Sarah Drew played Dr. April Kepner in the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. Alongside Jesse Williams (Jackson Avery), Drew joined the show in 2009. The actor played the trauma surgeon until she was written off the show in 2018. Although fans found her departure heartbreaking, Drew felt her character deserved a better ending.
The ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ actor left the medical drama
In 2018, Drew and her co-star Jessica Capshaw (Dr. Arizona Robbins) left Grey’s Anatomy after season 14. According to Deadline, showrunner Krista Vernoff asked them to leave because the show was taking a different “creative direction.”
“As writers, our job is to follow the stories where they want to go, and sometimes that means saying goodbye to characters we love,” Vernoff said. “It has been a joy and a privilege to work with these phenomenally talented actors.”
Sarah Drew fought for April to have a different ending
In April’s final episode, she marries Matthew Taylor (Justin Bruening), who she previously left at the altar for her former love interest, Dr. Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams). Often labeled “Japril,” their relationship was beloved by fans.
Grey’s Anatomy fans were dissatisfied with April’s ending. Similarly, Sarah Drew felt the same way. In Lynette Rice’s new tell-all book, How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy, the Entertainment Weekly editor gives an inside look into the medical drama series.
According to Insider, Drew revealed that she wanted April and Jackson to end up together. “I always, always wanted her to end up with Jackson, especially after they had their baby,” Drew told Rice. She added the pair had “great chemistry.”
Drew felt so strongly about April’s ending that she wrote a letter to Vernoff, urging her to change her character’s storyline. “I even wrote a very passionate letter to Krista after I read that final episode saying, ‘Can she just walk off? Like maybe kiss him and walk off into the distance doing something as an independent woman? Like, why does she need a man?’” she explained.
In the end, Drew came to appreciate the ending – she felt that April’s marriage to Matthew was a “lovely redemption story” for the character.
April Kepner returns to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17
After leaving the show in 2018, Drew made a special appearance in season 17. In the episode, April agrees to move to Boston with Jackson. He dreams of running his family’s foundation, the Fox Foundation. Now a divorced woman, April decides to go with him. So, they leave Seattle (with their daughter) to change the world of medicine in underrepresented communities. Soon after, Williams announced his departure from the show.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Drew opened up about William’s exit from Grey’s Anatomy. “I was excited to get to be a part of his departure,” she said.
She added, “That relationship between the two of us and ‘Japril’ is so meaningful to both of us. It felt like the perfect time to come back and do a special episode to be able to help Jackson make his big departure.”
Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 premieres on ABC on Sept. 30.
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