Working through their struggles. Grey’s Anatomy fans have watched Owen Hunt and Teddy Altman’s marriage pushed to the brink throughout season 19, but star Kevin McKidd says there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel.
“He and Teddy [Kim Raver] are still working. You can see them starting to work their way back toward being one, and they’ve had a rough time, I think,” the Scotland native, 49, exclusively told Us Weekly at PaleyFest in Los Angeles on Sunday, April 2.
Owen lost his medical license earlier in season 19 after illegally providing veterans with drugs for physician-assisted deaths. Since then, he’s been on probation, practicing only under the supervision of other physicians. The situation has been stressful for both doctors, especially as Teddy took on a new role as chief of surgery. However, Owen has since earned his license back, and Bailey (Chandra Wilson) advised Teddy and Owen to figure out their relationship now instead of drowning in resentment.
“I think we’re gonna see them really sort of bend down into this really supportive, loving couple,” McKidd told Us of the couple. “She’s the chief, he’s the head of trauma. He’s now able to support her because … he knows what it takes to do that job. So he becomes her rock in a sense as the season moves on.”
It’s a welcome change for both the viewers and stars. “That’s really fun to play because it’s been so kind of tumultuous for them and it’s nice to see Owen really show up for his wife, who’s in one of the most difficult jobs in the hospital,” the director added.
McKidd added that Owen won’t take his return to the OR for granted. “He had his wings kind of clipped and now he’s able to spread his wings again. He’s very happy,” he explained. “What’s good is that when something gets taken away from you in life, you realize how much you love it. And I think it’s reigniting him in a way. He’s reinvigorated as a character because he … almost lost everything. So now he’s even more invested in students in medicine, and it’s great to play this kind of reinvigorated version of him.”
While his character is rediscovering his love of medicine, McKidd is spreading his own wings behind the camera. The star has directed 37 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy since 2011, and his latest episode, which aired on Thursday, March 30, opened with an extended one-shot take that took viewers from the ambulance into the ER with a car crash victim.
“We did it in two takes,” McKidd revealed. “The first take was perfect. [Executive producer] Debbie Allen was like, ‘We’re done. Great. We’ve got it, we’ve got it, it’s done.’ And I said, ‘No, let’s do one more.’ And the second take was just 15 percent better. So the take that aired was take two of the two takes. I’m incredibly proud. I think it’s some of the best work we’ve done. We’ve never done that in the show. We literally have done something that the show has never done in its 19 seasons. [I’m] so, so proud.”
Grey’s Anatomy season 19 airs on ABC Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.
Reporting by Kat Pettibone