Chyler Leigh Opens Up About Filming Grey's Anatomy Death Scene

Entertainment Jun. 22, 2012 AT 1:15PM
Chyler Leigh Opens Up About Filming Grey's Anatomy Death Scene Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC

When Chyler Leigh decided to leave Grey's Anatomy in May after five-and-a-half years, the actress wrapped up Lexie's storyline on her own terms -- but that doesn't mean filming her death scene was a total dream.

"It was cold," Leigh, 30, recalled to TVGuide.com of filming her character's final scene, which took place in the aftermath of a plane crash. "We were up at Big Bear and at one point it had snowed. Then it would rain and be sunny and hot. I never died before [on camera]. That sounds funny saying that. I think everyone has an emotional wellspring and that happened to be a moment where I was sprung."

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As all eyes were on Leigh's Lexie Grey during those last scenes, the actress quickly realized she could call the shots to keep herself comfortable. "Everybody was very accommodating -- the crew, cast. And I opted to stay underneath [the wreckage] for the most part over two days rather than trying to get in and out," she explained.

Leigh tells TVGuide.com that of all of her Seattle Grace scenes, Lexie's last moments were a highlight. "Ironically, I think [I'm most proud of] her death. It really was a chance for me to be able to go from the beginning of the character to the end," Leigh -- who worked closely with Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes to prepare a fitting end for Lexie -- explains.

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"There's something that's very bittersweet about that. Something about being able to be there for the moment of her death that I appreciate. I don't know if that's morbid or not, but that's how I feel," she continues.

Taking a break from TV for the time being as she raises her three children with her actor husband, Nathan West, Leigh wouldn't be opposed to returning to the small screen. "I'm always down to do a sitcom. I did That 80's Show back in the day and that was a really great experience. I think comedy would be good for a while," she hints.

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In the meantime, Leigh -- who is working on a children's book with her husband - is relishing in extra family time. "Right now I'm just taking a pause from everything," she tells TVGuide.com. "I am so grateful that I get to be home with my kids who are three beautiful, complicated, dynamic children. I have a lot of life to live."

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