Grey's Anatomy, Kelly McCreary, Ellen Pompeo


Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) has one seriously twisted family tree on Grey's Anatomy. And it's actually crazier than she knows!

She even has a half-sister working right alongside her at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, and she has no idea!

New doc Maggie (Kelly McCreary) is the result of Meredith's mom Ellis (Kate Burton) and former Chief Richard's (James Pickens Jr.) affair, and though Ellis gave Maggie up for adoption as soon as she was born, she turned up at Grey Sloan Memorial in the season 10 finale to learn all about her biological family.

But as Maggie quickly realized in the season 11 premiere, Meredith is not at all the "warm and fuzzy" sister she was expecting to bond with, and so she's decided to keep her connection to Meredith a secret to everyone except Richardwho she doesn't realize is her father!

Grey's Anatomy, Kelly McCreary


Yeah, we told you it was twisted.

We got McCreary on the line to try and untangle some of the branches of the Grey family tree, and she revealed to us that even though Maggie is determined to keep her family ties to Meredith a secret, it won't stay secret for long. Plus, she dished all about what to expect from the "Maggie-centric" episode airing tonight. Check out our full Q&A with McCreary below!

Is Maggie really going to not tell Meredith about their connection after coming all this way to meet her?
We all know the truth is going to have to come out eventually and it can't stay secret for long. She's going to try to stick with it for a while. It's hard to open up to somebody who you don't like or to share a really important secret if you don't like them! She did come all this way to find out about her birth family and Meredith is the only lead that she's got. She's going to have to get over herself and I think the draw to know more about Ellis is going to win out.

I loved the scene at the end of the premiere where they both order tequila at the bar. Are we going to see more scenes like that where their similarities come out?
They continue to be in conflict professionally in the next episode, they're paired up on a case together and it doesn't go well, so we'll see that they're both super tenacious and very, very confident and competent doctors. They have that in common and they get that from their mother. We saw in the last episode that they already bicker like sisters naturally and that will continue. We'll see some parallel lines being drawn.

Grey's Anatomy, Kelly McCreary


Are we going to learn more about Maggie's adoptive family?
In the next episode we're going to learn more about them. She describes them as goofy and funny and loving and we're going to see examples of that that are really fun for the audience to see.

It seemed like Richard was going to tell Maggie who he was before she made that comment about not needing to meet anymore blood relations after she got pissed at Meredith. Is he going to keep his connection a secret too?
Richard's struggling with a lot with this woman showing up here. It's going to stay a mystery to Maggie a little while longer. It's in Richard's hands whether or not he tells her who he is. She's got no clue as to who he is.

So if she's not interested in bonding with Meredith, who is she going to connect with at the hospital?
"Connect with" may not be the best way to describe her relationships at the hospital! [Laughs.] She and Jo will explore a teacher/student, mentor/mentee relationship in the next episode. And she and Bailey will find out that they have some professional interests in common and Maggie will go to bat for Bailey. But really, Maggie's loneliness is something that will be explored in the next episode.

Is Maggie going to have any love interests? That would help with her loneliness!
[Laughs.] I certainly hope so! That would certainly make the loneliness go away. Look, it's Grey's Anatomy, I think we can assume that eventually that will happen but for now, her primary focus is figuring out her Ellis connection and that whole web of relationships.

How did it feel getting an episode that revolved all around your character so early in your Grey's run?
It was overwhelming and very surprising. I felt terrified and also really grateful that they trusted me with the institution of Grey's Anatomy for a whole episode. And I was really grateful to have all this new information about my character. Maggie's existence was as much a mystery to me as it was to the fans of Grey's, so in creating this character and figuring out who she is and how to play her, it was a huge gift to have 65 pages worth of material telling me exactly who she is. It was great!

Grey's Anatomy, Kelly McCreary


Let's get real for a moment here. Meredith's family doesn't have the best track record when it comes to surviving, and seeing as how her other half-sister Lexie died in such a tragic way, should we be worried about Maggie's fate?
[Laughs.] Meredith's family does drop like flies, don't they! I guess I should be worried but for now, there's still so many great stories and stuff to be mined and I think the audience is going to love watching Meredith and Maggie explore their relationship and keep butting heads and figuring out how to be colleagues and watching Maggie wrestle with the choice of whether to tell her sister that she's her sister.

Warn us now: Do we need to stock up on kleenex for this episode?
Oy, every episode makes me cry. Every episode of Grey's has those tearjerker moments that always get me. This week, the case that Maggie and Meredith share is an elderly woman who disagrees with her daughter about how she wants to be cared for and treated. Maggie and Meredith are on different sides of the issue as well. Watching the mother and daughter go through this is really sad. All of the end of life care stuff is really sad but it's also really beautiful. The incredible Eileen Ryan is playing the mother and she is just going to break your heart. Oh my god. She's great.

What are you most excited for fans to see from this season?
That's a great question! I am most excited for fans to see what happens when the truth is finally out whenever and however that actually happens. The audience is going to love to see how the chips fall. Meredith and Richard and Maggie and everyone involved in this are going to have reactions that no one expects and I am really excited for the audience to see that.  

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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