Will Dr. April Kepner ever return to Grey Sloan Memorial?
ET's Deidre Behar spoke to Sarah Drew and her former Grey's Anatomy co-star, Justin Bruening, about their surprise departure from the long-running show and if they'd ever consider returning. The two are reuniting on the big screen in their new film, Indivisible, which hits theaters Oct. 26.
"I'll never say never because they are my family. I still love everyone over there. I love that community and I still have such an incredible space in my heart for everyone over there," Drew gushed. "But I really do feel like, because of how it went down, I really had to part ways with April, I just had to. There was no way for me to live in a space of possibility of her returning and also be healthy in my letting go of all of it, so I really have said goodbye to her."
Drew spent nearly a decade and more than 200 episodes portraying April, something, she said, is not easily forgotten.
"I've loved her and I've said thank you to her and I've enjoyed my journey being with her," the 38-year-old actress said of her Grey's character. "She feels like an appendage. She's a person, she's a real person in my life. It's a long time to embody someone nine months out of the year and I really had to say goodbye to her."
"I think saying hello again would be hard," she added. "But again, I'll never say never."
Drew was written off of the show at the end of its 14th season, when April suddenly married her former love, Matthew Taylor, who was played by Bruening. While to Drew the quick marriage felt a bit "unearned," Bruening was pleased with how Matthew's story came to a close.
"Matthew became much more intriguing to me because of what he went through this season," Bruening said of his character's wife dying and child being born before his reunion with April. "A lot more fun to play, where I kind of had a different role. It was fun playing the same character except completely different from before. It was older, wiser and it was fun, but at the same time, my story was fulfilled so I was like, 'Alright cool, I can live with this.'"
When April married Matthew, she left behind Jackson, her ex-husband and father of her child, who's played by Jesse Williams. Drew called the duo's on-screen romance "an incredible journey," before praising her working relationship with Williams.
"We went through as acting partners and as friends. Doing the kind of work that we had to do as acting partners, bonds people. You just bond doing stuff that is that heart-wrenching and that intense," Drew explained. "...It felt really good to have someone that we could both 100% lean on one another and trust one another. When we were in those scenes together, we just knew that the other one would lift the other one up... It was sweet. It was special. It was a really special working relationship, so I love that guy."
Williams only had lovely things to say about Drew too.
"I mean, the whole thing is sad. It’s unfortunate," Williams told ET back in June. "That’s my partner, my road dog, so it was unpleasant, but she’s such a professional and did such incredible work down to the last frame and I’m really proud to have had our time together."
Meanwhile, Drew added that fans of the show are going to notice several other familiar faces in Indivisible besides her and Bruening.
"And for all the Grey's Anatomy fans, there's a lot of Grey's Anatomy actors in the movie," she said. "Jason George, and Michael O'Neill who played the shooter, the big episode where the shooter came and shot up the hospital. Michael O'Neill plays an amazing character, and Skye P. Marshall who did a guest spot on Japril: The Sequel, she's in it and she kills it. So we've got a fun Grey's Anatomy contingency."
"I think it's gonna resonate with anyone no matter where they are because I think anyone has experience with what it is to be in pain and when you're in pain, you want to feel some sense of hope," she added of the film. "The greatest messaging in this movie is that even though something may feel hopeless, doesn't mean that it is hopeless."
"My character has a line in this movie that kinda ties this in," Bruening chimed in. "He goes, 'Basically, if you find yourself in this place and you need help, just ask.' Just ask. It's just that simple."
Watch the video below for more on Drew's Grey's exit:
Sarah Drew Says 'Grey's Anatomy' Exit Was Like 'Attending My Own Funeral'
'Grey's Anatomy' Star Sarah Drew Says She's 'Closed the Door' on April (Exclusive)
Sarah Drew Admits She Was Initially 'Devastated' About Her 'Grey's Anatomy' Exit