'Grey's Anatomy': Giacomo Gianniotti Says Meredith & DeLuca Are 'Building Romance' in Season 15 (Exclusive)

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ABC

When the new Grey's Anatomy trailer debuted earlier this month, fans were in a tizzy over one shocking moment: Meredith and DeLuca's hookup. Since then, questions have swirled over what that steamy makeout session actually means. Is it a dream? Is it real? Are Meredith and DeLuca actually, gasp, happening? Fans won't get answers about the possible new couple until Grey's kicks off season 15 with a two-hour premiere on Thursday, but we had to go straight to the source to get answers on all things Meredith and DeLuca

"What is going on? We don’t really know," Grey's star Giacomo Gianniotti teased to ET when asked about the speculation-fueling Meredith-DeLuca between-the-sheets premiere moment. Whatever is going on between the two docs, it's not like it came out of the blue; Gianniotti pointed to their ill-timed kiss in the season 14 finale as kick-starting this potential new coupling.

"Last season in the finale, they shared this drunken kiss. We didn’t know what it meant but there was something there. Meredith kind of pushed it off and it’s something we’ve been revisiting in this season," the 29-year-old actor said, hinting there's much more where that steamy trailer moment came from. "Definitely in the premiere you’re going to see it right out of the gate, which is basically what you saw in the trailer but it’s going to be a little longer, a little bit more detailed. I think we’re going to see something blossoming between them: A friendship? A friendship that could be more? At the moment, we don't know. We're only on the sixth episode. We are definitely building some romance, but to what degree, I don’t know."

One popular theory floating out there is that perhaps the hookup was just a dream. When presented with that fan speculation, Gianniotti played coy.

"OK, well… I would say that when you’re sitting on your couch [on Thursday], you will have all your questions answered!" the Italian-born actor said, before speaking more broadly about the two-hour event. "The premiere is incredible. We’re packing so much storytelling in it. We’re catching up the fans to what’s happened. We’re coming right back the day after [Jo and Alex's] wedding, so it’s just going to be an exciting season. We’ve got a lot of amazing guest actors coming on this season, new cast members [Chris Carmack and Alex Landi] joining us. We really are stacking the cast to make an incredible season for the fans."

While it's unclear what DeLuca's future holds in the romance department, one thing's for certain: the Grey Sloan surgical resident has been unlucky in love. The closest DeLuca has come to forging a real romantic connection recently was surgical intern Sam Bello (Jeanine Mason), who left last season to work with Cristina Yang in Switzerland after the threat of possible deportation. So why has it taken DeLuca so long to find true love?

"DeLuca is so focused on being a doctor and climbing as a surgeon, that all these romantic advances have fallen in his lap, in a way, and he’s kind of just ridden the wave and not thought too much about them. I think Sam was the first person that DeLuca really, really cared about, that we really saw him go through great heartbreak and loss over that," Gianniotti explained. "But I’m hopeful that maybe this season he can find someone that could last. Who knows? Maybe it could be Meredith."

Gianniotti shared his reasoning for why Grey's love stories have stood the test of time, hypothesizing that fans have invested years and years of their life with these characters and their relationships.

"These people have been watching these characters for so long, some of them have grown up with them. They feel like they’re their friends. They feel like they’re their family. They’re in their living room every Thursday night at 8 o’clock. You really start to relate to these characters. I’ve certainly felt that way about other shows that I’ve watched in the past and you’ve watched for so long, you feel like you can really relate to these people," he said. 

"When the relationships end, it’s almost like you’re breaking up with that person too, that you’re going to lose seeing that relationship onscreen, which, yeah it sucks at first, like a lot of other losses," Gianniotti added. "I think Grey’s Anatomy does it so well in terms of when a character exits or when a love exits, they create something new. It might take some getting used to but then it’s like the new thing and [turns into] 'It should’ve always been like this!'"

With DeLuca now at the center of a potential romance with Meredith, has Gianniotti thought of a new nickname in the vein of McDreamy and McSteamy? "I don't know!" Gianniotti said with a laugh. "I'll leave that up to the internet universe and I'll let you guys deal with that. I don't think I can dub myself."

Whatever you say, McLuca.

Grey's Anatomy returns with a two-hour premiere on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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