'Grey's Anatomy' Star Kate Walsh Reflects on 'Fever Dream' Return to Series as Fans Reel From Latest Episode

Grey's Anatomy fans were delighted by the return of Kate Walsh's Addison Montgomery in last week's episode, and according to Walsh, she is just as delighted to be there. Walsh hasn't appeared on Grey's Anatomy since Season 8 and hasn't played Addison period since Private Practice ended in 2013, and she revealed in a new interview with Entertainment Tonight that it was a bit of a "fever dream" to put on the scrubs once again. Although Addison was only back on Grey's for two episodes -- much to the dismay of fans --  Walsh was thrilled to be back. 

"It was surreal. It was like a fever dream," Walsh explained. "There's so many different things coming together and it's impossible to describe. Randomly, I had run into Patrick Dempsey on the plane on the way back from France, like a month before I was coming to do the show and I told him I was going to come back and he'd said, 'It's going to be so intense for you. And so emotional and so many feels and then closure too.' When we started that show, it was such a specific time for all of us and the entire cast. It really changed every single person's life in a pretty dramatic way."

"It was so massive to go back and try to process all of that and then have the younger actors that are playing the interns, who were so beautiful... They were like, 'Oh my god, I watched Addison with my mom!'" Walsh said. "And also to be reunited with Jim Pickens and Chandra [Wilson] and Ellen [Pompeo]. Those are the three that are the originals. I didn't get to see beautiful Kim Raver because our schedules were completely opposite. So we just texted, but I love her and Kevin [McKidd], I got to see for a second, I think, because he was directing another episode, and Chandra and Jim and Ellen, that was really, really meaningful and powerful."

A major part of Addison's return was her finally processing the death of Derek Shepherd, and Walsh opened up about that emotional scene in the infamous Grey Sloan elevator with Meredith (Pompeo). "When we read it, the first time I saw the script was... a Zoom table read and I was so thrilled with it and when that scene came, it was like I was reading it cold and it was so moving because I'm like, 'How the hell am I going to deal with that? She didn't even come to Derek's funeral. How are we going to sort that out?'" Walsh admitted. "I thought the writing was so beyond. And you know, my friend, Jamie Denbo... she wrote it in such a sophisticated way: 'I thought that he'd be here.' It's so not what you'd expect. It's so tangential, it's so not how she's feeling. It's not on the nose. It was so beautiful."

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"There's this strange thing that happens where you're there," Walsh said about being back on the Grey's set. "It's like a little warm hole that you go into. That's what makes it a fun ride because she's been playing Meredith for so long now and the beautiful thing is, as long as you know the lines, you just go and see what happens. Neither of us knew what really was going to happen. There are markers. What they wrote was Addison goes from laughing to crying, and then you get to interpret that and hopefully it works. I'm glad that it [did]. It felt right. It felt wildly uncomfortable and weird, and I think that's exactly what it was -- and vulnerable. And when Meredith goes to give her a little embrace at the end, these things aren't written. That's the beauty of being able to do this stuff. So I hope that you all liked it and enjoyed it."