‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star Chandra Wilson talks Typhoid Bailey

04.23.13 4 years ago


It hasn’t been a great month for poor Dr. Bailey (Chandra Wilson) on “Grey’s Anatomy.” At first, things seemed to be looking up for the feisty, hard-charging (if pint-sized) doctor. After landing funding for her genome mapping project, she was starting to ease into the new, doctor-run structure of Seattle Grace. But last week her luck took a miserable turn when it seemed that she, not a clueless newbie, was responsible for spreading an aggressive infection among her patients — one which turned lethal. This week, the CDC will be investigating and a shocked and humiliated Bailey will be in the hot seat. I spoke to Wilson about what we can expect for Typhoid Bailey, whether or not this storyline is based in reality, and why Bailey’s marriage isn’t as backburnered as it seems to be. 

Should we call her Typhoid Bailey?

[Laughing]. Typhoid Bailey! Of course she’d say that absolutely makes no sense at all, because being the perfectionist she is, this can’t have anything at all to do with her. The hardest time that she’s having with the whole CDC investigation is that some her patients have passed, but also that anyone thinks that she would have anything to do with it.

I realize you can’t give anything away, but is this storyline based on a real life story? 

It is based on something real, something that happens quite a bit, unfortunately. Actually, it will be a great learning lesson for everybody. But Bailey is not happy about this. At the same time, if it had been any of her colleagues, she’d say let the investigation run its course, let the investigators do their jobs. But her ego won’t allow for it when she’s the focus.

I take it her fellow doctors’ treatment will have a lasting impact on Bailey.

That’s gonna be a big thing for her to grapple with now and until the end of the season; how she feels she was treated. People are gonna have to pay. 

Does the fact that Avery and the doctors who were affected by the plane crash are running the hospital make a difference in how Bailey’s problem is handled?

When I look back at the riddles from the show, it’s basically Bailey and Karev [Justin Chambers] who have no stake in the hospital. So, it was a big deal for Bailey getting the genome lab, and Karev is still working with the kids from Africa. She needs to have her own little piece of job security to feel the hospital is still there for her and this investigation takes away that sense of security. 

After nine seasons, do you still find new layers to explore with Bailey?

With every table read, we’re still finding out new things about our characters, their personal lives, how they grew up. The evolution continues for everybody. Bailey hasn’t gotten to a point where she’s done.

Bailey recently got married to Ben, but we haven’t seen much of him. Is that relationship tabled because Jason George is busy with “Mistresses”? 

Not tabled. We made it to where they’re having a commuter relationship. We can bring him in when we can bring him in! It also goes to her personality as well. It’s difficult for her to depend on anyone else, even though she’s married. She should be leaning on her husband during this difficult time, but she’s uber independent. She feels very alone. 

Will you be directing more episodes?

I’ve been directing for the last four seasons, one episode in fall and one in the spring, so I’ll be ready if they want me. It’s been an amazing opportunity dropped in my lap, and I’m so grateful for it. 

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