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'Grey's Anatomy': Caterina Scorsone Previews Derek and Amelia's Reunion

The "Private Practice" star tells THR that the recovering addict has a new fire in her as she heads to Seattle Grace in an effort to save a special patient's life.

Grey's Anatomy Scarsone Dempsey Leigh - H 2012
ABC
"Grey's Anatomy"

Private Practice's Caterina Scorsone heads to Grey's Anatomy during Thursday's crossover event as Amelia enlists Derek'a (Patrick Dempsey) help in saving the life of a patient near and dear to the Seaside Wellness crew.

During the two-hour event, Amelia seeks her brother's help to save Erica's (A.J. Langer) life as she, Cooper (Paul Adelstein), Charlotte (KaDee Strickland) and Mason (Griffin Gluck) head to Seattle Grace for what she hopes is a groundbreaking surgery. Scorsone tells The Hollywood Reporter that Erica and the surgery represent something more to the recovering addict with something to prove. "She doesn't just want to tell them that her behavior has changed, she wants to show them," she says.

THR: How does Amelia wind up going to Seattle Grace?
Caterina Scorsone:
Erica has gliosarcoma, what everyone has deemed an inoperable tumor. She's been to many specialists, and all of them have said that there's absolutely no hope, and even Amelia has looked at it and said it's pretty bad. She's determined to try absolutely everything to help Erica either be cured or to live longer and have a better quality of life. She figures that her brother is this world-class neurosurgeon, and if they put their two heads together, they might be able to come up with something. She isn't willing to quit until she explores every option.

THR: Considering Derek's frosty demeanor toward her, how does she feel about seeing him again?
Scorsone:
She's a little apprehensive in that he hasn't been the most forgiving of her troubles in the past. She knows that she's in for some level of third degree when she gets there in terms of her recent time spent in rehab and her falling off the wagon with her drug use. But she loves her brother, and he loves her, and he's a genius surgeon, so ultimately it is worth it.

THR: How does Derek handle her arrival?
Scorsone:
He keeps it pretty professional off the top, looking at Erica's chart like everybody else. He sees what looks like a hopeless situation and is wondering if Amelia's determination in this case is realistic. There's definitely some resistance from Derek on getting involved, but eventually Amelia wins him over.

THR: How will she win him over?
Scorsone:
She's unbelievably tenacious and keeps hammering at the problem until it starts to give way. He sees her spirit in terms of the problem and it softens him up a bit.

THR: The last Amelia came to Seattle Grace, she hooked up with Mark. How will her return impact Lexie (Chyler Leigh)?
Scorsone:
They work very well together. Lexie's pretty realistic about the fact that Mark slept with a lot of people and Amelia didn't know Lexie and didn't know about their relationship. It wasn't personal and it wasn't like she betrayed Lexie. At this point they actually have a pretty great rapport and get they along very well.

THR: Why is Erica's case so important to Amelia? Is this her shot at redemption after her downward drug-addled spiral?
Scorsone:
Amelia is a complicated character and she's experienced so much tragedy in her life having recently lost someone she loved and coming into such close contact with her own potential demise. She's got a new lease on life and she's looking at things very differently. She was in a very self-destructive headspace, but she's seen her best friend and her boyfriend and all of these people die recently, and it's given her a new fire to apply the gifts and the skills that she has as a surgeon. She wants Erica to live; she wants everybody to live now. She's seen too much death already.

THR: How will Amelia really handle the surgery's possible outcome?
Scorsone:
She knows that it's a very, very tricky situation, and the odds are stacked against them. She's more prepared to deal with a tragic eventuality than she would be prepared to give up the fight. Whatever happens with Erica, Amelia will know that she fought tooth and nail to help her live, and that's what Amelia needs.

THR: Is Amelia going above and beyond to help Cooper and Charlotte to prove herself to them again after losing their trust this season?
Scorsone:
I'm sure that's one element of it. She definitely wants to make amends to everyone in the office. Once she got sober, she was full of remorse about the way she treated people while she was using, and so there's definitely an aspect to which she doesn't just want to tell them that her behavior has changed, she wants to show them. So, yes, that's an element, but I think it's also she wants to show herself; she wants to prove it to herself. She's grown and changed and deepened as a person and has some spring in her step again.

THR: Beyond the crossover, could Amelia be ready to find love again?
Scorsone:
She's still in a lot of grief about Ryan, and there's still a bit of a road for her in terms of her healing process. So [romance] isn't the focus right now but I would hope that as she kind of heals and blossoms, that one day she'll find healthy, supportive love.

What are you most interested in seeing in the crossover? Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice air Thursdays at 9 and 10 p.m., respectively. Watch a promo below.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit