“ALEX IS AN IDIOT, BUT HE’S NOT EVIL.”
Meet Justin Chambers, one of the pillars of “Grey’s Anatomy”, while RTS broadcasts season 10 – yes, already! – every Wednesday at 21:15.
Justin Chambers with Camilla Luddington: “Jo really brings out the best in Alex.”
This is not Patrick Dempsey. True. But in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, between a predictable McDreamy and an arrogant Dr. Alex Karev and therefore always likely to surprise us, we much prefer the latter, embodied by Justin Chambers. Arriving in 2005 at Seattle Grace Hospital, as part of the first flock of interns, the actor saw the former ones leave, new ones arrive, all accompanied by a few small scandals. He has remained and says he’s very pleased. His character has also evolved well all this time, since he became licensed in pediatric surgery. Having met at the last Monte Carlo Television Festival, Justin Chambers, 44, returns to this key season of “Grey’s Anatomy”, the 10th, that RTS One broadcasts every Wednesday.
“Grey’s Anatomy” is becoming as significant as “ER.” What are its strengths?
It is a medical series, so you are facing life and death, tribulations, romance, too, and the relationships between the characters. These are the factors behind the success of the series. As well as the diversity of all the characters and their adventures. This is the number one asset, actually. In fact, this is something that no one was doing onscreen with doctors when “Grey’s Anatomy” appeared. The public is really fascinated with these characters. They want to know what happens to them in the next episode. So, yes, it works. (He smiles)
Other medical series have been created over the past decade, but none have achieved this success. What makes it so difficult to convince the public?
I don’t know. I think “Grey’s Anatomy” is a good mix of comedy and drama. And viewers really want to know what happens to the interns because they watch human beings become doctors. So we see them progress. That’s our thing. Most medical series only speak of medicine. I think that Shonda (note: Rhymes, creator of the series) has called “Grey’s Anatomy” since the beginning, is that they’re teenagers with scalpels. And it’s true. We are immature and that’s what people want to see.
What is your best memory of “Grey’s Anatomy” so far? The wedding of Alex and Izzie?
That is one of them. I have many. When you work on something for so long, the memories get a bit confusing, but it’s always exciting to get up in the morning. The cast has been renewed, they bring new energy, it’s interesting.
What makes you stay?
The job. It’s always good to have one! And you know, the producers want to keep Alex, they like him. And that’s something nice to have in mind when you go to the studios. I’m excited to work with the same people, it’s comfortable and it’s nice to have job security.
When the show was created, what was your reaction when you found out you were going to play someone pretentious and arrogant?
It was exciting! It’s always good to play someone different. I’m not like that in nature, so I’m having fun with my character. Playing the bad boy, it’s funny!
Alex is a bad person, in your opinion?
No. I think he’s an idiot! But obviously we discover in the course of the show he has a good heart, he is very sensitive and he hides it with an arrogant attitude. But he was more like that in the first seasons. That’s what makes the character interesting; you don’t know how he will react.
Back to you. After
college high school, you left the United States for France. For what reason?
I came to visit a friend with whom I grew up with in Ohio and who was studying in France. He told me to stay and I was spotted by a modeling agency. I then traveled for three years thanks to that job.
Do you speak a bit of French?
(In french) A bit…
You have five children. The oldest turns 20 in December. Does she study medicine?
No. But you know what, what inspires her in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is the music. This is also one of the aspects that has greatly contributed to the success of the show. She would like to be music supervisor. They aren’t composers but people who discover unknown artists to use their music in content, like the show. So she won’t be a doctor, but it’s not bad either!