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

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

  • ChileVision-y-Mediapro-Studio

    The Mediapro Studio, ChileVision Sign Co-production Pact, Set ‘El Discipulo del Chef’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID  —  Spanish production powerhouse The Mediapro Studio and Chilean broadcast network ChileVisión, part of  Turner Latin America, have signed a co-production pact, kicked off by “El discípulo del Chef,” an ambitious entertainment format. One of Mediapro’s big new unscripted plays, the show will be introduced to buyers at October’s Mipcom trade fair. The title [...]

  • david-tennant-in-netflix-procedural-criminal

    David Tennant, Hayley Atwell Among Guest Stars in Netflix Procedural ‘Criminal’

    A host of guest stars have signed on for “Criminal,” the stripped-down Netflix procedural set in France, Spain, Germany and the U.K. The action takes place within the confines of a police interview suite. There are three 45-minute episodes set in each country. Guest stars in the British installments include David Tennant (“Good Omens”), Hayley [...]

  • Baztan Elizondo Guardián Invisible

    Conecta Fiction: Spain’s Navarre Primes Film-TV Gameplan

    MADRID  — Navarre has been a long-term film and TV shooting locale thanks to diverse and sometimes stunning landscapes that take in the Bardenas Reales badlands, immortalized in titles such as “The World Is Not Enough” and “Game of Thrones.” One of Spain’s richest regions, Navarre has historically levied its own tax regime, which led [...]

  • Jeremy Sisto, Ebonee Noel, Dick Wolf,

    Dick Wolf Plots Cross-Network Crossover Between CBS, NBC

    Veteran television producer Dick Wolf, best known for creating the “Law & Order” franchise, is eyeing a cross-network crossover between his CBS freshman procedural “FBI” or its in-the-works spinoff “FBI: Most Wanted” and one of his NBC shows, such as “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” or “Chicago P.D.” The decision whether to go with [...]

  • Prince Albert II of Monaco (C),

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union's 'L.A.’s Finest' Opens Monte Carlo TV Festival

    Prince Albert II of Monaco opened the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival on Friday at a glittering ceremony at the principality’s Grimaldi Forum attended by Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. The Hollywood actresses presented the French premiere of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest,” which has just been renewed for a second season. “You typically [...]

  • Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba'L.A.'s Finest'

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union Speak About Horrific 'L.A.’s Finest' On-Set Accident

    Actresses Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba spoke about how the horrific accident on the set of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest” affected them and the crew at the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival Saturday. They also paid tribute to the main victim of the incident, executive producer/co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier, whose leg was amputated below [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content