'Grey's Anatomy' Star on Alex's "Horrific" Decision and Complications Ahead

Actress Sarah Drew talks with THR about the season 13 premiere of the Shondaland medical drama.
Eric McCandless/ABC

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the season 13 premiere of ABC's Grey's Anatomy.]

That's one way to start a season.

ABC's Grey's Anatomy kicked off its 13th season Thursday with an hour that saw Alex carted away in handcuffs after the Grey-Sloan doc accepted responsibility for brutally attacking Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) in a fit of jealousy.

Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), for her part, cut romantic ties with Nathan Riggs (Martin Henderson) in a bid to sustain a healthy relationship with her sister Maggie (Kelly McCreary), who wasn't pleased with Mer's lies about Alex.

Meanwhile, April (Sarah Drew) and Jackson (Jesse Williams) had a bit of fun with Catherine (Debbie Allen) as new mom April put her foot down with what "Grandma Avery" can and can't do.

Below, Drew talks with THR about Alex's arrest and how April and Jackson will navigate their complicated relationship now that they are co-parents.

How does everyone react to Alex's arrest? Will that divide the hospital? How does April feel about this?

April is caught up in her own stuff in first few episodes. It's tough because she has some sense of loyalty. Alex is one of her people — and family in some way— but he did something horrific to another member of our family. It's a complicated space to be in where you want things to work out for him but we also want justice. You're not quite sure what to think or where to stand.

How will Jackson try to support April during her recovery?

That's an interesting thing to navigate. What he wants to do is help her with all the different things that come up but she keeps reminding him — especially in episode two — that she is a single mom now and can't accept help from him. He's not supposed to be taking care of her; he's supposed to be taking care of their baby. But it's not his job to take care of April. It's a pattern that is so confusing for both of them. April is still recovering, so she doesn't get to go back to work for a few episodes and is stuck in the hospital and it's going to be hard for her. She's done this superhero-type task in terms of the way the baby was delivered but she can't even pick up her baby without help because she's in pain and healing. That's a huge blow to her. She wants to be the superhero but can't do it. And it's complicated by how Jackson shows up and what she allows him to do and not do.

How involved in naming of the baby were you? Do you know where Shonda and the writers came up with the idea to name April and Jackson's baby after Harriet Tubman?

We discovered her name at the first table read of the season. I haven't even talked to writers about the choice for her name. I know that April wanted a name that's strong and powerful — since she and her sisters all have flowery and pretty names. She wanted it to be someone who is resourceful and a leader and I love that. It's a pretty badass name! 

Catherine was already pretty pushy when trying to dictate the baby's name. Might she become the overbearing grandmother type?

April made it clear that she may not! I hope "Hurricane Grandma" is calming down a bit! (Laughing.) It's a great moment. And it's the first time April really got to stand on her own two feet and stand up to Catherine, especially after she instigated the lawsuit between Jackson and April last season. April never got to stand up to her and tell her off — all that happened afterward was with April and Jackson. But this is her moment: She may not be able to hold her baby but she's emotionally taking a stand and saying, "You will not mess with me and my baby. I don't need to be nice; it's my baby, back off!" I love that she's not backing down.  

Looking ahead, will April and Jackson explore dating other people? 

I don't know; it hasn't happened yet. For me, I remember what it was like as a new mom and the thought of attempting to start dating someone else was the last possible thing on my mind. You're so exhausted and feel like your body is gross and that it belongs to a baby. Plus April is working. She's 110 percent committed to work and 110 percent committed to her child. So I'm not sure how you throw in a getting-to-know-you dating relationship. But we'll see. It will definitely lead to an interesting dynamic and potential conflict. 

What did you think of the season 13 premiere? Sound off below. Grey's airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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