HEALTHY DIAGNOSIS FOR GREY’S
JAMES Pickens Jr is part of a dying breed. He is one of just four original cast members left on popular drama Grey’s Anatomy.
Since 2005, Pickens Jr has played Dr Richard Webber alongside Ellen Pompeo (as Meredith Grey), Justin Chambers (as Alex Karev) and Chandra Wilson (as Miranda Bailey).
In that time, series regulars Katherine Heigl, Sandra Oh, Isaiah Washington and most recently Patrick Dempsey have jumped ship to pursue film careers.
The departures haven’t severely dented Grey’s Anatomy’s popularity, and Pickens Jr has been rewarded for his loyalty with juicy storylines.
In the season 11 finale, Webber married urologist Catherine Avery (Debbie Allen).
Earlier, he discovered Dr Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary) is his daughter from an affair with Meredith’s mother Ellis Grey (Kate Burton).
“These stories are so relatable – that is what has given this show its lasting power,” Pickens Jr says.
“In season 12 we’ll flesh out Richard’s relationship with Maggie – how he will try to become a father, not so much in the literal sense but by just being there and being available for her and having dialogue with her.
“We’ll also be able to play with the relationship between Richard and Catherine through their marriage.”
Pickens Jr admitted Dempsey’s departure came as a surprise. Dempsey’s character, Dr Derek Shepherd, had his life support turned off after a car accident.
“He’ll be missed but I think Patrick’s leaving is a chance for a new Grey’s,” Pickens Jr says.
“Change is good, especially when you have a show as long running as ours.
“This show has demystified the whole thing about being doctors. I’ve learnt that doctors are flawed.”
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