“It was a thing that Eric had been thinking about for a while, but it felt like the right time to him” she tells EW. “I love Eric, and Eric and I have been working together for a very long time, so it was bittersweet. I’m happy he’s going to go on and do other things, but I’m really sad to not be able to work with him every day.”
The third episode will resume the timeline seen in the premiere, and looking ahead, she says she’s planning on using Dane’s absence to bring Justin Chambers and Jesse Williams to the forefront in a big way. “The loss of ‘McSteamy’ [Dane] is going to leave a giant hole in our world in terms of — for lack of a better phrase — man whore-ness. I’ve told the actors who play Alex and Jackson [Chambers and Williams] that we need some leading men here. We need to add to that pool, and they’re going to step up,” she says. “I think the breed of what Eric Dane did cam never be replaced, but I do think there’s some room for some men at the hospital to spread their wings. We haven’t seen that in a while.”
That includes, she adds, a possible love for Alex (“I’m looking for Alex to find his person”) and exploring the dynamic between Jackson and newly devirginized April (Sarah Drew). “I think it’s going to be funny, sexy, and good,” she says.
Read more at EW