Behind the scenes at Grey’s Anatomy, the pace moves exactly as it does at Seattle Grace: People move quickly, always in the zone. After eight years of production, it’s a well-oiled machine.
Guest star Vanessa Marano is unfazed by the flurry of activity. It’s amusing watching her calmly observe in between takes — while covered head-to-toe in grizzly cuts and bruises. “I have a bloody massacre of a face, and they just keep adding more as the day goes on. It’s all over, and I’ve got this leg thing happening,” she says, pointing to the horrific bloody marks the makeup team has made on both of her ankles.
In tonight’s episode, Marano plays a torture victim found in the woods, a departure from the teen she plays on ABC Family’s Switched at Birth. While that role provides a dose of weekly drama, it’s not like this. “This is a disturbing one,” she says of the episode. “It has a lot to do with psychological issues and every parent’s worst nightmare. It’s a very gritty episode. And not so much in what you see physically — as far as the marks — but the torture mentality that my character now has because of what has happened to her.”
What she has been through, she says, will bring the doctors together in a major way. So much so that Marano is “the only victim of the episode.” “It’s very focused on her case,” she says. “And my character ends up developing a bond with Meredith Grey, probably because she’s the first female she’s seen in a while. So it’s a connection she feels — and one I don’t think Meredith feels right away. Over time, throughout the episode, with her now having a daughter, there are things to be explored there.”
And, not to mention, a few surprises in store. “They end up finding out there’s much more to her. She’s a Jane Doe, and it turns out that her identity is revealed to be someone very unexpected.”
Marano, meanwhile, is just pleased to be sitting among the action. The opportunity to guest on the show came during her hiatus from Switched, and fell in line better than she could have hoped. “It was weird because there was a six-week break so it’s hard to organize something. But this worked out perfect,” she said. “And it’s in the ABC family. Hey, a pun!”