×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jason George Says ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Firefighter Spinoff Will Test Ben and Bailey’s Relationship

After nine seasons on “Grey’s Anatomy” actor Jason George might have seen his fill of the intense life-and-death dramas at Grey Sloan Memorial and his character Ben Warren’s regular rollercoaster ride of a relationship with Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson). But instead, he’s turning up the heat – literally, as both actor and role are heading to a Shonda Rhimes-produced spinoff set in a Seattle firehouse.

The as-yet-untitled, still-unscheduled ten-episode offshoot – the second “Grey’s” spinoff, in the wake of “Private Practice” – is already shooting, and here, George talks with Variety about eagerly diving into the demanding new environment, which finds Ben shifting careers to find even more action fighting fires – and possibly even more friction in Ben’s often fiery romance with his wife.

Shonda has sprinkled a little fairy dust on your character and you’re going through this development process of a whole brand new series. What has that experience has been like for you?

It’s exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. I’ve always been like the Energizer bunny. I can just keep going for days and days, but I realized there is a wall. I’m tired, but I’m ecstatic. So I just go to bed and wake up the next day excited because every actor is always looking for new challenges. What I love about playing Ben is that Ben’s always looking for new challenges. He was an anesthesiologist, became a surgeon, and now he’s a surgeon who’s looking for new challenges. He applied to the firefighting academy.

Describe the premise of this new show in as many details as you can, as well as why you’re creatively excited for it.

I love testing the Ben and Bailey relationship, so we’ll see if it breaks, if this is the straw that breaks that back. I love the fact that Ben was definitely afraid of fire, but ran into a fire to save a friend. It says a lot about who he is at the core of his being. I want to learn more about me as a person, I want to learn more about what it is to charge into things that scare the hell out of you. I think the fun thing about firefight spinoff is that firefighters are on for 24-hour shifts and they become like a family. They eat together, they’re sleeping there – it’s like the “Grey’s” family, except for when the “Grey’s” family makes mistakes, a patient dies. When these guys make mistakes your partner dies, your friend dies, your lover, whatever, dies. That’s an interesting new level and new twist to the work-family kind of
thing.

What have you learned from the real firefighters? Have they told you something crucial that unlocked what that experience is like for you?

It’s fun being around these guys because they’re men — they’re guys — but you see how emotional they can get if they couldn’t get there for somebody, and how much it means to them. That, to me, is a really incredible, powerful thing. It speaks volumes.

Have you started spending time and doing the training regimen with your co-stars?

Oh yeah. We’ve been training and we’ve been shooting. I was out with two of the guys last night, hanging out. They’re a fantastic cast I think people are going to fall in love with. Jaina Ortiz is a blast. We got Oak [Onaodowan] from “Hamilton.” For any of the “Hamilton” fans out there – he was Hercules Mulligan and Madison in that. You’ll
recognize Jay Hayden from “The Catch.” The cast is a pretty spectacular group of people. We got Paris Barclay who’s directing it – the former president of the DGA, so the bona fides are there! There’s [showrunner] Stacy McKee, who wrote “Grey” for several seasons, and has been around from “Grey” since Season One. If you love “Grey’s,” you will dig the spinoff.

More TV

  • Kenan Thompson

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilots 'Saving Kenan' and 'Like Magic'

    NBC has ordered comedies “Saving Kenan” and “Like Magic” to pilot. “Saving Kenan” is a single-camera comedy starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Kenan Thompson as a “newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.” Jackie Clarke will serve as writer and [...]

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    'The First' Canceled at Hulu After One Season

    Hulu has grounded the space exploration drama “The First” after one season, Variety has confirmed. The series hailed from Beau Willimon and starred Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone in Penn’s first regular television role. “The First” was set in the near future and followed the first human mission to Mars. Hulu gave the show a straight-to-series order in [...]

  • Nicole Maines Supergirl Trans Hollywood Portrait

    TV Roundup: 'Supergirl' Drops First Look at Nicole Maines as TV's First Trans Superhero

    In today’s TV News Roundup, The CW releases a first look at Nicole Maines on “Supergirl” and Variety unveils an exclusive look at Gabriel Iglesias’ new comedy special.  FIRST LOOKS truTV has released the first trailer for season 2 of Emmy-nominated series “At Home with Amy Sedaris.” The variety sketch comedy returns Tuesday, Feb. 19 at [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most

    Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most Outrageous Moments

    It is perhaps only fitting that two documentaries about the disastrous Fyre Festival, one of the most high-profile fraudulent failures in history, would arrive during the same week — a fitting cap on a tragicomedy of errors that, as both films outline in excruciating detail, unfolded like a slow-motion plane crash in the spring of [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

  • annapurna logo

    Annapurna TV Taps Amazon's Patrick Chu as Senior VP, Promotes Ali Krug

    Annapurna TV has brought on Patrick Chu as the division’s new senior VP. Prior to that, he had served as an executive for Amazon in drama, production, and development, where he oversaw small-screen adaptations of “Hanna” and “The Hunt.” He will develop and produce new TV projects, focusing on drama, at his new role at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content