Grey's Anatomy fans — more specifically, Cristina (Sandra Oh) and Owen (Kevin McKidd) fans — worried that the arrival of Teddy Altman (Kim Raver) to Seattle Grace might break up the happy couple. Now that Raver has been bumped up to series regular and is sticking around for a while, should we be expecting drama? Of course! TVGuide.com caught up with Raver to discuss how the Owen-Cristina-Teddy dynamic will continue to spiral out of control, what good things are ahead for Yang and Hunt and whether Raver is replacing Katherine Heigl.
TVGuide.com: First off, congratulations for becoming a series regular.
Kim Raver: I'm really excited.
TVGuide.com: What persuaded you to join Grey's Anatomy full time?
Raver: I love Teddy, I love the relationship between Teddy, Owen and Cristina. I think the writers are so talented. The relationship between the three of them is very different than you think; it's very Grey's. What you think it is is not necessarily what it is, and I love that.
TVGuide.com: Were you waiting with bated breath to find out whether or not you'd be sticking around?
Raver: Yeah, there was part of me like that, then part of me was thinking, "It's going to be what it's going to be," and it made me really present every day. Everyone on that set has been so welcoming and so fantastic, I thought, "Wow, if this turns into a series regular role, what a great opportunity to be a part of this group!" It was the best Christmas present. It was the day before Christmas when I found out.
TVGuide.com: Some are saying that you're basically replacing Katherine Heigl. What do you make of that?
Raver: I don't think anyone can replace Katherine Heigl, you know what I mean? I look at it more as an addition to all the other characters. My character is very different than hers. I'm just thrilled to be there and be with these extremely talented actors, so I wouldn't say replacing so much as adding to.
TVGuide.com: Have you had any Cristina-Owen fans come up and tell you that they hate you?
Raver: That was a big fear of mine before I even stepped onto Grey's. I think that [Shonda Rhimes] and her writers did an amazing job of introducing her. They are really sensitive to it all. She's not a homewrecker. When Owen was engaged in Iraq, she didn't cross those lines and she's not crossing those lines now. Yes, she is in love with him. I hope the fans were surprised to see that it's much more complicated. Owen and Cristina still really love each other and that's not going away, but wow, this is complicated. I've gotten fans being surprised, but saying, "Don't you break up that relationship!"
TVGuide.com: How is the relationship between Teddy and Cristina going to progress since they are in love with the same man?
Raver: You're going to see a real dynamic between Cristina and Teddy. I think Teddy really admires and was really starting to care for Cristina, so that also is creating an interesting dynamic among the three of them. She also has a drunken moment in the bar where she reveals a whole bunch of stuff to Cristina and it gets even deeper. There's some really well-written scenes coming where it gets really complicated. It really heats up in the next couple of episodes. Teddy gives Cristina this very complicated surgery to do, and that's really interesting because it's so layered. It's not just a work relationship, it's layered with all their emotions.
TVGuide.com: Do you think Teddy wants Cristina to fail in a back-handed way to be able to then steal her man?
Raver: No, I don't, but that's a really great question. That's the stinger; that's the problem. She may test her, but I think that's the problem for Teddy, is that she's in love with Owen. She probably wishes that Cristina wasn't as good as she is. I think she knows how good she is and how good she can become, and that outweighs — that's something that will definitely come out. She's not a backstabbing woman. That's what I love about her. With everything that she's been through — 9/11, losing her best friend, being in the Army, seeing what she's seen — she still just embraces life and loves life. She may not know what to do in that moment, but she's willing to figure it out.
TVGuide.com: I can imagine that Teddy will have trouble being around Owen after being shot down by him.
Raver: Yeah, she kind of keeps trying, keeps getting in there. It's a little uncomfortable. Whereas maybe some other character I've played may have shut down and become a bitch, Teddy doesn't become that. That's such a smart thing that Shonda and the writers have done. The viewers may have shut down. I think you start to see where all three of them are coming from and it's tense and there's drama, but there's a lot of comedy that comes out of that. It's delicious for me to play. It's not just about the homewrecker coming in and it's done.
TVGuide.com: So Teddy's not going to give up completely on Owen?
Raver: I don't think she's going to disrespect anyone, but you can still try to function and be in love with someone. I can say that the triangle definitely heats up in the next couple of episodes.
TVGuide.com: Will Teddy have a story line apart from Cristina and Owen now that you're a series regular?
Raver: I think eventually. This just happened over Christmas, so I haven't been able to talk to Shonda in-depth, but eventually it may have to go there so there's other things to follow. I'm guessing yes, but I could be wrong.
TVGuide.com: Might Teddy go after another guy at Seattle Grace?
Raver: I don't know, but I'd like to know who the fans think Teddy should go after.
Who would you want to see Teddy go after? Discuss in the comments.
Grey's Anatomy returns to ABC on Thursday, Jan. 14 at 9/8c.