April 26, 2012 9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Grey's Anatomy': Sarah Drew on the Boards, April and Jackson's Steamy Hook-Up and the Finale 'Event'
The residents of Seattle Grace head to take their oral board examinations this week on ABC's Grey's Anatomy and while some are as cool as can be (lookin' at you, Cristina!) others (ahem, April) are tightly wound and will make some uncharacteristic decisions in a bid to relieve stress.
"April is totally freaking out," Sarah Drew tells The Hollywood Reporter. "She keeps saying, '1 in 5 people fail, and she's losing it." To manage the stress of the boards, April will turn to her best friend, Jackson (Jesse Williams), in what the actress says brings out a new side of April.
THR caught up with Drew to discuss the boards, April's steamy hook-up with Jackson and what viewers can expect from the mysterious big event in the season finale.
The Hollywood Reporter: How do the residents feel going into their boards?
Sarah Drew: They're totally freaking out, at least April is totally freaking out. Cristina walks in with a lot of confidence; Meredith walks in but has something that happens to her that creates some drama for her that distracts her from what's going on; and Alex is a little preoccupied with what's going on with the little baby at the hospital, Tommy. Everybody is dealing with it in their own way. Jackson is distracted because his mother (Debbie Allen) is there as an examiner and he doesn't want to deal with his mother when he's dealing with most stressful thing that he's ever had to do in his life. April is freaking out and keeps saying, "1 in 5 people fail," and she's losing it. Everybody reacts to the boards in their own kind of way and April's reaction is pretty surprising.
We've seen the promos with April and Jackson getting steamy; what prompts her to make her move?
She's jumping out of her skin and is super stressed out and has all this bottled up energy and she feels safe with Jackson because he's her best friend. They do hook up but I can't tell you whether they go all the way (laughs).
Is April thinking clearly or is she trying to make some adjustments after her personality wasn't a fit for Northwestern?
The boards and high stress of the situation brings out new sides to her that we've never seen and she didn't even know she was capable of. There are some things that she does in this next episode that are going to leave some people's jaws hanging open. There's a guy who gets on her nerves and she punches the guy in the face and we never saw that coming with April Kepner. It's the adrenaline of all of it that makes her go, "You know what, I'm just going to make out with you right now, Jackson" It's a fun story that starts in this episode and continues until the end of the season between the two of them. There's a lot of confusion, mixed feelings, conflict and drama all revolving around her crossing that line of friendship. It's real, honest and really interesting. There's something big that April reveals about herself at end of this week's episode that also plays into their whole relationship and how they're both going to deal with what this whole thing is.
Could this be the beginning of a serious romance for April and Jackson? Should the 'shippers prepare a name for the couple?
(Laughs) It's still unclear; nothing is official and nothing becomes set even all the way through the next four episodes, it's still very much up in the air about who they are and what they are to one another. You'll see them deal with questions revolving around it in a really interesting way.
Could April's newfound relationship with Jackson factor in on whether she stays or leaves Seattle Grace?
I don't think there's a strong enough attachment yet that would prompt making big career decisions like that. It's all still pretty new and it's not necessarily a romance yet. The thread that continues in the next four episodes is that their friendship is at the heart of everything; they are truly best friends. That adds to the confusion of everything. They're not weeping over each other (laughs). It's still very confused and uncertain by the end of this season.
With the residents interviewing around the country, could we see April leave Seattle Grace?
I think that's a potential for everybody. All the fifth years have been preparing for the last eight years of residency for this moment, to fly out of the nest and go do their new thing. We'll see the fallout of the boards and how well people do and what their offers are from all these different hospitals. By the end of the finale, everybody's future is up in the air; we don't know who's staying and who's going, everybody is in flux.
What kind of feedback could we see April get from her board results?
Everybody goes in and has their own dramatic experience in the boards; April's has a really crazy flavor to it, which is super fun that you'll see in next week's episode that's prompted by something that happens this week.
How will April play a role in the big event that takes place in the finale?
There's a big event that happens outside of the hospital that the people who are at the hospital are not a part of. The big event is not something anyone at the hospital knows about by the end of the episode, so that doesn't affect her. There are other things that affect her by the end of the finale, a lot of internal struggling and conflict so we'll see that play out with her.
What do you think about April and Jackson's potential pairing? What are your theories on the big event in the finale? Hit the comments. Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC. Check out the steamy promo below.