If variety is the spice of life, Camilla Luddington is living it to the fullest as she's played, over the last two years, a fairy, a princess, an opportunistic nanny and Jo, the newest intern at Seattle Grace.
Tonight's episode of Grey's Anatomy focuses on the new crop of interns and reveals new complexities to Jo's relationship with Dr. Alex Karev. ETonline caught up with the rising star to find out what it was like to scrub in to one of her favorite shows, what fans can expect from Grey's next and how playing Kate Middleton in a TV movie has inextricably linked her emotions with the princess' pregnancy.
ETonline: You were a fan of Grey's Anatomy before joining the cast. What's it like to go from fan to co-star?
Camilla Luddington: It makes coming onto set more intimidating because you already feel so passionately about the characters and the world, so you don't want to be the one who comes on and screws up the show [laughs]. Although, that almost worked for my character because she's coming into an uncomfortable environment and needs to prove herself ... and I kind of did too. In the first episode, Jo is really nervous and I'm not sure I was really acting. Although Ellen [Pompeo] is no Medusa. She's so nice in real life; the whole cast makes it feel like you're being inducted into a family.
ETonline: Did that also help the actors playing the interns bond?
Luddington: We bonded a lot because of the intern episode. Up until now, we were kind of split up, working with the different doctors, but this episode really brings us together. We got kind of cheesy about it in-between takes; doing little huddles that ended with, "Go Interns!" [laughs]
ETonline: Our readers just watched a clip of Jo and Karev going toe-to-toe in tonight's episode. What can you say about their relationship?
Luddington: The past few episodes have teased that these two might be able to be friends; or that they see something in one another, but it all goes downhill in this episode. He calls her princess and that rubs her the wrong way.
ETonline: Do you think that teasing is like when a little boy pulls the pigtails of a girl he likes?
Luddington: I don't know. I think there's a natural playfulness with Karev's character anyway. We've seen him interact like that with other characters too, but I do see something else in the way he picks on Jo. When she talks back to Karev, she's trying to be playful back, which is the only way she's able to deal with the fact he's making it out like she was given everything, which is not true. Life wasn't easy for her. She's worked hard for everything she has and that's where things come to a head because there comes a point where she can't take the jokes anymore and she just tells him how it is.
ETonline: Looking ahead, what are you excited for fans to see in the coming weeks?
Luddington: Jo gets to go to Bailey's wedding! That was actually my favorite episode to film because there's something about seeing everyone outside the hospital that opens up new dynamics. She sees Karev outside the hospital, and that makes for interesting drama.
ETonline: You went straight from playing a fairy on True Blood to an intern on Grey's -- safe to say those are the most diametrically opposed shows one could work on?
Luddington: Yeah, pretty much. Although, I would love for Jo to have a superpower because I think she would have killed Karev in the first episode. True Blood was another show I was a huge fan of before I started working on so that was crazy. I've been so lucky because everything I've done for the past few years has been so completely different. I feel really blessed that I'm not getting boxed into any type of role. Now, I live and breathe Seattle Grace.
ETonline: You also played Kate Middleton in the Lifetime movie, William & Kate. Are you now more invested in her life? Like, what was your reaction to her pregnancy?
Luddington: I'm very happy for her, although I feel like I should have been personally told before anyone else [laughs]. I should have gotten a telegram. In a weird way, it makes me feel more attached to her. Like, when she got married, it also felt like I was getting married so I was just crying the whole time [laughs]. It was a little tragic.
ETonline: You've mentioned that your last two jobs were on your favorite shows. So, if you were to star on your third favorite show, what would it be?
Luddington: American Horror Story. I am a huge horror fan, so that show, for me, is number one. I can't miss an episode. I would love to be on that show.
ETonline: Is your scream in good shape should that call come in?
Luddington: Oh yeah! I've been practicing that scream since I was 12! Like, I'm obsessed with horror movies, so if I don't have that scream down, I should be ashamed of myself.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.