Grey's Anatomy Preview: Eric Stoltz Discusses His Killer Role
Eric Stoltz in director mode, on the set of Grey's Anatomy.
When Grey's Anatomy resumes its season this Thursday at 9 pm/ET, Seattle Grace's finest will get a collective case of the heebie-jeebies when a death row inmate is admitted with critical injuries. Eric Stoltz (Pulp Fiction), who occasionally directs for ABC's hit medical drama, steps in front of the camera for the next three episodes to play the enigmatic serial killer. Stoltz gave us a look at the doctor-dividing dilemmas to come.
TVGuide.com: There's a bit of a disconnect between "Eric Stoltz" and "serial killer." One, are you glad there's that disconnect? And two, do you think it helps you bring something different to the role?
Eric Stoltz: [Laughs] Yes, I am happy that I really don't have much in common with killers. Absolutely. But, that being said, it's always bracing to explore what I might actually have in common with them underneath at all. Throughout the course of the day, I do have impulses to lash out at someone or to ram the car that took my parking space or yell at the cab that splashed water on me. But because I'm living in society and want to be a good person, I don't let those impulses out.
TVGuide.com: Is your character, William, remorseful at all?
Stoltz: You think he might have some remorse, but he could also be playing at having remorse, in order to get what he wants. Sociopaths tend to be pretty good actors. Nobody had any idea what Ted Bundy was up to for a long time.
TVGuide.com: To be clear, this story arc isn't about whether William could get loose and go on a rampage in the hospital, but to what lengths the doctors should go to save his life, right?
Stoltz: Either of those [stories] could come to be. You never know, it's [Grey's creator] Shonda Rhimes!
TVGuide.com: Does William's case present divisive moral and ethical dilemmas for the doctors?
Stoltz: Absolutely. When someone on death row is brought to a hospital, doctors are confronted with their own ethical code. "Is it right to save the life of someone who has done so much bad in the world?" "What is a doctor's job and how should one respond to this situation?" It presents a lot of interesting, rich things for all these talented actors to play with.
TVGuide.com: Particularly toward the end of your arc, you have a lot of scenes with Ellen Pompeo. Does William create any sort of drama for Meredith and/or her relationship with Derek?
Stoltz: Yes, I certainly insinuate myself into their relationship and am the source of not a little strife.
TVGuide.com: Is he a charmer despite his "shortcomings"?
Stoltz: I would like to think so!
TVGuide.com: Of course you would. What was it like becoming a part of the very Grey's cast you raved about the last time we spoke?
Stoltz: It was a joy. They didn't hesitate to knock me down a few pegs and remind me that I am no longer directing them.
TVGuide.com: Will there be any sort of body count during your three-episode run?
Stoltz: Uh, possibly!
TVGuide.com: OK, give us one last super-vague tease that won't make Shonda angry.
Stoltz: [Laughs] I've probably already said too much.