About.com Interviews Justin Chambers

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Ever wonder just what the pompous, yet charming Alex Karev is thinking?

In a recent interview, Fred Topel, an entertainment authority for About.com, takes a look inside the mind of Justin Chambers, who plays Alex on TV's best show. Below, Justin talks about how Grey's Anatomy has changed his life, as well as his most recent motion picture appearance as star of The Zodiac.


Justin on Alex Karev:

"Some cool stuff's going to happen with Alex. He's definitely going to go back to the darker side. He's going to fall into that. He just has a lot to work out. He doesn't know how to express himself correctly. I think he's in love with Izzy, but she's not."

On contributing to Alex-related story lines:

"Yeah, I've had a few ideas. Sometimes they'll listen, and sometimes they don't. I just give them ideas. I'm not a writer. Far from it. Sometimes, we'll get the script a day before we start shooting. Then throughout even shooting that week, they'll change things completely, and even take the character in a different way. It's always a surprise."

On Grey's Anatomy guest stars:

"We had Laurie Metcalfe. Mary Kay Place came on right before. And then recently you saw Natalie Cole. That's what makes the job fun. You come in, not knowing who's coming in, and you watch their work and get to learn. They're usually really gracious, and exciting to watch. It's a really nice gig."

On learning medical jargon:

"We have a wonderful woman, Linda Klein, who's the technician. So, if we ever have a question about a certain surgery or disease, we can just talk to her about it, and she'll break it down into common folk language. Sometimes, just getting down some of the three or four syllable words is enough work. The show really is about relationships, more than anything, and some of the patients."

On how Grey's Anatomy has changed his life:

"Grey's Anatomy is the most success I've had. A television show like that really reaches a lot of people. We live in a small place outside of Manhattan. No one gives a crap [about what I do], and no one knows. I've always been the guy from such and such film, but it was never like people would come up. Now, with the impact of Grey's, that's starting to change. But, it was kind of cool that way because my kids lived a pretty normal life, and I made enough to pay my bills and got to work. I guess it's changed, in that way. The popularity of the show has made me more visible and made people more aware of who I am. I get a lot of cat calls. It's like, ‘It's a character. Give me a f---ing break.' Some people are like Trekkies with this show. There's some women out there who are really into it. And then, the guys are always like, ‘Oh, my wife loves your show,' but they know everything about it too."

On his weirdest Grey's Anatomy fan encounter:

"Nothing too weird. Those are questions for Patrick Dempsey. I'm sure he's had some crazy things happen. We went to some convention recently, and there were a few women that I sort of felt like were elbowing me to get passed me to get to Dempsey. But, it was as if they really believed I was the character, which is great. I'm doing my job. I don't give a crap. I really don't. Am I going to ask you out for a drink? No."

On his inability to research his character for The Zodiac, Sgt. Matt Parish:

Justin Chambers in The Zodiac (2005)

"He was a composite of a few different detectives in different jurisdictions. This character is sort of out of [director] Alex [Bulkley]'s mind, so I had a bit of a creative license to go with him how I thought he would do it. My idea was to go to this town, a week and a half before we started shooting, and just engross myself in the community a little bit. I would drive around and just map out Vallejo, and just try to place myself, living there, at this period of time. I just put myself back in the 60s."

On how he was affected by the movie:

"Matt definitely had a lot to deal with, and I think that would be trying on everybody. I was tweaked out a little bit, during the filming. You can see it in Matt's eyes. Here's a guy who's chasing a phantom, and your imagination starts to get carried away because you don't know who this is or what they look like or what they're about. It can run the whole gamut. This is a guy who is trying to get the bad guy to protect his family and protect his community. He was very serious and charmless."

On the era of the Zodiac Killer:

"Something crazy was going on. The whole sex, drugs and rock and roll was really starting to happen. There were the racial riots in the South. King was assassinated, and Kennedy. I wasn't there. But, with Matt, all this stuff was going on in the outside, but in his protective little bubble, it wasn't. And, now, it really was bleeding into it."

On the upcoming Zodiac Killer movie, directed by David Fincher (of Se7en and Fight Club fame):

"I'm sure it's going to be very good. I like his films. Somebody said that they're going to have an ending, which doesn't make sense to me. Like, they catch the killer. That's what I heard. I don't know if it's true. Maybe it's just speculation of what could have happened. It's pretty scary, somebody who hides and sends letters. You don't know who it is. Is he dead? Was he 18 when he committed these [murders]? He could be alive. Was he from the town?"

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

MEREDITH: "You don't get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was done! All the boys and all the bars and all the obvious daddy issues, who cares? I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I'm all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don't get to call me a whore."
DEREK: "This thing with us is finished. It's over."
MEREDITH: "Finally."
DEREK: "Yeah, it's done."
MEREDITH: "It is done."

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.