Last week’s “Grey’s Anatomy” episode surprised fans when Avery (Jesse Williams) and Kepner (Sarah Drew) slept together in an adrenaline-fueled, drunken moment of spontaneity. After sharing a sweet, platonic friendship for many years, it was an unexpected twist — particularly given the fact that Kepner was, until that point, a virgin for religious reasons.
Even Jesse Williams himself was surprised by the turn of events when he first read the script, but he tells us that a contingent of “Grey’s Anatomy” fans had been campaigning for an Avery/Kepner hookup for a while.
“The fans have been talking about it for a while,” he says. “On Twitter, a lot of them have stirred up some energy around it early on. I think they saw that the characters care for each other so well and have been such good friends for a long time. Some fans really embraced the platonic relationship, which I did as well, I thought it was cool to let that live and show that that can exist. Otherwise, people responded to a chemistry that was there, kind of a genuine care, when we had a lot of passionate romances that come out of lust.”
So what now? Will they pass it off as a boozy mistake and go back to their regularly scheduled programming?
Things will be a little awkward at first. “We need to keep it authentic and natural to who these characters are, so things aren’t going to be easy, initially. Things will be pretty clunky,” he laughs.
When we ask if Avery will try to further a relationship with Kepner, or try to back off, Williams teases, “All of that and none of that! He’s trying to figure stuff out. I think he’s feeling like ‘Holy s***, we just did that, and we probably shouldn’t have done that, but it was kind of nice.'”
The religious and moral issues that Kepner is struggling with having lost her virginity will take priority. “I think Jackson is glad that it was him, and not someone else,” Williams says. “He didn’t want to do it in the first place. On paper, it didn’t make sense, and they shouldn’t have done it. He was coming at it from the standpoint of ‘You’re a virgin, you should take more care,’ and she looked him in the eye and gave him a very well-articulated, sober reason for wanting to do it. In the end, they trust each other.”
Though Mark Sloane seems to want Avery to be with Lexie, Williams tells us that Avery is still looking to move on from there. “He kind of fell for Lexie when he knew he shouldn’t have. Everybody was telling him he shouldn’t have. She was involved in a complicated relationship with Mark, he shouldn’t do it, but he did it, and got burned,” he says. “He was smart enough and logical enough to hurt himself by pulling out of that relationship, saying ‘I’ve got to choose myself and my career over this romance nonsense,’ and he’s been proven right. He’s been watching Lexie still struggle with her feelings for Mark. He sees that they kind of are, maybe, meant for each other, and he shouldn’t get in the way of that. That’s the one thing that really works for him with April – he trusts her.”
Peep the sneak peek clip below to see Avery’s struggle in his boards exam, and tune in tonight at 9 p.m EST on ABC to see the fall-out.