If Grey's Anatomyis looking to welcome back a familiar face this season, as showrunner Krista Vernoff expressed her plans to over the summer, don't hold your breath for April Kepner's return.
ET's Katie Krause was with former Grey's star Sarah Drew, who was promoting her upcoming Lifetime original holiday movie, Twinkle All the Way, where she addressed speculation that she could be walking through the halls of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Drew left the medical drama at the end of season 14 following a 10-year run.
"I don’t really watch it, but I’m still super connected to my people over there, and the fans are awesome," the 39-year-old actress said. "They are going to be hardcore forever, and I know that, and I always get so much love from them even a year and a half after leaving the show."
When asked if she's been approached for a cameo this season on Grey's, Drew sweetly shut down any rumors.
"I will never close the door on my family at Grey’s, so it just depends. It’s a hard question to answer because it is not an opportunity that has presented itself," Drew said, admitting she doesn't know "what's been happening" storyline-wise on the series.
While it doesn't look like Drew is the familiar face Grey's is hoping to book for a splashy return, she has plenty to look forward to with her second holiday film for Lifetime following 2018's Christmas Pen Pals.
In Twinkle All the Way, Drew plays recently divorced wedding planner Cadence Clark, who joins forces with Henry Harrison (Ryan McPartlin), co-owner of a family-run Christmas decoration and house-lighting company, to pull off a Christmas-themed wedding at the local luxury lodge. Both single parents of young daughters, Cadence and Henry grow closer as they help each others' projects -- Cadence with the wedding and Henry with his high-profile client (Lesley Ann Warren) and her annual VIP Christmas Eve party. A sudden snowstorm, however, threatens to derail their festive plans.
"What I really love about this story is that there is an overarching theme of finding something beautiful when everything goes wrong. And that, I can resonate with and relate to on very deep levels," Drew said. "It’s happened in my life so many times where just when you think everything is the worst and has fallen apart, there’s something new that emerges that you weren’t even looking for -- that you didn’t even know was possible. Then, this root takes off and a new beautiful blossom happens."
"That’s what happens when everything falls apart for the two of them," she said of Cadence and Henry's romantic connection. "You have choices in life. You can crawl up into a hole and say, 'This is horrible,' or you can go, 'I’m going to take what’s happening here and turn it into something beautiful.' And that’s what they do in this movie. It’s a lovely message that a lot of people could really be encouraged by."
And Drew is putting on another hat this year: writing her own screenplay that she also has plans to star in. While she kept the premise close to the vest, she credited her Twinkle All the Way co-star, McPartlin, for giving her the push to start this new chapter.
"We were bonding over various different things and he’s starting to get into producing a little bit and he’s like, 'Just write an outline. Just see what happens.' And I did and shared it with these producers and they’re like, ‘Why don’t you write it?’ I bought the software and just sat down and started writing," Drew said. "It was fun!"
Even so, Drew still has hopes to land a starring role on another television show.
"I would love to get onto a new series and go full throttle in that direction. The last two pilot seasons I got to do that; I got to play starring roles but they didn’t get picked up, but having that little taste of getting to set the tone on a set is really a sweet experience," she said, referring to CBS' Cagney and Lacey and Republic of Sarah, both of which weren't picked up to series. "I’ve gotten to do that on these [Lifetime] movies too, which is so much fun. Any opportunities that I get to have a leadership role, I find that I am very drawn to that and it’s a really fun use of some gifts that I have. I just have more stories to tell. My bucket list is: more good stories to tell."