'Grey's Anatomy's' Sarah Drew on April's 'Bridezilla Moments,' Shocking Midseason Finale

The actress talks with THR about having her father play her onscreen dad and whether there's hope for April and Jackson.
"Grey's Anatomy"

Sarah Drew's April Kepner is having her Katy Perry "Roar" moment.

During the penultimate Grey's Anatomy episode of 2013, Drew's lovable doc really came into her own after she put her foot down with her judgmental sisters who couldn't stop seeing April as "Duckie," the late-blooming ugly duckling of the family. Instead of accepting their mocking, April tapped Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), Cristina (Sandra Oh) and newfound confidant Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) as her bridesmaids, sending her siblings packing as she prepared to march down the aisle and tie the knot with Matthew (Justin Bruening).

"She came into her own with this big moment with her sisters when she had this Katy Perry 'Roar' moment and said, 'Just stop. You don't get me. This is who I am; I'm valuable and I will not be treated like crap anymore,' " Drew told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of this week's midseason finale that is set to feature April's and Matthew's wedding. "This season, in particular, April has really come into her own. It was a wonderfully revelatory moment when she just stood up to her sisters. It's been a great process."

PHOTOS: On the Set of 'Grey's Anatomy's' 200th Episode

All that will come to fruition Thursday during Grey's Anatomy's winter finale, where April's mettle will be tested when she has to contend with her bridesmaids' personal drama on top of typical wedding-day jitters.

"She has some bridezilla moments," Drew laughs. "When she fired her sisters, she hired three self-absorbed people to replace them…who are all smack in the middle of their own drama."

Indeed. Cristina and Meredith are still in the midst of their multi-episode (and season-long?) feud, Arizona is attempting to rekindle her marriage with Callie (Sara Ramirez) and, for good measure, Meredith will see Derek (Patrick Dempsey) get a phone call that will change his life.

"A lot is going on all at once when all she should be doing is getting fluffed and told she's pretty," Drew says. "Instead, she's managing everybody surrounding her and that leads to some potential meltdown moments."

PHOTOS: The Couples of Shondaland: 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Private Practice,' 'Scandal'

One thing that April may have going for her is the support her best friend, Jackson, who -- judging by THR's exclusive preview -- has (finally) decided to attend the ceremony. Drew, who would neither confirm nor deny Jackson's attendance, noted that Jackson will "always have an important place in April's heart," regardless of whether or not he makes it to the nuptials. "I can't speak to what that means about [April] getting married or not, but he is deeply important and he will play a part in it emotionally."

"They both want to come to a place where they can comfortably be in each other's lives and be a support system, a good friend and have each other's back," she says. "Whether it happens that way or not, I can't speak to, but the desire is there for both of them."

While Drew says the midseason finale is "shocking, exciting and emotional," she warns viewers not to miss the final five minutes of the hour. "They're full of shock after shock after shock -- at the hospital, at the wedding, with Derek -- multiple massive things happen all at once and the cliffhanger is just awesome," Drew says.

PHOTOS: 'Grey's Anatomy's' Famous Departures

Among the highlights, she notes, was April being walked down the aisle by her real-life father, Rev. Charles Drew. The actress says producers were looking for a "redheaded guy" to walk April down the aisle and she suggested her father. The pastor who officiates the ceremony also was named after the elder Drew, who served as a consultant during the episode in which April and Matthew seek marital counseling. "We all got there and the director said, 'Reverend Drew,' and my dad and the pretend minister both responded," Drew recalls, noting her father had to be called "Papa Drew" during filming.

As for April's burgeoning friendship with Arizona, Drew says she loves the natural chemistry between April and Arizona and producers considered it an "aha" moment and natural progression for the two characters. "The day of the wedding, Arizona is overcome with a lot of different things and we see how that affects April in her moment when she needs to be the center of attention and everyone is dealing with their own stuff," Drew says, adding there will be more of April's and Arizona's friendship in subsequent episodes.

Beyond Grey's, Drew also teamed with a group of friends to create the Reindeer Tribe and record a Christmas album. Check out the tunes at ReindeerTribe.com.

Grey's Anatomy's winter finale airs Thursday at 9 p.m. on ABC. Hit the comments with your thoughts. Do you think April and Matthew are MFEO?

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit