Note to all you die-hard fans concerned over the fate of Cristina and Owen: Kevin McKidd is right there with you.
"I feel angst about it because I feel that my job description is to be Cristina Yang's guy," the sexy Scotsman (who just made People's Most Beautiful list) admits, while hinting that a "surprising" payoff may be on the way.
Hear that? Surprising!
What will happen with Cristina (Sandra Oh) and Owen (McKidd) is the most frequently asked Q of any TV show this season, and since Grey's returns tonight, here's my exclusive chat with Kevin about that very matter, plus Rome movie scoop and more...
[Note: Some of this interview took part on the set of Grey's Anatomy a few weeks back (as evidenced by the video above), and then we also talked yesterday, right as Kevin was wrapping up this season of Grey's and flying off to London to shoot a film called The Great Ghost Rescue with Jason Isaacs.]
First of all, thanks for still talking to me now that you're all big and fancy on People's Most Beautiful list. Congratulations!
[Laughs.] Thank you. I was shocked by that! I guess I'm changing the goal post of what is considered to be beautiful. I found out a couple weeks ago and it's cool.
As you wrap up this season of Grey's, what can you tell the fans about Owen and Cristina?
Well, people are worried about Owen and Cristina breaking up, right? The thing that people have to remember is that even if they do, it might create situations where Cristina and Owen act together even more. People have been going, "Why haven't we seen more of you guys together?" But in a way, [a breakup] should make people less anxious. The feeling I get is that people in the writing room are really invested in [the Owen and Cristina] relationship, whether they are in a relationship or not. In a broken-up relationship there can be more interesting stories to tell.
Looking back on this season, are you happy with Owen's journey?
Owen is messed up all the time, let's face it. [Laughs.] But even though he was so messed up last season, he got a lot of things right and this season, he's got a lot of things wrong. He didn't pick up the hints from Cristina, wasn't able to read her mind early in the season. He tried to fix it like guys do--they find if there's a problem with the woman they love, they try and do some big thing to fix it--and that big thing on Owen's part was to bring Teddy [Kim Raver] in. That's caused huge tension for them in the relationship. This is probably his season for screwing up. Even though I think he's done a lot of it with the best of intentions.
Is there any chance he can redeem himself?
There is a chance. There's a definite chance for that.
Can you understand why this season has been hard on the fans of Owen and Cristina?
Completely. There's a separation between me and Owen, and I as the actor was employed initially to come into this show to be Cristina's love interest. And what's interesting is there's an ongoing discussion about "Is that what Owen's going to continue to be or not?" That's where there uncertainty has come from this season. I feel angst about it because I feel that my job description is to be Cristina Yang's guy and if I'm not delivering on that, I'm not doing my job properly. What's interesting is that a lot of that heated debate between myself and the writers and in between the writers has created a situation that hopefully by the season's end is going to pay off in quite a surprising way.
Does it feel nice that the fans care so deeply about Cristina and Owen?
I'm really excited by that, obviously, because I love working with Sandra Oh. You don't very often find a partnership. I've been lucky, I did a show called Rome with Ray Stevenson, and Ray and I found that really special bond and chemistry. I found it with him and I feel like I found it with Sandra. We feel as though something clicked, and it feels like it makes sense and it matters. I'm really proud of the fact that people are passionate about it. Hopefully that means we're doing our job well. There's something about Owen and Cristina that I find passionate and I think they're interesting. They're kind of mixed up as a couple, but I like that.
Rome was amazing. What's the status of the movie?
There's just no chance of doing it this hiatus, so the tentative plan is to try and get it done next summer, in between seasons seven and eight of Grey's. Everybody in the cast whose character still lives--they've all verbally said yes, we're absolutely up to doing it. There's still that intent. Part of the money is there, I think about 50 percent of the financing is there. We're almost there.
In your two best-known roles so far, on Rome and Grey's Anatomy, you've played characters who have anger management issues. And yet you seem like the sweetest, most charming man in real life...What gives?
I inherited my dad's temper, which is not a bad temper because my dad is very Celtic. He'll flare up about some stupid little thing for about two seconds, then it's like nothing ever happened. I'm definitely not a violent man, the Rome guy. And I'm not the way Owen sometimes can be. I've definitely got the Celtic fire, maybe that's why I'm able to play those roles, because I've got Celtic blood in my veins. It drives my wife crazy.
I know you can't say much at all about what happens with Owen in the season finale, or the outcome of the love triangle, but can you tell us whether you spend more screen time with Sandra (Cristina) or Kim (Teddy) in the two-hour season ender?
Hmmm…In all honesty, I'd say over the two hours it's 50/50. It's more Teddy in the first hour, and more Cristina in the second hour.
Are you rooting for Cristina and Owen to stick together, or do you agree that a breakup would be just as interesting? Comment below.
And check out this sneak peek of tonight's episode of Grey's Anatomy on ABC...
Rank Kevin's American accent among other actors in our Sham Yankees gallery!