After 14 seasons of Shonda Rhime's mega-hit, Grey's Anatomy, we didn't think she could do anything else to surprise us.
But, we were wrong.
It was announced earlier this year that two beloved characters, Dr. April Kepner and Dr. Arizona Robbins would be leaving the series.
Although the news appeared to take the actresses by surprise, they both came to accept the fact that they were both written off the medical drama.
"I know you’re sad. I’m sad too."
Fortunately for the ABC network, Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw only had positive things to say about their co-workers and production team.
“For the past 10 years, I have had the rare privilege of not only playing Arizona Robbins, but also being madly in love with playing her," Capshaw said in a statement.
"Arizona Robbins is kind, intelligent, funny, insightful, bold, playful, fierce and really good at her job. She was one of the first members of the LGBTQ community to be represented in a series regular role on network television. Her impact on the world is permanent and forever. Forever."
"I am grateful that I have gotten to bring her to life and for the life that she has brought to me," she continued. "I am sad to see her go, but I am consoled by the idea that she will continue to live on and on in all of our consciences and our imaginations. Shonda, thank you for the ride on this incredible roller coaster. With a heart full of love, Jessica.”
While Drew also thanked their fans for their kind words, her initial statement confirmed her shock.
"Thank you for all of the love," she wrote. "I know you’re sad. I’m sad too. I haven’t really had the time to process this information. I’ve been with it for less than 48 hours, so I’m not ready to say my thank yous and give an all encompassing statement about my 9 years here. That will come later. For now, I’d like to say: I love you, and I love April, and her story isn’t over yet."
"I’m a believer in things happening for a reason and finding beauty in the midst of grief."
However, in a lengthy interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the 37-year-old broke her silence over her departure from Grey's Anatomy, and she had a lot to say.
"I’m a believer in things happening for a reason and finding beauty in the midst of grief," Drew told the outlet. "I don’t regret or begrudge anybody this season of my life. I’m embracing it."
"I had a profound and incredible season of my life on Grey’s Anatomy,” Drew added. “I got to tell stories I believed in. I got to work with Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers and learn from the best. I got to work with an incredible community of people that I will have lifelong friendships with.
"I got to build a platform and have my children in an environment where I was cared for because of who Shonda is and how she takes care of her mamas and her women. It’s hard for me to come up with anything I could be angry about."
"I was told that the show had too many characters and that they needed to downsize."
It was initially rumored Drew and Capshaw were cut from the show in an effort to afford Ellen Pompeo's $20 million salary for her role as the titular character, Meredith Grey.
Pompeo, Rhimes and executive producer Krista Vernoff denied the claims, alleging the series is simply heading into a new direction.
However, production has announced that new cast members have been added for the upcoming season, which conflicts with Drew's statement.
"I was told that the show had too many characters and that they needed to downsize because they couldn’t service all of the characters effectively," she said in the interview.
"They didn’t want any of us to be left in the background and not getting much of a story. Because there were so many series regulars, they needed to downsize and to find some characters that they felt like they could tie up their stories well."
"Krista Vernoff said that she felt like April had been through so much and had come out the other side and that she didn’t know what she could put her through again," Drew continued.
"It was really hard to hear that. But Krista had a lot of very complimentary things to say about the work that I had done — especially this past season — and that April was going to have her happy ending."
"In the midst of it, I was devastated."
Drew added that she didn't initially like Kepner's "happy ending" as she expected her character and Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) to get back together in the end.
"In the midst of it, I was devastated that Jackson and April wasn’t an endgame,” she explained. "I thought Jackson and April were meant to get back together and they were going to get married again and realize they’d been crazy and it was just going to be this long, slow burn."
However, Drew said she eventually came around to the idea that Kepner would end up with Matthew (Justin Bruening), who her character once left at the alter.
"There’s a real sweetness to that story of April’s faith," Drew shared. "She ran off with Jackson and loved him and wouldn’t regret a single second of that relationship because it made her heart grow and she got a beautiful daughter out of it."
"She grew as a woman and as a person of faith. All of that had to happen. But there was something beautiful about the redemption story between April and Matthew. She hurt him worse than anybody had ever hurt him by walking away from him [at their wedding]."
"For there to be reconciliation from that scenario? That’s a really beautiful redemption story that there could be forgiveness there. He lost his wife and then finds his first love again. It’s lovely."
"[Being let go] was painful when it happened."
Although Drew said it would be "a bit painful" to watch Grey's Anatomy now that she was let go, she still has great respect for the series.
"[Being let go] was painful when it happened, but, in retrospect, I think it would have been hard for me to walk away from that job," Drew said.
"I was on it for nine years. It feels right and it feels like a good time to move on to something else with all the great love in my heart that I have for everybody and respect and gratitude for what that experience was. Playing a character for nine years is a long haul."
Do you agree with the decision to ax Drew from the show? Let us know in the comments!
[H/T: The Hollywood Reporter]