Lud­ding­ton scrubs up well for

She has played ev­ery­one from Catherine Mid­dle­ton to Lara Croft, but Bri­tish actress Camilla Lud­ding­ton is best known for her role as Jo Wil­son in United States med­i­cal drama Grey’s Anatomy. She talks to James Croot about be­ing a part of the long-run­ning s

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y dad fi­nally got the doc­tor he wanted,’’ beams Camilla Lud­ding­ton. The 31-year-old, Berk­shire-born actress is wax­ing lyri­cal about her role as Jo Wil­son on the long-run­ning United States med­i­cal drama Grey’s Anatomy.

Dressed in a stunning, shim­mer­ing, green and black dress, she looks far more glam­orous in per­son than in med­i­cal scrubs as the Grey Sloan Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal sur­gi­cal res­i­dent Lud­ding­ton has es­sayed for the past two sea­sons.

De­spite that, she ad­mits there’s a lot of her in the char­ac­ter of Wil­son. ‘‘I think that’s be­cause we’re a 24-episode show, so we spend nine months with th­ese char­ac­ters. They be­come part of us – the lines be­come very blurred.’’

For­tu­nately that hasn’t ex­tended to her fam­ily back in Eng­land ask­ing her for med­i­cal ad­vice. ‘‘Fun­nily enough my fa­ther ac­tu­ally tries to give me act­ing ad­vice. He thinks he’s a bit of a Daniel Day Lewis, although he’s never acted in his life.’’

So how do Grey’s ac­tors like Lud­ding­ton, who has also had small roles on other hit shows like True Blood and Cal­i­for­ni­ca­tion, learn that tricky med­i­cal ter­mi­nol­ogy and look so con­vinc­ing in the sur­gi­cal scenes?

‘‘It’s ac­tu­ally very dif­fi­cult to pick up the med­i­cal side of things. We’re given a cheat-sheet ev­ery day that tells us what the words mean and we have a sur­geon on set who shows us how to ex­e­cute all our surg­eries, but it’s still very dif­fi­cult – it’s like learn­ing a sec­ond lan­guage.’’

Luck­ily, Lud­ding­ton says, she hasn’t had the added trauma of hav­ing to ad­just to dif­fer­ent work prac­tices in Amer­ica. ‘‘The process is ac­tu­ally very sim­i­lar when it comes to work­ing on a tele­vi­sion show in Bri­tain or the US. Re­ally the only dif­fer­ence with work­ing in the States is the traf­fic is worse.’’

How­ever, work­ing on Grey’s has brought her into con­tact with a unique Amer­i­can phe­nom­e­non – Shon­daland (the name given to shows like Grey’s, Scan­dal and How to Get Away with Mur­der – all pro­duced by Shonda Rhimes) and its fa­nat­i­cal fans.

‘‘I’ve never ex­pe­ri­enced any­thing like this be­fore. Things like the in­ter­ac­tion over Twit­ter – it just makes your job more ex­cit­ing be­cause you’re get­ting a re­ac­tion to an episode the next day.

‘‘The fans are so in­vested. I even have this very young gen­er­a­tion of fans that are catch­ing up with the show now. I get ap­proached by 18-year-old girls who were 7 when the show started.’’

No doubt those fans are ea­gerly await­ing what’s in store for Wil­son and the other Grey’s char­ac­ters this sea­son so, be­fore Lud­ding­ton and the cater­ing are whisked away from the party we’re both at­tend­ing, I have to ask what view­ers can ex­pect from the cur­rent sea­son.

‘‘You’ll see a lot of Mered­ith Grey [Ellen Pom­peo] us­ing Alex Karev [Justin Cham­bers] a lot, which cre­ates a lot of drama in the re­la­tion­ship be­tween all three char­ac­ters. Sud­denly Jo has to deal with all th­ese feel­ings of jeal­ousy,’’ Lud­ding­ton says with a wry smile.

Popular fig­ure: Camilla Lud­ding­ton plays Jo Wil­son in Grey’s Anatomy.

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