Sarah Drew Says Leaving Grey's Anatomy Was Like 'Attending My Own Funeral'
“In a way, you almost feel like you’re attending your own funeral. Weirdly. But in a really beautiful way,” she told Vulture at BAFTA’s pre-Emmys party of leaving the ABC drama in the spring.
“I think that in being let go, the outcry of support from fans, from my cast, from my crew, was so extraordinary. I talk about it as being love bombed,” Drew, who joined the show in season 6 as April Kepner, told the website.
“It’s like when you’re let go before something ends and when it’s not your choice, people come up and tell you why they love you and how much they love you and what you meant to them,” said Drew, 37.
Despite her departure after nearly a decade, Drew said, “There’s been so many silver linings,” adding, “Nine years playing one character, it’s a long time! I am so excited to spread my wings and be somebody else for a time.”
“It’s always hard for me to say goodbye to any of my characters,” Grey’s creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes said in a statement. “Both Arizona Robbins and April Kepner are not only beloved but iconic — both the LBGTQ and devout Christian communities are underrepresented on TV. I will be forever grateful to both Jessica and Sarah for bringing these characters to life with such vibrant performance and for inspiring women around the globe. They will always be a part of our Shondaland family.”
WATCH: Grey’s Anatomy: Jessica Capshaw, Sarah Drew To Exit After Season 14
Drew also addressed the news on social media, writing, “Hey guys. Thank you for all of the love. I know you’re sad. I’m sad too. I haven’t really had the time to process this information. I’ve been with it for less than 48 hours, so I’m not ready to say my thank yous and give an all encompassing statement about my 9 years here. That will come later 🙂 For now, I’d like to say: I love you, and I love April, and her story isn’t over yet. And the really good news (for me, at least) is that I’m here on set shadowing one of my favorite people, Kevin McKidd, with my beloved Grey’s family all this week and next, so I get to process all of my feelings surrounded by the community that has nourished and nurtured me for almost a decade. For that, I am so grateful.”
Months after her exit, Drew sat down with The Hollywood Reporter for her first interview since she was written off the show this past spring.
While Drew admitted that she cried after hearing the news, she said she’s ultimately at peace with the decision.
“I’m a believer in things happening for a reason and finding beauty in the midst of grief,” she told the outlet. “I don’t regret or begrudge anybody this season of my life. I’m embracing it.”
“I had a profound and incredible season of my life on Grey’s Anatomy,” Drew added. “I got to tell stories I believed in. I got to work with [producers] Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers and learn from the best. I got to work with an incredible community of people that I will have lifelong friendships with. I got to build a platform and have my children in an environment where I was cared for because of who Shonda is and how she takes care of her mamas and her women. It’s hard for me to come up with anything I could be angry about.”