'Grey's Anatomy' director David Greenspan opens up about Sandra Oh's exit and his feature film debut
Airing on Thursday (May 15), Oh's farewell episode also serves as the Season 10 finale, and while Cristina's exit has been explained onscreen (she's moving to Zurich to take over Dr. Burke's research hospital), you never know how it will actually play out during her final hour. Director/editor David Greenspan promises that fans will be satisfied with how she ends up leaving by the time Season 10 comes to a close.
"Sandra's performance is just phenomenal, and seeing how she exits and how the writers have done it, I can't wait to see what the fans think of it," Greenspan tells Zap2it. "I mean, there's no easy way to lose somebody who's so amazingly good at acting and such an integral character. But I think they've done it as well as they can."
This isn't the first time "Grey's Anatomy" has lost one of its stars. Isaiah Washington, Katherine Heigl, T.I. Knight, Eric Dane, Chyler Leigh all exited the series in dramatic and emotional ways onscreen over the past 10 years.
"The writers, they have this balancing act that they have to figure out when they lose a cast member for reasons that they had no control over, and I'm always amazed at their ability to reconfigure as necessary and to come up with something exciting to keep the story going forward, like introducing new characters," Greenspan says. "Like how Season 5 with Denny was sort of a low point and I think our best season ever was Season 6 right after that, when they brought in some fresh blood like Sarah Drew and Jesse Williams and we had that shooter episode. I think that it's just a testament that Shonda [Rhimes] really knows good story telling."
Looking back on Oh's performances over the past 10 seasons, Greenspan couldn't pick just one favorite scene. "Oh man! She's so good, there are so many amazing Cristina moments," Greenspan says. "Honestly any scene where she's playing opposite Kevin McKidd [who plays Owen] and they're angsting for each other is fantastic. And in the shooter episode, when she had a gun to her head and she was still operating, and when she broke down after Dr. Burke left her and Meredith was consoling her in her wedding dress afterwards, all of those were incredible. It's hard to give one definitive answer. She's going to be missed."
Greenspan has another big event other than Oh's final episode to look forward to in May: His feature film debut. Indican Pictures is releasing "51-50 Mall Cop" -- a dark comedy starring Jennifer Morrison ("Once Upon a Time"), Kathleen Robertson ("Boss"), Derek Cecil and Nick Searcy -- in rental stores, retail chains and on TV on Video On Demand nationwide.
"There were days I thought that it will never get out there," Greenspan says. "So it is a great feeling that people would be able to see my work and work of the actors and of the whole crew, it's really a great feeling."
Greenspan describes "51-50 Mall Cop" as a dark comedy with a cult classic vibe. "It's seriously inspired by independent movies that got me excited about becoming a filmmaker in the first place back in the '90s like Coen Brothers' movies and Wes Anderson people like that," Greenspan says. "It has that quirky, low-key, deadpan vibe, but it's got some really good performances from Jennifer Morrison and Kathleen Robertson and Derek Cecil. It's funny, but it's not like in your face funny. It's actually kind of sweet and sneaks up on you."
He continues, "I always conceived it as something that college students could take to, like a cult classic where they could pick up on the humor of the movie not everybody would, which is a weird thing to try to sell something on that. It has the same sort of feel like "Napoleon Dynamite" where you know you fall in love with the characters and the comedy comes from little quiet moments from observing the characters instead of set-up, punchline kind of thing."