Grey’s Anatomy may have said goodbye to a member of the original cast Thursday night, but actor Caterina Scorsone told fans there is plenty more Grey’s to come. Scorsone, who plays Amelia, the sister of Patrick Dempsey’s Derek Shepherd, told The Hollywood Reporter the characters will manage following Shepherd’s death.
Viewers watched as Shepherd was struck by a truck after leaving the scene of a car accident where he saved lives. He was treated at a hospital by doctors without the capacity to save him. Shepherd’s wife Meredith chose to terminate life support.
Scorsone said the loss of Derek will directly impact Amelia.
“It’s a devastating blow to Amelia. He is arguably the most important person that’s ever been a part of her life… She’s had such a history of loss, especially with the men in her life that she has loved. This is going to be a huge, devastating blow to Amelia. We will have to see how she handles it; it will not be boring.”
Show runner Shonda Rhimes released a statement that reinforced the idea of the characters transitioning into new territory.
“[The loss of Derek] will be felt by all. Now, Meredith and the entire ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ family are about to enter uncharted territory as we head into this new chapter of her life.”
This season is Grey’s Anatomy‘s eleventh. It was the first season without Sandra Oh, who played Meredith’s best friend Christina Yang. The death of Derek leaves Meredith as a single mother to their two children.
Scorsone refused to reveal when the cast was told that Patrick Dempsey was leaving the program, insisting it is “personal family stuff.” She also said her last conversation with Patrick was not to be discussed, calling it “private brother-sister stuff.”
Variety reported that Dempsey’s departure comes well in advance of the end of his contract, which would have seen him stay with the show through the end of the 2015-2016 season. Nonetheless, his character’s absence from most of this season as well as a November, 2014, interview in which Dempsey said he was leaving “very soon,” heightened speculation of an early exit.
When Entertainment Weekly prodded Dempsey on the incongruity between his contract extension and his departure, he was coy about the reason behind it.
“Yes. you’re right. (He pauses) It just sort of evolved. It’s just kind of happened. It really was something that was kind of surprising that unfolded, and it just naturally came to be. Which was pretty good. I like the way it has all played out.”
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursday nights on ABC.
[Caterina Scorsone picture courtesy of Getty]