Stefania Spampinato – Grey’s Anatomy
By: Lisa Steinberg
Q) Have you been enjoying tweeting along with fans during the TGIT experience?
A) It’s been incredible. I feel like my life changed overnight. I was already a fan of the show before joining. I was very nervous when I got to my first table read with the whole cast and crew. I was like, “Oh my God! Is this happening for real?!” I was followed by a lot of people who are passionate about the show. I was playing a very loved character’s love interest and people were very welcoming and very nice towards my character. So, it’s been great!
Q) When you read the scripts, what do you take away from the layers of love and laughter throughout them?
A) There is always a table read before the episode starts and I’m always blown away about the quality of writing. All of this happens in just one hour and I’m always so impressed by the writers, Shonda [Rhimes] and the whole team. It’s incredible and I feel like every time I read the stuff for Carina it’s hysterical! I’m constantly laughing. It’s a super interesting character so I’m very curious each week to see what is going to happen.
Q) How was your character Carina DeLuca originally described to you and what was your audition like for her?
A) I had to prep two scenes for the audition. When they give you the breakdown, they didn’t tell me she would be DeLuca’s sister. I knew they wanted an Italian actress to play that, but I didn’t know her relationship to the show. I thought maybe it was a couple of episodes and that’s it. I don’t remember what the scenes were, but they were really funny already so I was like, “Yes! I love this character.” So, I showed up at the audition and was very excited. I was just excited to audition for the casting directors and I really loved the writing because it wasn’t a cliché of the foreign person. She had depth and some humor. There were a lot of lines. I was like, “I love this!” I had a lot of fun doing the audition.
Q) How did you approach portraying her?
A) I felt like when I was reading it…Obviously, some things were blatantly funny and meant to be done in a certain way, but for me I give a lot of thoughts to the scenes with Arizona (Jessica Capshaw). For example, in episode two with the ear thing with Arizona, I wanted to make sure I did it realistically if I was in a hospital where people can see how would I do it. I feel like what I wanted to bring was a certain playfulness even in those kinds of scenes. It’s how to approach it. If I’m trying to be sexual and sexy, I always do it with a smile on my face. I never take myself too seriously in real life and I felt like I wanted to bring it to the character.
Q) What is in store for Andrew DeLuca and Carina DeLuca this season? Will tensions continue or will they find common ground?
A) They honestly have a great dynamic. Carina embarrasses him a lot, as you already saw. It looks like it’s going to keep stirring things up at the hospital. I feel like she brings a fresh energy to the show that you’ll forgive her for that. It’s just a fun dynamic. And I love the fact that we can speak Italian on the seat. Giacomo [Gianniotti] is so great! He speaks perfect Italian and perfect English with no accent. I’m so jealous! But I’m stuck with this accent forever. [laughs]
Q) How will the return of Arizona’s daughter effect her relationship with Carina?
A) Their relationship is very new at this point. It is just enjoying each other’s company and still finding things out. So, it’s kind of soon to say what the future holds for these two, but I’m really enjoying playing her love interest for now. As I said before, she’s such a loved character so it has made it really fun.
Q) What is in store for Dr. Carina DeLuca this season?
A) I feel like I don’t know if I can talk about that. As you saw from the second episode, she is very passionate about this research. By the way, it’s actually real. I went and looked it up. There are people that are actually doing this research for real, which is amazing.
Q) Arizona and Carina seem to have an instant chemistry. Talk about the chemistry and dynamics between you and Jessica Capshaw.
A) The show has been on for fourteen seasons and Jessica has been on since season five so it’s super-efficient. It’s definitely a well-oiled machine. In TV, everything happens really fast so it’s been great to be a part of that because you realize how actors…Jessica has been working on the show for so long and she’s so quick at finding the emotion she has to have for the scene. So, I feel like it has been an incredible learning experience with me. The first scene I shot was the argument with Giacomo/Andrew. So, I was in my bra and making out with Jessica and arguing with Giacomo. It was a little overwhelming, but they were all so nice and put me at ease. It just happened very organically and it was pretty magic. It was great! It was pretty easy.
Q) Will we get to see Carina interact with the other doctors this season?
A) Yes. I feel like we’ve already seen Carina with obviously Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and then with Webber (James Pickens Jr.). Yeah, I think so. I think and I hope so.
Q) Shonda’s shows are known for pushing boundaries. Why is it so important now more than ever that we share a wide variety of voices and representation?
A) I think it is because of the political situation especially. I think it’s an extra push to art to speak up and talk about the issues and problems we face on a daily basis. Shonda has revolutionized television with her work. There are people of every race and every nationality. It’s every color and every social status. I feel like the work she is doing is doing is so important. That’s one of the reasons why the show has been going so well. Like an African American person on the show is not African American – they are a person. An Italian person is a person who just happens to be African American or Asian. We’re just all people.
Q) With the small amount of queer characters on TV, especially positive representation, how does Carina and Arizona’s relationship fit in?
A) I think the important thing with Shondaland is that is considered normal. It’s people with different sexual orientation and it doesn’t mean we have to look at them like they are aliens. I feel like Shonda does a very good job of normalizing that. It’s life. This is just normality. It’s not unusual. I feel like a lot of people (especially in Italy) there are a lot of people who feel it is okay to make fun of others whether it is for their sexual orientation or their religious orientation or skin color. I feel like if we make it a normality then these people will not feel cool or entitled to make fun of anybody that is different from them.
Q) Is there anything else make sure we share with our readers?
A) Of course, I’m very grateful for all the love I have been receiving from the fans of the show for the character. I feel like I’m still so overwhelmed to enjoy what is happening. There are many more episodes this season so I think a lot will happen.