first launched on the finish of Season 11 as a medical intern. He didn’t all the time see eye to eye with all of his colleagues however regularly gained them over. He additionally went by means of a string of romantic relationships at Grey Sloan, most not too long ago with Meredith Grey.
In an interview with Deadline, Gianniotti displays on his six-year Grey’s Anatomy journey and DeLuca’s dying. He addresses how he felt concerning the method during which DeLuca was killed off, shares the feelings of filming his final scenes after which returning as a director on the present. He additionally reveals what he’ll miss essentially the most about his character, why Grey’s Anatomy is much more than a TV present and whether or not he can be again.
DEADLINE: How and when did you discover out that DeLuca would die this season?
GIACOMO GIANNIOTTI: It was about after the primary couple of episodes. I used to be approached by our government producers, showrunner Krista Vernoff and director Debbie Allen. They mentioned, “Hey, we’ve been doing a lot of thinking about it, and we feel there’s an opportunity to tell a really, really beautiful story that is going to help a lot of people.” The story is that this human trafficking storyline that we had final season was so nicely considered, and everybody actually linked with that storyline as a result of human trafficking is simply such an enormous downside globally, but in addition within the United States, and I believe California is No. 1, the place I stay proper now. It’s a really huge challenge, so I’m not stunned that the episode that centered on it was crucial and acquired because it was by the followers.
Because we needed to shut down attributable to Covid, we didn’t get to complete telling that storyline. So, after we got here again on June 17, they thought it could be nice to deliver again that storyline and shut it out. What if we may catch that lady that trafficked that younger lady, and what if DeLuca was to save lots of the day however to lose his life within the course of, to die a hero saving all these folks and all these kids who probably may’ve been trafficked, however now won’t be as a result of the traffickers had been stopped? And I simply thought it was an attractive storyline, I believed it was an attractive approach for the character to exit as a hero.
We obtained collectively rapidly, engaged on precisely what it could appear to be and what episode, when it could be, however I mentioned “absolutely.” I’ve been on the present for six years, seven seasons. It’s undoubtedly been a very long time, and I’m a younger man. So, I believe this was time to depart, and I’m completely happy that Krista and Debbie and all of the writers did such an amazing job with telling the story. I believe it’s going to do justice to lots of people and assist lots of people.
DEADLINE: How was it filming this season resulting in tonight’s crossover? Was it getting extra emotional with each episode?
GIANNIOTTI: Definitely, yeah. In the start, it was unusual. I felt like I had this soiled little secret, as a result of none of my forged members — or actually anybody on set — knew about this. It was very, very inner between Krista and Debbie Allen and I and a few of the key producers and writers, however as we obtained nearer to the date, then the remainder of the forged was knowledgeable, and yeah, then it was emotional, as a result of then I felt that the key was out.
Everybody knew, and everyone was, after all, very unhappy. I’ve been working with all of those folks for seven seasons now, generally we joke about how we spend extra time with one another than we do our households. Before Covid, we used to do 12 hours a day earlier than 10. We spent a number of time with one another, and so, though it’s an attractive expertise and I’m completely happy to be leaving on this approach, and the story we get to inform is so lovely, and I believe it’s going to assist lots of people, I’m clearly unhappy to depart all my nice, pricey pals.
DEADLINE: What had been your favourite — and most difficult — second within the crossover episodes? You obtained to do a number of scenes with Ellen Pompeo on the seaside.
GIANNIOTTI: Between the Station 19 episode and the Grey’s Anatomy episode, it was a crossover we instructed. That was one other factor that Krista mentioned, “We’d like to have it be a crossover.” Then as a substitute of solely having 45 minutes to inform the story, you double that. We can inform a approach longer story and never must rush it.
So we are able to inform the entire story of how DeLuca is in scorching pursuit with Carina, his sister, all the way in which to the second of being stabbed and making an attempt to get this lady and get her arrested. We can inform all that story with on a regular basis that it takes to inform that and preserve folks on the sting of their seat. It form of appears like an motion film, and it’s one thing that I by no means actually obtained to play on Grey’s Anatomy. So, it form of felt like we had been capturing somewhat motion movie, Allison Liddi-Brown directed that episode on Station 19, she did a incredible job, and I’m actually excited for folks to see that.
And then on Grey’s Anatomy, for the second hour, we get to see the entire medical facet of it and the way our docs deal with him and the stress, the strain that they’re underneath. They do it on daily basis, however when you’ve considered one of your personal on the desk, it’s a complete totally different expertise, and it’s a complete totally different strain for our docs.
The motion film a part of it within the Station 19 episode was actually cool to shoot, and I really like, love, love, love the time we spent with Spampinato, who performs my sister on the present. We obtained to spend so much of time collectively working collectively, which we don’t normally get, particularly since she’s left to Station 19. That was an actual deal with. Since this season began, Ellen Pompeo’s character Meredith Grey has been battling Covid, she’s been largely unconscious, and so, I haven’t actually set to work and spend a number of time together with her, and our romance on the present has been placed on pause attributable to a number of stuff that occurred final season and now together with her being sick.
So we obtained to spend a pair days out on the seaside collectively, simply me and her, and it was so lovely, simply as pals and as actors, to share in these moments collectively. It felt prefer it was a full-circle expertise to have began as an intern on the present and largely distant from Meredith Grey, after which attending to the place I finish on the present, and I’m about as shut as I may ever be to her, each as an actor and as a personality.
It was simply so good as a result of, when the cameras are rolling, we’re clearly doing the scene, however in between takes, Ellen and I had been simply there for hours speaking about arcs, being although the emotion over time and the way a lot enjoyable instances we’ve had working collectively, the friendship that we constructed over time and the way she’s been such an unimaginable mentor and buddy to me over time. So it was unhappy to finish that day, as a result of I knew that that was the final time that we had been going to work collectively. It was bittersweet, for certain.
DEADLINE: After you filmed DeLuca’s huge finale, you got here again and also you directed an episode, appropriate?
GIANNIOTTI: Correct. Yeah.
DEADLINE: How was it interacting together with your forged members in that capability and being again on the set, however as a director?
GIANNIOTTI: It was nice. I’ve been working in direction of a profession in directing for a really very long time, and I approached Debbie Allen, our government producer, about 4 years in the past, telling her that I needed to direct and I needed to carve out a path for that in my profession. She gave me a complete laundry record of duties I used to be to finish, a number of shadowing and mentorships that I accomplished over time.
And then this 12 months occurred to be the 12 months the place there was a gap, and by chance, Debbie Allen has been such an amazing buddy and mentor and trusted me with an episode. So though my work as an actor completed, I used to be nonetheless capable of stick round and direct an episode, and it was an amazingly constructive expertise for me to speak with my crew on a unique stage and the actors, as nicely, assembly them on a really totally different airplane, having to direct them and listen to their insights. I’ve an amazing relationship with all of the actors on the present, and so, once I got here to direct, all of the actors had been such a pleasure to work with as a result of they had been all so beneficiant. They all knew that it was my first time directing, they usually simply went above and past to make the expertise really easy for me. So I’m actually excited for my episode, 17.11, this season, and for everyone to see it.
DEADLINE: In an IG submit about wrapping the episode as a director, you wrote, “Now back to being DeLuca.” Was this simply so that you just don’t destroy the shock for followers? When I asked Krista, she mentioned that DeLuca will come again in some form or type later within the season. What are you able to inform us about that?
GIANNIOTTI: Without telling an excessive amount of, over the course of those 17 seasons, we’ve had a number of characters go away, whether or not their character exited for some motive or whether or not they died on the present, and we proceed to see these folks. We’ve continued to see these folks in flashbacks, in goals, in all types of various situations, and so, simply because DeLuca has died, it doesn’t imply that there’s not different methods for us to see clips and different manifestations of DeLuca sooner or later. I undoubtedly assume there’s a risk to see DeLuca in the remainder of the season, however I don’t know precisely how and may’t touch upon how.
DEADLINE: Looking again at your six years on the present, what would you miss essentially the most about Grey’s?
GIANNIOTTI: It’s actually the folks, and that goes for the forged, the writers, the producers, the entire crew, the cameramen, the grips, the electrics, everyone, all of the heads of all of the departments behind the scenes.Over these seven seasons, I’ve labored with these folks for thus lengthy and spent a lot time with them, I do know their companions’ names, their canine’ names, their youngsters’ names, they know mine. We are all extremely shut, and earlier than Covid, I might spend time exterior of set with a number of my fellow crew and forged members and folks from the present. It actually is a household. I do know lots of people say that, and it sounds tacky, however once you spend that a lot time with folks, it actually does turn out to be that, and I’m actually going to overlook the folks.
I’m additionally going to overlook the tales. Grey’s Anatomy is such an unimaginable present, and I discuss rather a lot about the truth that I wasn’t essentially an avid watcher. I didn’t tune in to the present earlier than I joined it. Since I joined, I turned hooked. I did a deep dive and watched the present and realized how unimaginable it was. It’s so multifaceted, however the factor that’s on the core of Grey’s Anatomy is it’s shedding gentle on vital points.
And that’s why the present can go on for so long as it needs to, as a result of there’s no scarcity of points that have to be talked about. There’s no scarcity of medical situations that folks have to be educated on. There’s no scarcity of political points that we have to be educated on. There’s such a good way that Grey’s Anatomy does that, and I’ve acquired a number of messages and DMs over time about “this episode saved my life,” “this episode saved my baby’s life,” “we found out about a surgery that could be done, and now my baby’s alive and well through Grey’s Anatomy.” We’ve performed episodes about home violence with a hotline posted within the episode that a number of girls had known as into looking for assist, that saved lives and obtained them out of unhealthy conditions that they had been in and gave them the braveness to try this.
Grey’s Anatomy is a lot greater than a tv present, it has a very huge international influence. So that’s what I’m additionally going to be lacking, being part of that, being a small a part of how many individuals’s lives are modified due to the present. The different half is that so many individuals, particularly now as a result of the present has been on for 17 seasons, the quantity of folks that have instructed me that they began within the medical career due to Grey’s Anatomy is large.
DEADLINE: What are you going to overlook about DeLuca and the way did you’re feeling about portraying his struggles with psychological sickness?
GIANNIOTTI: Ever since final season, in direction of the top when DeLuca had his huge meltdown, which resulted in an intervention from his pals and fellow co-workers the place he lastly admitted to looking for remedy and getting assist, I believe that was a giant episode for psychological well being and a giant PSA for psychological well being. It was an honor to be part of telling a narrative the place I obtained to interpret a personality who was battling these battles. So many individuals wrote me that they had been touched by that, that they’re bipolar, both 1 or 2, and/or they’ve a member of the family that’s bipolar or had somebody in my life who was struggling from a unique form of psychological sickness.
It made them really feel seen, and that meant the world to me, that one thing that we did made folks really feel seen. Maybe helped begin a dialog between them and a psychological well being skilled. So, it was an infinite sense of accountability I felt like I had with that character, and I’m unhappy I gained’t be capable to proceed that storyline, however I do know Grey’s Anatomy will do a incredible job persevering with that psychological well being story ultimately, conserving DeLuca’s story alive and different folks speaking about it on the present.
DEADLINE: Is there the rest you’ll miss about enjoying DeLuca?
GIANNIOTTI: Anything else I’ll miss about DeLuca? It was simply a good time. He was so targeted and career-driven however was so troubled on the similar time attributable to his psychological well being points that he was coping with. So he was simply so courageous to me, I all the time thought he was so courageous. Everything that he took on, regardless of what he was battling inside, simply made him such a courageous soul, and I’ll always remember him. I really like the man. I’m unhappy to not play him anymore.
See beneath a gallery of Gianniotti as DeLuca by means of his six years on Grey’s Anatomy: