February 06, 2013 10:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Grey's Anatomy's' Constance Zimmer Previews Seattle Grace's Sale, 'Entourage' Movie Gig
Seattle Grace is facing a major change as the financial fallout from the plane crash survivors' settlement has the hospital on the brink of a sale.
Each awarded a settlement of $15 million, the hospital has thus far been forced to shutter the emergency room under the orders of Dr. Alana Cahill (Constance Zimmer), who is tasked with trimming fat and helping the facility run more efficiently.
This week, the doctors rally around an emergency patient brought against orders to the hospital, where Cahill is busy entertaining potential buyers. The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Zimmer to discuss Seattle Grace's prospects, her role in the Entourage movie, the second season of Netflix's House of Cards and whether she'll reprise her role on NBC's The New Normal.
The Hollywood Reporter: The ER is closed and the hospital is for sale. How much worse will Seattle Grace get under Dr. Cahill's watch?
Constance Zimmer: I'm not going to say it doesn't get worse. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to find a better place in life. Pegasus, the company that's going to come in and possibly buy the hospital, wants to come in and take over the hospital and there's a lot of change. Some of it works and some of it doesn't.
THR: How will Cahill respond to the potential buyers?
Zimmer: They're a group of people just looking to keep the doors open. My job as Cahill is to try and keep that place open, period, because we wouldn't want it to close. Right now it's just a matter of different companies coming in to see if buying the hospital worth their while. They want to keep the doctors and keep things running smoothly. Last week we had the hernia competition, and it's about making the hospital more efficient and more streamlined and keeping everyone happy.
THR: Is there anyone who should be concerned for their job considering the hospital's financial state?
Zimmer: As in life, we never know when our last day is on a job. The bottom is to live your life every day and not look toward what could possibly happen. Everybody is realizing there are things they could have done better or been friendlier. It makes you step up. If Cahill is doing anything for the hospital, it's making everybody aware of where they might have had shortcomings.
THR: The plane crash survivors are not happy about closing the ER. Might we see them unite in an attempt to financially bail the hospital out?
Zimmer: That would definitely be something that is possible. I feel like what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. As a group of people who have been through something pretty traumatic, they can either use the settlement to the benefit of everyone else or they can turn their backs on it and move on. You never know. Some people veer away when tragedy strikes and some people get closer. It's an interesting situation.
THR: How is Owen handling Cahill's cuts, knowing that he's ultimately responsible?
Zimmer: The reason why Owen and Cahill have the best relationship out of all of the doctors is because Owen wants to keep the doors of the hospital open, period. Even though some of the cuts upset some of the doctors -- and upset him, too -- Owen gets it. He gets Cahill as much as he can, and she's really trying to come in and do a job and not get too attached to the situation. Owen has been a very good partner to Cahill because he's been allowing her to do her job and not making it personal.
THR: Could we see you return to The New Normal?
Zimmer: There's been talk. They tried to get me back at one point but I was on House of Cards. I want to go back, it's just a matter of time.
THR: The Entourage movie just got the green light. Will you be involved?
Zimmer: Yes, I do know that I'm in the movie, but I don't know to what extent. The script keeps changing. I won't believe I'm in it until I'm on the set (laughs). Doug Ellin has told me that Dana Gordon will live in the movie. You can't have an Entourage movie without Dana Gordon!
THR: What kind of feedback have you been hearing about Netflix's House of Cards?
Zimmer: We start the second season in April, and they're writing it right now. The feedback is to be expected when doing a show with David Fincher and Kevin Spacey and all these amazing people. I was completely shocked and surprised that people got it at midnight Friday and watched all 13 episodes by 1 p.m. Friday. Binge watching is amazing when you have that kind of schedule when you have pockets of time. The only bummer is you have to wait so long for the second season. There's talk we can get something to viewers by the end of the year, but I don't know that's going to be possible. We start filming in April.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC. Hit the comments with what you're looking forward to seeing. How do you think the Seattle Grace sale will impact everyone?
Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit