October 19, 2011 6:33pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Grey's Anatomy' Exclusive: Owen and Cristina Get Flirty (Video)
Kevin McKidd (Owen) returns to the director's chair for Thursday's episode of Grey's Anatomy and this time, has a bit more material to work with -- including love scenes with his on-screen wife Sandra Oh (Cristina).
After taking his first turn behind the camera last season, McKidd tells The Hollywood Reporter that his experience helming Thursday's "Poker Face" episode in which he shares a number of love scenes with Oh was "quite surreal."
"It's weird doing those [love] scenes anyway, and suddenly you're choreographing your own love scenes," he tells THR. "Luckily, in my episode it was a very comedic, light and fun episode. I thought it would be more awkward than it ended up being. It was a bit weird going to see playback and watching yourself make-out!"
McKidd notes despite additional pressure returning to the helm for a second time, there was a lot of laughter on the set to break up the tension.
"Watching yourself kissing somebody just feels weird so there was a lot of laughter on the set about that," he says with a laugh.
"In a way, it almost feels like there's more pressure the second time because people are going to cut you some slack the first time," he notes. "But the second time people expect you to really know what you're doing, and you should."
After having limited acting scenes during his first time directing last year, McKidd notes that the long-running medical drama doesn't make that allowance for second-time helmers and that he leaned on four-time Grey's director Chandra Wilson (Bailey) for suggestions with how to balance the time management demands.
"Both of us in our first episode had light acting episodes," he says, noting that he had more confidence this go-around. "The second episode they don't really make that adjustment for you so you're acting a lot more, which adds a whole level of complication because you're having to direct yourself. We talked a lot about time management and not letting that pressure get in the way of you really seeing what's in front of you."
In a clip from Thursday's exclusive to THR, check out the new chief as he encourages the fifth-year residents to record as many "good outcome" surgeries as they prepare for their boards, but a very flirtatious Cristina who takes to "sexting" in the episode interrupts him.