Caterina Scorsone, who made Amelia Shepherd such an indelible part of “Private Practice,” returned to “Grey's Anatomy” last week to supposedly check in on brother Derek — but really test the waters of parenthood. Since Scorsone was doing press after last week's surprise visit, it was pretty clear that Amelia is going to be staying in Seattle for a while. Given that Hurricane Amelia tends to stir up drama wherever she goes, this could be interesting.
I spoke to Scorsone about reviving Amelia, what's ahead for the recovering addict (and newly engaged) character, and whether or not she can be Meredith's new bestie.
So, Amelia's in Seattle!
Last week it seemed as if she was just crashing on Derek and Meredith's couch for a little while, but you're obviously returning. How long will she be in town?
She's in Seattle for a while. I know Amelia will be in four episodes, in addition to what's aired. Beyond that, I have no idea. The writers are breaking down the next season, so I don't know what they have planned.
She shows up with good news — she's engaged to James! — but then it all ends in tears. What's going on with Amelia right now?
I think she's freaked out. She is a recovering addict. But she was sober for 10 years before she went out and started using again. That will be always be an aspect of her, a fear of making a bad decision or not being able to handle the kind of life James wants. He's a very solid dude, and I think Amelia has questions about whether she can hang with that. For the next couple episodes, the conversation comes up a few times, because she's engaged and trying to sort out the future.
Is James going to come to Seattle to visit?
There's definitely… let's just say he's in the episodes, in that we talk about him a lot.
This seems like a potential opportunity for Amelia to bond with her sister-in-law, Meredith. Is there any chance she'll be able to fill Cristina's shoes?
Cristina will always be Mer's person. Even starting in the next episode that airs, Amelia and Mer start to talk, and Amelia is talking to her about the questions she has about marriage and kids and James, and it's the first time we see that relationship developing. She was super tight with Addison, the first wife, which made things a little awkward, and now she's hanging out with the kids and Mer, so that's new.
Given that Amelia is thinking about kids, is this going to be another chance for her and Derek to talk about what happened to their father?
That's a good question, because I think we really talked about the central tragedy they both experienced, and in part that contributed to both of them becoming neurosurgeons. That was season eight when she asked him what he remembers of that day. I would assume that, as the story continues, it will have to go back a little bit to that and how it impacts the relationship.
It seems that Shonda Rhimes always finds a new home for her stable of stars. I'm surprised you didn't show up on “Scandal.”
Paul [Adelstein] did! He's on the show now. I think it's individual, and it's different every time. She has an incredible sense of loyalty, as do her actors to her, and wonderful magical things happen in Shondaland in terms of the stories she writes for us. It's hard to find a really wonderful chemistry — sometimes its a shame to let it go, so if she can bring people back in another way, I think she does.
Did you know Amelia might come back to “Grey's Anatomy”?
So in this case, when “Private Practice” was ending, because the show was ending, she said to me that Amelia's story wasn't quite over, and she talked about the potential bringing her onto some story on “Grey's.” So we talked about it when the show ended, and then I had my own baby, so I had some time with her at home breast feeding and being a mom, then I did an action movie with Pierce Brosnan [“November Man”], then when this storyline came to her, she asked if I could come back. With every actor who reappears, it's different.
So, what's on deck for Amelia this week? Not to give anything away, of course.
She's talking about James with Meredith, but mostly she's flexing her muscles as a neurosurgeon with Derek. I think he's pleasantly surprised by her level of skill. He's the big brother and so she's always a little sister, and one who has been so troubled in the past, so this is really her chance to show what she can do.
Are you watching “Grey's Anatomy”? Do you miss “Private Practice”?