An Interview with Kevin McKidd (Owen, 'Grey's Anatomy')

Photo: Scott Garfield © American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.

November 2009

One of the most difficult aspects of being an actor on a television show that hasn't hit it big in the ratings department is wondering whether or not you'll still have a job at the end of the day. It probably makes life a bit stressful. Now imagine going from a failing series to one of the most successful shows on primetime.

Such is the case with Kevin McKidd. Two years ago, I spoke with the extremely charming actor when he starred on the NBC drama , a fantastic series that had the great misfortune of airing during the infamous writers strike.

NBC's loss turned out to be ABC's gain as this talented actor landed a role on Grey's Anatomy as Dr. Owen Hunt.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to chat with Kevin once more about his role on the hit series and what's ahead for his character as a woman from Owen's past arrives at Seattle Grace. Could this be the beginning of the end for Owen and Cristina?

Q: What made you decide to pursue acting?

Kevin:
"I think I just fell into it. I was terrible at sports and painfully shy as a kid. I took a part in a school play and suddenly when I had a page with lines that someone else wrote, I found I could express myself through those words. That was the initial spark for me."

Q: If you weren't an actor, what sort of career path would you have followed?

Kevin:
"I think I would have been involved with music on some level. I'm very passionate about music, so I think I would be performing at some level.

Or, I would have ended up working construction like other members of my family."

Q: You and Patrick Dempsey starred in Made of Honor together, did the film lead to your role on Grey's Anatomy?

Kevin:
"I don't think so -- I asked Patrick about this and he said he had no idea I was showing up [on Grey's] until I showed up on the set.

I think it was just one of those happy coincidences."

Q: You have some pivotal episodes coming up on Grey's Anatomy, what can you tell us about them?

Kevin:
"It's a testing time for Owen and Cristina. They've worked so hard to get where they are and just when they think they're hitting solid ground, stuff happens in TV shows and their faith in each other is going to be tested. I personally hope they're going to pull through it because I think they have a real magic together."

Q: A woman named Teddy (played by Kim Raver) from Owen's past is coming to Seattle Grace -- does Owen bring her in so Cristina will finally have a mentor?

Kevin:
"I think Owen felt like Cristina dealt with so much over the last year with his problems and the PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), yet he kind of feels she doesn't need any help because she's so tough, but he realizes she needs help professionally. She's not being given the direction she needs and she's so talented, but what happens to hugely talented people when they flounder is they become distracted. He makes an attempt to try and refocus her and give her all she needs professionally. Ironically, that might be the thing that jeopardizes their love for each other."

Q: Did you do anything special to prepare for this role?

Kevin:
"I spoke with experts, people who worked one on one with returning troops, dealing with readjusting to life.

There are a lot of memoirs and autobiographies written by surgeons about the time they spent in Iraq I read. I wanted to make sure that what I did was a true representation of what is going on out there."

Q: Do people still ask you about ?

Kevin:
"They do! People really loved that show, which is testament to Kevin Falls and Alex Graves, who created the show. I'm still really proud of that show. I think if it had been in a different environment, a different climate, it would still be on the air."

Q: Do you Twitter?

Kevin:
(laughs) "I don't -- but should I?"

Q: Do you have a Facebook page?

Kevin:
"I do."

Q: Do you accept fans as friends on Facebook?

Kevin:
"No, I don't. I just use it for my pals from Scotland to keep in contact with them."

Q: Anything to say to the fans?

Kevin:
"It's always very flattering to know that people are watching and I'm very grateful that people seem to like the characters I've played."