When Shonda Rhimes calls, you answer. With caution.
The famed showrunner is known for unexpectedly sending her characters to the grave, keeping the actors in her dramas on edge. “Grey’s Anatomy” star Jason George says he nervously took a call from Shonda when the fate of his character, Ben Warren, was hanging in the balance.
After the medical drama had been greenlit for the spin-off “Station 19,” Jason tells Rach he was unsure if his character was still necessary.
“You can die on “Grey’s Anatomy,’” Jason jokes. “That’s a doable thing. When I got the call, I was convinced that I wouldn’t be on the spin-off. I thought this relationship between Ben and Bailey would be a reason why I would never leave this show and go on to the spin-off.”
It turns out Shonda and producer Betsy Beers liked the relationship between Ben and Miranda Bailey (played by Chandra Wilson) and believed it could be the “connective tissue” between the two shows. Still, Jason remembers all too well the moments that led up to the news.
“I got a call and they’re like ‘Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers would like to talk to you this afternoon at 5 o’clock, would that be okay?’ First off, you don’t say ‘no.’ That’s not a thing,” Jason says. “Secondly, I must be dead. I’m dying on the show. But it turned out to be good news.”
And the rest was Shondaland history.