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Debbie Allen On The ‘Challenging’ Aspects Of Acting & Directing Grey’s Anatomy

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Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Harrah's

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Harrah’s

When she’s not wearing one of her many other hats as dancer, producer, director, choreographer and, what might be the hardest of them all, mother, extremely talented Debbie Allen can be seen acting (in addition to directing) on the hit ABC drama, Grey’s Anatomy.

Sitting down with Pat & Kim this morning, Debbie gave an inside look at what working on the set of Grey’s is like, including learning how to convincingly mimic surgery procedures and use the confusing technical jargon of a doctor.

[pullquote quote="It was like a love letter from the writers to write a part that fit me so well that I could really get into." credit="Debbie Allen"]

What started out as directing a few episodes of Grey’s Anatomy  has turned into a recurring role for Debbie Allen this season. Debbie has stepped in front of the camera as Dr. Catherine Avery, the mother of Dr. Jackson Avery portrayed by Jesse Williams.

“I had such a good time,” Debbie says about appearing on the show. “It was an incredible challenge for me as well.”

But it’s not simple task pulling off a skilled surgeon on TV, as Debbie quickly learned. “Stepping into Dr. Avery’s shoes was a really wonderful challenge, because the technical aspect of the show is really very challenging.”

She explains having to learn certain moves to act out a surgery scene –which they use real tissues a parts from animals — and practicing how to act and talk like a doctor.

“I felt like I was doing choreography,” she jokes.

Immersing herself into the role as the mother of Dr. Jackson Avery was simple for Debbie, because she explains the mother-son relationship is similar to her own.

“It was like a love letter from the writers to write a part that fit me so well that I could really get into,” Debbie told Pat & Kim.

For more details about her work on Grey’s Anatomy and more, listen to our full interview with Debbie Allen below!

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