Giacomo Gianniotti recently said that losing Justin Chambers was difficult for many of the cast and crew members on Grey’s Anatomy.
The actor spoke to Us Weekly to promote his partnership with the clothing line Nobis. While promoting his campaign, Gianniotti, who plays Dr. Andrew DeLuca, dished about what Chambers’ last couple of days on the Grey‘s set were like. Chambers’ last official episode premiered in November 2019 but was shot weeks prior.
In his final episode where he was physically playing Dr. Alex Karev, Chambers was helping Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) fight to get her license back. The episode brought back some of the show’s old characters that helped make it successful when it premiered in 2005. Gianniotti said he believes the moment was a perfect ending for Chambers, who had been with the series since the beginning.
“I think for him to see all these guest stars that he’d interacted with over the years was a cool way, a full-circle moment, to say goodbye to a lot of the cast members,” Gianniotti said. “These people that he had worked with over these years that he probably hadn’t seen in so long.”
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In a public statement, Chambers announced in January that he would be leaving the show to focus on other projects. Fans soon learned that he wouldn’t be coming back for a farewell appearance. Gianniotti said that the cast learned of this news during a table read for a Season 16 episode.
“We’re sad to see him leave, but he’s been playing this guy for 16 years and we totally respect that he wants to have some time with his family,” the actor explained. “He’s got five kids, he’s got a lovely family and he wanted to explore the opportunity. So, we couldn’t be happier for him.”
Although the production of Grey’s is currently halted to protect its staff from the coronavirus pandemic, Gianniotti ensured that Chambers’ character will be remembered in future episodes. The Selfie alum shared that like many characters who leave, Alex Karev will be discussed on several occasions. He also admitted that, due to Chambers’ time on the series, his legacy will “never truly leave the show.”
Following Chambers’ exit, Grey’s writers decided to give Alex a farewell episode on Thursday, March 5. On the ABC series, he left Seattle and his career behind for his ex-wife, Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl). After reaching out to many of Meredith’s old friends for her court case, Alex and Izzie reconnected and he learned she had 5-year-old twins with their embryos. Alex then decided to divorce his wife, Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington) and moved to Iowa to be there for his children.