Born and raised in Scotland, Kevin McKidd is the latest acclaimed actor to join the cast of Grey’s Anatomy. He has established a name for himself playing roles in Trainspotting, HBO’s Rome, and last year’s NBC drama Journeyman. Now, you can watch him every week as Owen Hunt, the new trauma surgery attending at Seattle Grace Hospital, or as I like to call him, Major McHottie.
Kevin McKidd spoke to BuddyTV today about the direction that this season of Grey’s Anatomy will take, about his romantic pairing with Sandra Oh’s character Cristina Yang and about what his Grey’s Anatomy McNickname should be.
This is Debbie at BuddyTV, and today I’ve got Kevin McKidd on the phone, from Grey’s Anatomy. Hey Kevin, how’s it going?
Really good. You?
I’m good, I’m good. First, I wanted to congratulate you on becoming a series regular.
Thank you. I’m excited about it.
So, how has it been joining such a large cast that’s already well-established?
It’s been really great. I was nervous when I started because every job I’ve ever done before this, I have been in the job right from day one when everybody’s new and getting to know each other. So I was nervous because I had never done this before. And I feel really grateful to the Grey’s cast and crew and everyone there, really, because they’ve been so nice to me and gracious and accepting of me joining the show. The transition was much easier than I thought it might be, which I’m very grateful for.
Well, a lot of fans were really excited when you joined the cast as well, so I’m sure that helps.
Yeah. I’ve been checking things out and I’m really excited that people responded well to the character. He’s not an easy character to connect to, I think. There’s some darkness to him and there’s some danger to him that I think is really interesting and exciting to play. It seems to be so far, people are responding to him and connecting with him because he’s been through a lot in the recent past.
Yeah, I mean, I was going to mention that your character has kind of pretty much alienated all the other attendings and you’ve stabbed pigs. Is there anything you’re not going to do?
Probably not. You know, I think, at the end of the day, he’s basically a good man who has some pretty extreme teaching techniques that he learned in the army. And all these things that are in the show are actually the way trauma surgeons are taught. But I think probably beyond that, he very much just calls a spade a spade and looks at each scenario. He’s not trying to be difficult. He just looks at each scenario and each case and each patient and knows what is needed and when to cut to the chase, and doesn’t want to mess about with the periphery of it. And sometimes that gets him into trouble, and sometimes that is for the best. So, it’d be interesting and kind of exciting to see where he goes.
Your character kind of serves as a fresh set of eyes to all the doctors at Seattle Grace, and a couple of episodes ago, your character said all the people who work there are all self-involved and only care about their own relationships, and what do you think about that?
You know, I think what’s interesting about throwing Owen Hunt into this hospital is that all these people have been there for a long time, and it’s inevitable in any workplace that you’re going to become very involved with the people around you. And I think it’s interesting and fun to see a new character with completely fresh eyes come in and go, “What’s happening here? Why aren’t we focusing on the patients?” And I think that’s where the season is heading for him. And inevitably, as he struggles on, he starts to get involved slightly more than he would like with everybody because they’re his colleagues. You have to remember, he just lost all of his colleagues in Iraq. All the people he was closest to were taken from him in one fell swoop in that RPG which happened. So he’s very careful and really doesn’t want to connect with people. I think that tension is an interesting one to be there on the show.
And that brings us to the romance with Sandra’s character, Cristina. It would be Grey’s Anatomy if there weren’t going to be roadblocks in their relationship, but can you tell us what some of these road blocks might be?
It’s not going to be easy for them. What I read when I read the season premiere, and this is just my take on it, is that it was very much two very analytical people, Owen and Cristina. They’re very similar in a way, I think, as people. Two analytical people see each other over a crowded ER room and their eyes meet. It’s almost more complicated, but on a really simplistic level, it’s almost a love at first sight scenario that happened on the season premiere. And then, what we’re seeing is the road to connect that back, because obviously, the season premiere was before he went back to Iraq and this event has happened to him that’s changed him. And so, they’re trying to get that feeling back because there’s obviously something really true and meant to be between these two people. But it’s complicated right now because she’s damaged because of what’s happened to her, and he is certainly struggling with himself and the people around him and the world in general, and trying to keep himself together after what’s happened to him. So, I think, it’s exciting to see what happens with these two guys because, in a way, they’re the two people you’d least expect to have a love affair, but it’s happening to them and they can’t stop it.
Can you give us a preview of this Thursday’s episode?
In the last episode, Owen, outside Joe’s bar, doesn’t want to get close to her and she keeps trying to get close to him. And he kisses her and steps over that line a bit because he’s feeling a lot of stuff. He tries to bridge that gap, trying to make up for what he did in last week’s episode. Whether he does or not, you’ll have to wait and see.
OK. My final question is, have you or anyone on the writing staff thought of a McDreamy-type of nickname for Owen?
[laughs] No, but there seems to be quite a lot flying around at the moment. I’ve heard Shonda or someone in the writing room calls Owen Heathcliffe.
Heathcliff. Not McHeathcliff?
I just have to tell you that my nickname for your character is Major McHottie.
[laughs] That’s funny. I’m very flattered.
Great, well, I know you’re busy. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me.
It’s a pleasure.
-Interview conducted by Debbie Chang
(Image courtesy of ABC)