Last season Grey’s Anatomy ended with Richard finding out that the newest doctor at the hospital, Dr. Maggie Pierce, came to Seattle for more than just a job. She wants to know more about her biological mother, who was none other than Dr. Ellis Grey. BuddyTV had the opportunity to chat with Kelly McCreary over the phone about playing Maggie and what’s coming next in season 11.

Read on to see what McCreary had to say about joining the show, Maggie’s relationships with Meredith and Richard, this week’s Maggie-centric episode, and more.

'Grey's Anatomy' Exclusive Interview: Kelly McCreary on 'Clashing' with Meredith and a 'Shift' with Richard

What’s it been like joining Grey’s Anatomy?

It’s been really awesome. It’s so much fun to work with this material and these great actors. I feel very, very lucky. TV is better than film for roles for women certainly. I definitely acknowledge that. I just feel like it’s a rare opportunity to be able to play somebody that is so complex and fully realized and smart and fierce and compassionate and awkward and the whole thing. I love it. It’s a great character, and everybody has been really kind and warm and welcoming. I think everybody likes a new person to play with at work, so getting to be the new kid on the block is really cool in that respect for me personally. I’m having a much better experience than Maggie, put it that way.

Let’s talk a bit about Maggie professionally. She comes into the hospital just as Cristina’s leaving, so it’s clearly not an ideal situation. How would you describe her work ethic and her as a doctor?

I think she’s a really good doctor. She’s obviously super-bright. She’s very young to be as high up in her field as she is. She is a really great problem-solver and I think her patient care approach is very compassionate and very – she puts the patients’ desires first, and we’ll see that in a storyline coming up in the next episode, how much she really cares about people but at the same time is able to keep a clear head and do the right thing medically all the time. She’s a great doctor. I think she’s really impressive.

Maggie’s relationship with Meredith is already off to a rocky start – and Meredith doesn’t even know they’re sisters yet. Will we see more of what we saw in the premiere, or will they begin to warm up to each other?

They’re going to work on a case together, and you’re going to see that their approaches are really different. The way that they make decisions about what to do for their patients is different and then the way of course, that they deal with other doctors. It’s just going to keep clashing unfortunately for a while – or fortunately, if you like to see that kind of thing.

How long can Maggie really keep the fact that they’re sisters secret from Meredith? I feel like it’s likely come out at the worst possible time.

I think Maggie would have liked things to go better. She would like to share the secret with somebody she likes. She doesn’t like Meredith, but at the same time, she’s come all this way to solve this mystery of who she is, where she came from and from whom she came. I think she’s got a lot of reasons to keep it secret and just as many to try to try again with Meredith. The relationship has got to get better before she’s willing to open up like that.

You said she wants to find out about where she came from, but how much does Maggie know about Ellis? Does she know about her Alzheimer’s?

Maggie doesn’t know about the Alzheimer’s. Maggie knows that she was a great doctor. She probably knows about as much as you can Google about someone who was as accomplished as Ellis was. She knows where she practiced medicine and she was drawn all the way there to Seattle from Boston to find out more, but yeah, there is a lot of dark stuff about Ellis that I think Maggie is not expecting to find out.

How does she handle finding stuff out like that?

I don’t know. It hasn’t happened yet.

Maggie’s confiding in Richard, but he is keeping a pretty big secret from her. How would you describe their relationship now and also in the next few episodes?

At this point, Richard’s kind of the only friendly face in the hospital for Maggie. She hasn’t really connected with anybody yet. I think he’s going to continue being a touchstone for Maggie until the truth comes out and it’ll have to shift the dynamic. There will be a shift.

In the premiere, Maggie talks briefly about her parents. Are we going to see or hear more about her family and backstory?

Yes, in the next episode, we are going to learn more about her adopted parents back in Boston, and that’s a really fun, sweet little part of the storyline. We heard her say in the first episode how funny and sweet and loving they were and it’s really true. We’ll get a really nice fun illustration of that in the next episode.

What can you preview about this week’s episode? The synopsis says that Maggie finds herself in “extremely unfortunate situations”…

She just keeps trying really hard to connect with the other doctors in the hospital and just really failing, putting her foot in her mouth in just embarrassing and comical ways and really just failing, failing at making friends. It’s a really good thing she’s such a great doctor because she has some social skills to work on.

Will Maggie find any other friends at the hospital?

I think down the road she will find some other friends. She has a nice connection with Bailey over their interest in the genome lab and we’ll see that has a lot of potential to grow. Their professional interests might become personal.

Is there any romance in Maggie’s future? This is Grey’s Anatomy, it’s bound to happen.

Right, exactly. Because it’s Grey’s Anatomy, I think we can assume there is. But at the moment, Maggie is pretty fixated on her family and starting a new job, a gigantic new job at a very important institution. Romance will have to take a back seat for a little while.

Grey’s Anatomy season 11 airs Thursdays at 8 pm on ABC. 

How do you want to see Meredith find out about her sister? Which doctor do you want to see as Maggie’s love interest?

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Meredith Jacobs

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

If it’s on TV — especially if it’s a procedural or superhero show — chances are Meredith watches it. She has a love for all things fiction, starting from a young age with ER and The X-Files on the small screen and the Nancy Drew books. Arrow kicked off the Arrowverse and her true passion for all things heroes. She’s enjoyed getting into the minds of serial killers since Criminal Minds, so it should be no surprise that her latest obsession is Prodigal Son.