Photo credit: Joe Magnani
Camilla Luddington is winning over hearts as 'Jo Wilson ' on Grey's Anatomy. As half of one of the hottest couples on the show ('Jo' and 'Alex'), Luddington has quickly become a fan favorite. It's easy to see why. She masterfully exudes strength and vulnerability, sincerity and sarcasm, drama and comedy... and does it all effortlessly, which is no easy feat. I for one cannot wait to see what is next for Luddington, but in the meantime, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to see her shine each week on Grey's. Be sure to tune in ABC Thursdays 9/8c.
The Reel Spin: The writing on the show is phenomenal... particularly when unexpected moments of humor are mixed in during the midst of so much drama. Your character, 'Jo,' really benefits from this style of writing. She's smart, quick-witted, and strong... but at the same time, still very vulnerable. What is it like portraying such a complex character?
Camilla Luddington: I love that 'Jo' is so complex. She is someone who has felt that she can only rely on herself. This has made her beyond protective of her own feelings and extremely careful about who she chooses to open up to. 'Jo' has been emotionally hurt very deeply in the past as well as physically abused, and I think this makes her sensitive to others who she feels has experienced the same hardships as herself. With 'Alex,' it took her a long time (and a drunken night at 'Bailey’s' wedding) to feel like he was a friend but with 'Jo' once she decides to let someone in, she will be fiercely loyal and protective, sometimes to a fault.
As for her falling in love, that was fun to experience filming. Throughout the season, they would let me know where her feelings were at exactly and how open and close her and 'Alex’s' relationship were becoming. Letting down 'Jo’s' guard allowed me and the audience to see the new playful sides of her that she has not shown before. She shares 'Alex's' dry sense of humor and sarcasm, and the back and forth banter has been fun to perform with Justin.
TRS: Speaking of 'Jo's' quick wit, do you have a favorite line she's gotten away with saying?
Luddington: I love her line, "Saw it in a movie on cable." It was in a scene where 'Alex' and 'Jo' were drunk at 'Bailey’s' wedding together and were trying to 'one up' each other on who has had a worse childhood. She alludes to living in a home with a dozen or so other kids, having to pee in buckets, and it’s a complete lie. She even fakes getting emotional over the memory of it and once she senses that 'Alex' feels bad for her, she reveals she was totally bullshitting. It's funny and the first moment when the audience get to see their friendship start as two potential 'partners in crime,' which is how I like to think of them.
TRS: You and Justin Chambers ('Alex') have incredible chemistry. How much fun has it been getting to explore this new relationship this season?
Luddington: Justin and I always have a lot of fun together. We laugh a lot on set and get excited to see what's next in the cards for 'Jo' and 'Alex.' There's a natural ease and familiarity between us because we've had an entire season of being stuck together filming, and I think it shows. Especially in scenes where we get to joke around together. This season is tougher then last though because now they're together and navigating their way through a new relationship, and they aren't the best at communication. They're learning, but there are times when I read a script I just wanna scream at them both, "Talk! Please! Just talk to each other!" But, it makes for good drama.
TRS: Shonda Rhimes has a knack for using the perfect songs to heighten tension, lighten the mood, or bring a smile. Do you have a personal favorite song moment that has occurred on the show thus far?
Luddington: At the end of season 9 they played John Legend's "All of Me” during a montage of scenes where characters were finally getting together or unfortunately walking away from relationships. It was perfectly heartbreaking to accompany each individual situation. Shonda just has that knack for knowing what song will pull on your heart. Once the season finale aired, my twitter blew up, "What's that song?" and "Does anyone know who sang that?" etc. The music is a character unto itself, I love that the show does that.
TRS: You obviously put in long hours when you are filming... favorite thing to do when you're not working?
Luddington: I am a huge horror movie fan, so my guiltiest pleasure is to be lazy for the night after a long day at work, stay in and watch a horror movie. If I have a full day off, I love to hike at Runyon Canyon, run or get girlfriends together to go spin at Soul Cycle. There's a lot of "sitting" that goes on on-set, so on a day off I try to be active.
TRS: What would your fans be surprised to know about you?
Luddington: I love to oil paint. I have 5 paintings hanging in my home that I painted myself. Right I have a whole new set of oils, but I’m out of canvas and dying to get to an art shop and pick some up. To me it's so relaxing. I like sitting on my balcony, playing music and getting inspired. Also, I'm British, and I think that's surprising to people as well, because I play an American doctor on the show.
For the latest on Camilla Luddington, follow her on Twitter: @camilluddington
Interview by Pamela Thomas