By People Staff
Updated September 02, 2009 12:00 AM
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Credit: Marion Curtis/Startraks

There will be new some faces roaming the halls of Seattle Grace on Grey’s Anatomy this season. Nora Zehetner will play one of the new residents appearing on the fifth episode of the new season, which premieres Sept. 24 on ABC.

And the actress — who has appeared on Heroes and Everwood — was so anxious about her first day of work, she had nightmares.

“Honestly, I was terrified,” Zehetner told PEOPLE on a call from Los Angeles following her first day of shooting. “I’m actually a huge Grey’s fan. It’s this big show, and you’ve kind of identified with the actors and characters before you’ve ever met them. It adds a certain layer.”

While Zehetner couldn’t say much about her character, she did find out that her name will be Reed. “I like my name,” she adds with a laugh. According to TVGuideMagazine.com, Reed is “feisty, very smart and competitive,” and is likely to butt heads with at least one of the familiar faces.

To prep for the part, “I watched 14 episodes in two days, which is a lot of TV,” Zehetner tells PEOPLE. “It was really good, but then I think it started to stress me out. I started to have nightmares because I knew I was starting this week. Then I had to cut myself off.”

But it turns out that Zehetner had nothing to worry about. “Everybody was really, really nice and welcoming,” she said. “It’s such a talented group of , and I’m very honored to be one of them for a bit.”

As for the vibe on set, “Everybody was in a very silly mood,” she says. “They were dancing around and singing. I know that sounds really ridiculous, but there was actually literal singing and dancing in the rehearsal.”

It’s too soon to say whether the recurring resident could become a series-regular, but Zehetner says she’d be “thrilled to pieces” to join the cast full-time. –Jessica Wedemeyer

Tell us: Are you excited for the return of Grey’s Anatomy? Ready for some new blood?Marion Curtis/Startraks