There are long-running TV shows, and then there’s Grey’s Anatomy. The medical drama is gearing up to wrap the whopping 17th season on ABC, and it’s already been renewed for another. Actress Camilla Luddington has played Jo Wilson since back in Season 9, and her character has changed drastically between her break-up with Alex Karev and her recent change in speciality. Ahead of the season finale, Luddington told me why she loves Jo’s pivot from general surgery to OBGYN.
Grey’s Anatomy fans have followed Camilla Luddington’s character Jo from her time as an intern, watching as she became a capable general surgeon and protégée of Meredith Grey herself. But after fighting to keep people alive during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jo decided to switch to a speciality that brought her joy: OBGYN. I had the privilege of speaking to Luddington about her character’s professional twists, and she responded opened up, saying:
I’m so happy that she changed. This is just me selfishly, because the day that we filmed the scene where she accidentally gets dragged into labor and she delivers the baby was my favorite scene ever. Because I had just given birth to my son not that long before. And it’s such an exciting moment, and it brought back memories in the room for me. So I was like geeking out that day.
Well, that worked out. Camilla Luddington was a new mother when filming Season 17, which is a difficult task in itself. Luckily for the long-running Grey’s Anatomy actress, she was able to tap into her true emotions when bringing Jo’s “aha moment” to life. And now Luddington gets to work with adorable babies while working those notoriously long hours on set.
Camilla Luddington’s comments show the strange ways that life and art sometimes meet. Considering how long she’s been on Grey’s Anatomy, it might have been overdue that her interests so closely meet Jo’s. Grey Sloane Memorial Hospital is undergoing a ton of staff changes, but hopefully OBGYN should open new surgical doors for Wilson.
Later in our same conversation, Camilla Luddington went on to explain how organic her performance was in the scene where Jo unexpectedly delivered a baby. What’s more, she shared her hopes for the surgeon’s professional career, inspired by a few Grey’s Anatomy alums. As she put it,
The joy that you see on Jo is really just me geeking out. So it brought me happiness to be in that scene. So her career change, selfishly I’m like ‘Yes! I get to do the baby thing!’ And if there is one hope, I hope she gets to be like Addison one day. Or even end up doing fetal surgery like Arizona. There’s still a lot of room for her to experience new things with OBGYN.
Well, color me intrigued. While Jo’s change in speciality was a shocker for the audience and Dr. Bailey alike, it seems that Camilla Luddington was pretty thrilled. What’s more, she’s hoping her signature character follows in the footsteps of badass OBGYN/fetal surgeons like Addison and Arizona.
Grey’s Anatomy is gearing up for its Season 17 finale, so it should be interesting to see what happens next for Jo. Her story this year pivoted away from romance, despite some casual sex with Jackson Avery. Instead Jo has looked inward, and discovered what type of job is truly going to bring fulfillment.
Grey’s Anatomy airs new episodes Thursdays on ABC. In the meantime, check out the summer premiere list to plan your next binge watch.