Jessica Capshaw on the new and improved Arizona on this season of “Grey’s Anatomy”


AE: And that’s what makes good TV, too. If you were always so perfect and happy and in love, that would be so boring.

JC: I know, for the people on Twitter who were so upset, I kind of ended up leaning into it and making it—the big joke was, “Listen, you’re watching TV for drama and thrills, you’re not watching to be bored and have a monotonous experience. You’re going for the drama and going for the thrills. Just go for it!”

AE: What else is happening with Arizona outside of her relationship with Callie? Is she still dealing with the PTSD and fallout from the amputation?

JC: I think that’s where it’s headed. I think this season is about understanding herself separate from her relationship and figuring out sort of how to get to a pure version of herself that isn’t about being defined as the person who survived the plane crash or the car crash or the trip to Africa. It’s now “Who is she and who does she want to be?” And what does this character that people first met five seasons ago, can she—not can she get back to that but can she be the new and improved version of it? I’m hoping she’ll get back to a little bit of her joy.

AE: I was going to ask: Do you get to have any lighthearted moments this season?

JC: Yes, she had a bit of a moment with Karev where it’s like, “Listen, people live through this every single day. You have to stop beating yourself up. That cannot be fun.”

AE: Grey’s is so widely watched I’m sure you have fans of the show approaching you but do you ever have fans that recognize you specifically from The L Word at all?

JC: No, I think I hear—on Twitter I will see that sometimes, you know? I feel like there was such a huge following of The L Word. But I mean I played—listen, when I did it, no one was talking about it and if they were saying anything, honestly I remember it being kind of negative. My character came in and I was the person that got in between people. So people didn’t like it, is my memory of it.

You know what’s really funny is my son is in school with—he was in preschool and now he’s in kindergarten—but in preschool one of his best friends had two moms. And so his life has just been, that’s completely been part of his world and his community. And now in kindergarten they have this thing where they take out books on Fridays and he checked out a book and we were sitting there reading it. He’d read it with my husband a couple times and he was reading it with me for the first time and it was about was Eleanor Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart and how they were friends and this cool story about them together. On one of the pages it had a picture of them together, their faces together. And he said, “I don’t remember what happens—wait, are they married?” And it was the sweetest most pure nothing moment, which was what made it so awesome. Because in his world that was as simple as anything. It will never—he’ll never have a moment where he thinks that’s out of the norm or not what other people do or whatever. And I thought, “Gosh that’s saying a lot as far as where we are in the world.” I’m not sure that that’s everywhere, and at some point it will be, but right now, right here, that was happening. And I just thought, “That’s great.” I wanted to say yes! But I could not be dishonest. He can’t be the kid when he gets older that thinks Amelia Earhart was married to Eleanor Roosevelt.

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