Meredith and Alex are each other’s people on Grey’s Anatomy, but what does that mean for Jo?
Camilla Luddington, who plays the Grey-Sloan Memorial surgical resident, tells PEOPLE there’s something crucial “completely missing” in Jo’s relationship with Dr. Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) – and the fact that he shares such an intense connection with Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) could be a problem for her character’s future happiness.
“I’m not sure Alex does a good job of being there for his friend but also letting his girlfriend know that he’s there for her too,” says Luddington, 31.
“I think that at the dinner party, for example, we saw that he had that intuition that something was wrong with Meredith, but it seems to be completely missing for Jo, which I’m not sure what that says,” she continues. “At some point, maybe if they are to move forward and be serious and get married and have kids, that should be addressed.”
Another source of tension that needs to be addressed? Jo’s ongoing feud with former bestie Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton).
Luddington teases that, on Thursday’s episode, “There’s still a lot of tension there. They’re both bad at communicating how they’re feeling. They’re both hurt for different reasons,” she says.
“And it’s hard because I absolutely love that friendship between them,” admits Luddington. “I’ve been rooting for them to figure it out and solve it, but I think they’re both stubborn right now.”
And the friction is having an isolating effect for Jo, says the actress: “I’m not sure that Jo is in anyone’s squad now, sadly.”
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Fortunately, Luddington has had another outlet to release any Grey’s-based frustration as she returned to the role of iconic buttkicker Lara Croft in the Rise of the Tomb Raider videogame.
Luddington, who follows in the foosteps of big-screen Lara Angelina Jolie, had the chance to get physical while working on the sequel – she not only voiced the role but also participated in intense motion-capture filming.
She reveals that Rise will feature a Lara who’s “more assertive and driven than we’ve ever seen before. She’s kind of haunted by her experiences … and she’s left with unanswered questions.”
For an admitted videogame geek like Luddington, returning to the role was viscerally thrilling: “I remember getting the first few pages of the game and reading it, and I was actually shaking I was so excited.”
And it also gives her a nice calling card: “I joke that my day job is saving lives on Grey’s Anatomy and my night job is killing bad guys.”
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Rise of the Tomb Raider is out now, and Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.