Grey's Anatomy star Kevin McKidd calls 14-year run on the show 'a huge blessing'

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4 Apr 2023, 11:46

Kevin McKidd as Dr Owen Hunt in Grey's Anatomy

Credit: Rex

Grey’s Anatomy star Kevin McKidd has admitted he never expected to still be on the long-running medical drama after five years, let alone the near 15-year run he’s had. 

The Scottish actor plays Dr Owen Hunt on the beloved US drama, first being introduced in series five in 2008. He was quickly upgraded from guest-star across a few episodes to a series regular, and has been at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital ever since. 

While promoting his new ITVX drama Six Four, Kevin sat down with to chat about returning to the UK after such a long time States-side, and revealed that he still has to pinch himself over finding his feet in such a smash-hit like Grey’s, especially as he almost packed up and came home before starting the series.

When asked if he still expected to be filming Grey’s after all this time, Kevin shared: “No actor in this business expects to have a job for more than six months. That's the life of an actor, and that's the life I led many, many, many years before this thing came up. I came to LA to do a different show in 2008, right as the writer’s strike happened…and I remember thinking ‘oh my god we should go home, we should go back to Britain.'

“We said ‘no, let's just sit tight and see what happens next’. We sat out the strike, and the next phone call that came after the strike was [Grey's show creator] Shonda Rhimes with this part to play opposite Sandra Oh.”

Kevin originally only signed on for five years, but 14 years later, the Trainspotting star is not only starring in the series, but directing episodes too. 

“I can’t believe it, it’s been a huge blessing in so many ways,” he continued: “The irony is when I was a British piece actor, I didn't watch my kids grow up. I was constantly living out of a suitcase on a location here, there and everywhere. It gave me the ability to actually be with my kids, watch them grow up and be home at nights, and also do some great work and learn to be a director. I really love the character I play but I also really love that I’ve become a director too.”

Despite getting his start in the UK in projects such as Anna Karenina and The Virgin Queen, Kevin believe he wouldn't have been able to get as many opportunities to act and direct if he was still on this side of the pond. 

The star added: “For better or for worse, there's obviously a class system in Britain. I think it's harder when you’re a highlander from a council house in the north of Scotland, to get those opportunities. I feel very fortunate that my life is where it is and I'm doing the things I'm doing.

“14 years? Did not see that happening! None of us did. Every day we sit on the set and go ‘how many more seasons do you think we've got?’ We always, for the last decade, have said, ‘I think you've got one more season, maybe two at a stretch’, and we've been saying it for a decade.”

Good news for Kevin and for hardcore fans too, as ABC have confirmed Grey’s Anatomy will return for a landmark 20th series next year, making it the longest-running medical drama in TV history.

Kevin’s new series, Six Four, is available to stream on ITVX now. Grey's Anatomy is available to watch on Disney+