'Grey's Anatomy' post-mortem: Sarah Drew opens up about the what's next for April and Jackson

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Image Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

If the latest Grey’s Anatomy left you downright giddy, you’re not alone. Sarah Drew was just as thrilled and surprised as the rest of us after she first read the script, which had more than one big moment for April Kepner.

First, there was the dramatic wedding exit with Jackson (Jesse Williams), who at the tail end of the last new episode declared his love in front of hundreds of April’s wedding attendees. Then, there was the biggest reveal of the night: April and Jackson not only ran away together — they also got married! (Read our full recap here.)

Still speechless from the moment, EW called up Sarah Drew for scoop on the big reveal and what comes next for the pair.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, to start, tell me about the first time you read the script for tonight’s episode.
SARAH DREW: I remember I was so excited. I was sitting down and reading the script and giggling with glee through all of the scenes. And as soon as I saw Jesse, I said, ‘Oh my god, it’s so good!’ He was so excited too. It was fun. We knew it was coming. We were told at the beginning of the season that this whole big wedding interruption thing was going to happen and that April and Jackson were going to wind up together. So we knew this was coming. But I just think it was done really well and it was really beautiful and lovely. I didn’t know that they were going to get married immediately, so that was a surprise. It was fun. It was really cool and surprising.

So you knew they were going to end up together, you just didn’t know they were going to flash that ring at the end at send my soul into orbit?
Yes, exactly. We had been told the trajectory was April and Jackson were going to end up together after this potential wedding situation. But we didn’t know that meant marriage. And there was a lot of discussion about whether they should start their romantic relationship at that point and then work through all sorts of issues and then get to a wedding down the road or get married right away. One of the big things was that after all of this stuff about becoming a virgin again and being very committed to waiting until marriage to have sex, if April and Jackson are going to be together, they’re going to want to do that, right? [Laughs] And you can’t have her back out of that promise after that has been such an important part of her journey. And she’s not going to destroy a person’s life to date somebody. So, anyway, I guess taking all of those things into consideration they were like, ‘Okay. Well, I guess they have to get married. There’s no way around that.’ And that’s how this relationship is going to work.

I’m glad you brought up her fiancĂ© because he wasn’t really mentioned in this episode and in the aftermath. Are we going to see them have a confrontation later on?
No. Thus far we haven’t. I think he’s just so deeply humiliated and mortified that he’s not interested in talking to her or anyone she knows. He just can’t show his face. It’s awful. Like, as awesome as it is that April and Jackson are together, what they did to Stephanie and Matthew is just horrific and so awful. They’ve left so much destruction in their wake.

Are April’s interactions with Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton) going to get any better after the news gets out about their marriage? Like, at least she’ll know it wasn’t for a fling or to date, like you said.
I think there will eventually be some sort of healing in terms of ability to work together. But, you know, Stephanie now has to go to work with all these people who watched her be rejected in the most horrible of ways. So it’s painful, and she’s an intern. It’s not like she’s the head of surgery and something like this happened and everybody has to continue to be respectful. It’s a very painful situation that she was left in and she’s going to deal with the pain of it for a while.

What about April and Jackson as a married couple? What’s going to be their next big challenge?
I think that’s wonderful and sweet is that we get to see some adorable, sweet moments about the ways in which they are who they are and they love each other for being exactly who they are. I kind of love seeing those little things happen, but there will also be some pretty significant issues that arise because they really just flew into this marriage. They didn’t think about it at all, and to be honest, yes, they’ve been best friends for a little while, but they never even dated. They never had a conversation about any big things like kids or how they see the world or how different April sees the world and how different [it is] from the way Jackson sees the world. So these sort of very big core issues are going to come up and create some significant tension, and April and Jackson are going to have to figure out how to navigate that and really fight for each other and their relationship in the midst of it. So it’s good. There’s some really good meaty stuff coming up.

Do they have to deal with all of that in private or does the rest of the gang eventually find out about the marriage?
Well, because now there’s this rule against fraternization they’re kind of in a rough spot. They can either pretend that they’re not together in any way shape or form, or they’re going to have to tell their secret. We’ll find out in the next episode what they choose to do. It’s kind of hard to pretend you’re not together when you’re working constantly and around each other constantly and people are watching you all the time. So they’ll have to figure that out very soon.

Are we going to get to see April meet Jackon’s mom?
Yes. And there are things that happen for sure.

In terms of them as a couple, are you glad that their path was, ultimately, quite different than others we’ve seen on the show. I mean, we’ve seen a lot of relationships on this show over the course of ten seasons. But this one has managed to be a standout for its unique trajectory.
I love Jackson and April because I didn’t see it coming. So many times, it’s very clear from the beginning that there’s a spark and an attraction. As an audience, you say, ‘That person was brought onto the show to become that for that person.’ But for me and Jesse, for three years on the show, we never thought we were going to end up together. There was no movement toward these people being soul mates; it was just about them being friends and best friends. They rib on each other and they make fun of each other and they’re there for each other — but just friends. And I love that about them. I love that both Jesse and I had  no idea it was coming, and that we weren’t playing any of that stuff because sometimes that’s what happens in relationships. You just all of a sudden one day realize that, ‘This is my person and I didn’t know this whole time.’

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