It’s a Private Practice reunion.
Stars Kate Walsh and Amy Brenneman reunited in a Facebook Live video to reminisce about their time on the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off and take fan questions in honor of the 10th anniversary of the ABC drama’s premiere.
Brenneman recalled that the show was initially meant to focus more specifically on the idea of different specialists and medical professionals examining the same case, diving into the ins and outs of each process. However, she said when she went to creator Shonda Rhimes to talk about the possibilities of including the nitty-gritty details of insurance and billing, she could see Rhimes’ eyes “glaze over.”
In talking about some of their more dramatic character arcs, Brenneman remembered how the story lines and their intensity levels could vary widely. While she was filming an episode where Violet’s baby gets stolen, other characters were finding romantic happiness. “It’s like everybody else is in a romantic comedy and I’m in a Quentin Tarantino movie,” she said. “You’re in your own personal hell, but everyone else is drinking green juice in the kitchen.”
Walsh echoed this, adding that this tendency is one of Rhimes’ greatest strengths as a television creator and writer. “She brings about cultural conversation in the context of soap, nighttime soap — really controversial subjects about gender, race, medicine, relationships,” she said. “One of the things about good storytelling is being able to ignite that cultural conversation.”
“It’s that fearless Shonda tone of there’s no filter,” Brenneman added.
One of the other things the two love about working on a Shonda Rhimes show was her ability to create characters with consistently vivid lives. Brenneman discussed how for Violet, Addison was an intrusion into her already established life, and how that was so clear on the page. “These characters are living whether they’re on camera or not,” she said.
They spoke lovingly of their fellow cast members, particularly Taye Diggs, who played Dr, Sam Bennett, reflecting on how his comedic abilities are so rarely showcased onscreen. “His beauty and his all around studliness is a barrier,” said Brenneman. “He’s a weird, freaky character actor. He should look like somebody weird, and he’s just so beautiful.”
Lastly, the actors addressed the possibility of their return to Shondaland with a crossover appearance on Grey’s Anatomy. Walsh said she would absolutely return to Seattle for a “special delivery,” while Brenneman said she’d be up for it despite the fact her character never previously crossed over. “I had this backstory that she didn’t like Seattle because of a bad experience there,” she joked.
The Private Practice women spent a good deal of the chat also catching up on each other’s lives and talking about the deep, now decade-long friendship that formed between them while filming.