Fans were not happy to see April leave the series. And no one was more disappointed than the actress herself, Sarah Drew.
For the first time, she is speaking out in detail about how the news was broken to her, how she reacted, and what she wishes had been different.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sarah Drew finally details how she found out that she was leaving Grey’s Anatomy.
First of all, she explains the reason that she was given.
“I was told that the show had too many characters,” Drew reveals. “And that they needed to downsize because they couldn’t service all of the characters effectively.”
So we shouldn’t blame Ellen Pompeo and her huge salary, in other words.
Drew explains: “They didn’t want any of us to be left in the background and not getting much of a story.”
Writing a book and writing a TV series are not the same, and have different considerations because there are real people involved.
Drew also shares that a showrunner explained why her character in particular went to the chopping block.
“Krista Vernoff said that she felt like April had been through so much and had come out the other side,” Drew says. “And that she didn’t know what she could put her through again.”
Viewers are familiar with watching a beloved character suffer again and again and wanting them to get their happily ever after.
Well, shows are built on conflict. Most characters don’t get a happily ever after and to get to stay on the show.
“It was really hard to hear that,” Drew admits. “But Krista had a lot of very complimentary things to say about the work that I had done — especially this past season — and that April was going to have her happy ending.”
The news was, of course, difficult to take.
“It was in the afternoon and I went back to my trailer and I did my crying and called my people,” Drew shares. “A whole bunch of people came into my trailer to give me hugs and cry with me and tell me they were so sad I was leaving.”
Thta sounds devastating.
“I was supposed to be shadowing Kevin this whole episode with the hope that I would get to direct an episode of Grey’s,” Drew reveals. “But [after being let go] it seemed like wasn’t a possibility anymore.”
She says that her Emmy nomination was a source of comfort.
“My confidence had gotten a bit shaken in the wake of being let go,” Drew confesses. “And the nomination after the fact made me go, ‘I don’t need to be worried about anything or have my confidence shaken.”
Like many Japril shippers who watched at home, Drew had imagined that things would go differently for her character.
“In the midst of it, I was devastated that Jackson (Jesse Williams) and April wasn’t an end game,” Drew confesses.
She thought that April would be looking into those famously beautiful eyes for the rest of her life.
“I thought Jackson and April were meant to get back together,” Drew admits. “And they were going to get married again and realize they’d been crazy and it was just going to be this long, slow burn.”
So many viewers have been there.
Drew acknowledges: “But after thinking about it, there’s a real sweetness to that story of April’s faith.”
Drew says: “She ran off with Jackson and loved him and wouldn’t regret a single second of that relationship because it made her heart grow and she got a beautiful daughter out of it.”
“She grew as a woman and as a person of faith,” Drew affirms. “All of that had to happen.”
That was not endgame for the character, however.
“But,” Drew says. “There was something beautiful about the redemption story between April and Matthew.”
When the show you love doesn’t end a character or storyline the way that you’d like, well, that’s why fanfiction exists.