Rob Corn is the go-to director for big episodes of Grey's Anatomy, including the 200th. "We had a particular set that was quite a challenge. We had our gala and it was five days in a space where we had lots of special clowns and Cirque du Soleil-type performers, so it was a matter of coordinating all of them within the scenes we had to do. From the production side, being the producer and finding the location, dressing the location, the art direction, the rigging to get the lights in there -- it was a pretty big challenge."
Star Ellen Pompeo, right, with leading man Patrick Dempsey, says "Meredith and Derek are in a competition about who can raise the most money" during the formal fundraising gala at the center of the 200th episode.
New (Old) Friends
"Callie and Owen are striking up their friendship," Kevin McKidd, at left with Sara Ramirez, says of Owen's doings in the 200th episode. "They've always had a friendship off and on, and they've always had an unfettered respect for each other."
Camilla Luddington, left, takes direction from director Rob Corn as her on-screen love interest Justin Chambers looks on. In the 200th, Alex invites Jo to the gala because, as Luddington says, "He doesn't want to schmooze with rich people, which is Jo's nightmare too.
"He is bringing her to help him and he is abandoning her throughout the whole episode," she says. "He's running away and he's not present, and she's feeling super stressed about it. So even in that tension between them I feel so invested in their relationship it breaks my heart to see them having problems."
Camilla Luddington takes a break on a bed between takes in filming the hospital scenes during the 200th episode. Luddington's co-star Justin Chambers thinks Alex and Jo are really MFEO. "Sometimes it's not about opposites attracting. Sometimes you need to be cut from the same cloth to move forward," he says. "I think that they understand each other really well, but I think that she adds an excitement to him -- a spark."
Sarah Drew, left, Gaius Charles and Jerrika Hinton spend time running lines between takes on the 200th episode. April will share a drunken time with a surprising colleague in need during the landmark hour. "She sees someone crying and thinks, 'Screw the gala, I'm going to go be a friend to this person who is crying.' "
Stretching Her Wings
Drew says she keeps getting surprised the more she finds out about April. "I wasn't expecting her to be a virgin and I wasn't expecting her to be a Christian," she says. "Those things both blind-sided me. But I love those things about her. I love seeing how she's developed and blossomed on her own. She started off as someone who is pretty insecure and has really transformed into someone who has a lot of passion and is totally honest about who she is and what she stands for no matter how people respond to her. I love that about her."
Rob Corn has assembled a makeshift office behind one of the hospital's faux walls as he watches a scene around the corner unfold on the monitors in front of him. "I feel like it's a particular honor that I'm able to direct the 200th. The difference between the [season] finales -- it's the same kind of feel: it's just a big episode," he says.
Patrick Dempsey, whose contract expires at the end of the current 10th season, says he's open to returning to Grey's Anatomy. "I think the way the show is developing this year makes it really interesting. We'll see how it goes. I think there's something that could happen -- possibly."
Laughter at Grey Sloan Memorial?
Gaius Charles, Sarah Drew and Justin Chambers share a light moment between takes. Chambers is one of only a handful of original stars left on the Shonda Rhimes medical drama and believes departing co-star Sandra Oh should wind up "running a hospital somewhere.
"She should find happiness even if it's through work," he says.