Grey’s Anatomy star Sarah Drew isn’t just portraying Christian Dr. April Kepner. For Drew, who joined the series 2009, this was a way to present a belief system that she deeply resonated with. Sarah, who plays the slightly neurotic Christian surgeon on Grey’s, had the opportunity to portray a different image of a Christian. Instead, the actress was able to bring forth a new look at the otherwise typically portrayed “judgmental Christian” stereotype that’s usually seen on television.
During a sit down interview with FOX411, Drew recounted how important early conversations were about her Grey’s Anatomy’s character’s development as a Christian struggling with her sexuality, and how the media skews Christian characters in general.
“I think in the media, Christians are the butt of every joke or they are portrayed running around condemning everyone to hell. Shonda [Rhimes] came to me and said you know a lot about this and to tell [April’s] story authentically, we need your input.”
The Grey’s Anatomy character wasn’t originally intended to be a Christian character, but since Drew had a strong background in faith, the Grey’s writers decided to explore a very unique character, and in turn, asked Drew to portray an “authentic Christian.”
“For April, the first thing that was revealed was she was a virgin. I waited until I was married to have sex so I understood April’s motivations. The writers thought it would be a really cool and interesting story to tell that isn’t seen too often.”
In real life, Sarah Drew has been married since 2002 to her husband Peter Lanfer. In 2012, the couple welcomed a baby boy named Micah Emmanuel Lanfer.
Currently, her character April just got over a huge hurdle in struggling with being sexual and staying true to her faith. In the last episode of Grey’s Anatomy, April left her wedding to run away with her first love and the person she eventually lost her virginity to, Dr. Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams). For April, giving her virginity away was a huge problem, and a storyline that didn’t go away overnight.
Of her character, Drew said:
“April’s human and she’s going to make mistakes and fail, but I want to be very clear that I’m not trying to get on a soapbox and tell people how to behave.
As a Christian, not getting on the soapbox seems to be the easiest thing to avoid, considering the Grey’s Anatomy star sees Jesus as a leading example.
“He’s completely opposed to running around and judging people. I want to be able to show someone who thinks deeply and cares for people and actually tries to live out who Jesus. That’s what I try to do in my daily life.”
Grey’s Anatomy airs on Thursday’s at 9 p.m. on ABC.
[Image credit: ABC Studios]