Camilla Luddington is Batman. To be clear, not for any film or TV adaptation: she is the real Batman. But I didn’t know that going in to the interview. What I knew was that the 29 year old English actress played Kate Middleton in the Lifetime movie William & Kate, the frightfully sickly story of the meeting of the future King and Queen. She has appeared in long-running US TV dramas ‘Californication’ and ’True Blood’, and is now playing Jo Wilson, a series regular on the multi-award winning medical drama, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.
However, I am a boy – and so was mainly concerned with the fact that she is Lara Croft in the new Tomb Raider game. And like any boy, I wanted to know if she had ever dressed as Lara Croft for her partner in the bedroom. ‘I’ve never been asked,’ she replied and laughed. Her tone made it clear to me that I should move on…
FAULT: Do you ever just wear the costume when you’re lazing about the house?
Do you have any kind of perspective about how cool being Lara is?
Yeah, I was very aware how amazing it was. The first people I called after I got the job were my brothers, because I hoped I would finally gain their respect. I’m not sure I did. I was so excited to be immortalised in a videogame, and to take on such an iconic character. Then when I spoke to Crystal Dynamics [the game’s designer] I was even more excited because their vision was just so gritty and dark, and different to how they have been executing it before.
Do you ever just walk on to the Grey’s set and say, ‘I’m Lara Croft, I’m fucking awesome. I should be the star of the show’?
Did you go as Lara for Halloween?
I’m not allowed to be seen in a Lara Croft outfit.
There’s a ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ episode that just aired on Halloween, where my character is in costume, and there was, for a very brief minute, a discussion about her turning up as Lara Croft. But no, I’m not allowed.
What was it like joining such a well-established show like ‘Grey’s’?
I moved out to the States in 2005, that was when ‘Grey’s’ started airing, and it was one of the first shows I got into living here. I was a huge fan.
Are you just saying that? Would you tell me if you didn’t like the show?
Probably not. However, in interviews when I was on ‘Californicatio’n, I would admit that I had not seen the show, then when I saw it, I was like, ‘what have I got myself into?’ But I really, honestly, was into ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. When I was on set for the first time, I went into Meredith’s house, and I remember being like, ‘oh my God, this is where Izzy put the cheque, and oh my God, this is where Jack…’ I really geeked out. I’m kind of a loser.
Does being a fan of the show add any pressure to the job?
My first day was nerve-wracking. I remember that I got the script the night before at 8pm, then at 5am the next morning, and I had to do my scenes. The first thing I had to film was just my character Jo, talking to Meredith, and saying, literally, a page of medical dialogue. Just rattling it off. And Meredith doesn’t even interrupt her; she is just staring at me. I remember thinking ‘Oh my god, I’m going to have a breakdown.’ I was sure they would find out that I am terrible at doing anything medical, and that I would just be fired.
Who is crazier, is it the Grey’s Anatomy fans, or Tomb Raider fans?
They’re both so passionate, in actually very similar ways. They both really care about the story lines and the characters. I think it was more intimidating taking on Lara Croft, because she is already so iconic. Jo Wilson is something that I kind of got to create myself.
Was it your dream to end up in Hollywood?
Yes, always. At five years old I was acting and singing. I was obsessed with movies, and I knew that the movie stars that I was watching, and the movies that I loved, were made in Hollywood; the first movie I loved was The Wizard of Oz, and I guess my mother or father explained to me that it wasn’t real, for whatever reason, but I remember knowing very young that Dorothy was a girl, Judy Garland an actor; and I knew that I wanted to be her [the actor].
When did they break the news about Santa Claus to you?
We’re getting deep.
I just wondered if they told you about Dorothy and Santa in the same day.
No, it did not happen in the same day. That would have been devastating. I did find out about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy in the same day. It was like a double whammy.
Throughout all of this, did you have a nice childhood?
I did. I had a lovely childhood. We didn’t come from a lot of money, so it wasn’t like the fanciest of childhoods, but it was fabulous. We had camping holidays in Cornwall every year. It was lovely. I wouldn’t change anything about it.
You seem very well adjusted, and I’m just wondering, is there a darker side to you that no one knows about?
I probably don’t drink eight glasses of water a day. I’m not sure I’m really very dark.
Again, are you just saying that? Would you tell me if you did have a darker side?
You know what? I am Batman.
This is a scoop! That’s what they call this. Thank you so much!
I know – you’re welcome!
Camilla is up for a award at the VGX Video Game Awards! Be sure you go here to vote for her and watch the awards on December 7th!
VGX will be streamed across Xbox One, Xbox 360®, PlayStation®3 (PS3™), Twitch, iOS and Android devices, and available globally on VGXLIVE.com, Hulu, Yahoo Screen, the Yahoo Screen app and Viacom properties Spike.com, ComedyCentral.com MTV.com, MTV2.com, BET.com and GameTrailers.com. VGX will be live streamed for three-hours on Saturday, December 7, beginning at 6:00 PM ET / 3:00 PM PT. Spike TV will also air highlights of the show as “VGX Replay” on Monday, December 9 at midnight.
I have added stills of Camilla in this Thursdays episode of Grey’s Anatomy so be sure to check them out here! <3
It’s not surprising that Camilla Luddington is so believably American as Jo Wilson, the surgical resident on Grey’s Anatomy. She’s been working on her accent since she was a child, growing up in the British town of Ascot.”Even at 5, I would go to the supermarket and pretend I had an American accent,” she says. “I knew I wanted to act and that Hollywood and America were where the movie stars were. So to impersonate an American was the coolest thing.”
Her immersion course came at 19 when she enrolled at Susquehanna University in tiny Selinsgrove, Pa.
“All the international students arrived early,” she recalls. “We were taken to the Hershey factory to bond.”
She regretted her college choice almost immediately.
“I hadn’t visited, never been to Pennsylvania before, but the campus looked wonderful in the catalog,” Luddington says. “I was a city girl in the middle of an Amish town. It was quite a culture shock.”
She transferred to the New York Film Academy in Manhattan after six months.
Now, 10 years after her visit to Hershey, she admits there are a few words that continue to thwart her, like anytime (which she pronounces like a Glaswegian dockworker) and O.R., a common abbreviation in the Grey’s patois, but one that still lingers far too long in Luddington’s throat.
Otherwise it’s smooth sailing, which is fortunate because Jo has enough on her chart without worrying about how she sounds.
In Thursday night’s episode, “Two Against One”, the young doctor foolishly tries – in the O.R., as it happens – to resolve the toxic tension between Dr. Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and the recently returned Ben (Jason George).
This while she’s still trying to repair her own relationship with Alex (Justin Chambers), which ruptured when she pushed him a little too hard to reconcile with his shady father (Dexter‘s James Remar.)
“She’s learning painfully that Alex is not happy,” says Luddington. “It’s not something that will go away.”
For the actress, it’s been a twisty road that has led her to Grey Sloan Memorial.
After graduating from the Film Academy, she moved back home for a time to fund her planned conquest of Hollywood. But her unsuitability as a waitress was evident even at a small pub in Crowthorne.
“My father came in and actually complained to the manager about me,” she says, laughing.
Her big breakthrough came when she was cast as the lead in Lifetime’s royal romance William & Kate in 2011.
“I think every British brunette girl in L.A. went to those auditions,” she says. “Playing Kate Middleton was super-intimidating. I didn’t imagine it would attract so much attention. Suddenly, we were being tracked by the British press while filming.
“They followed me to where I was living,” says Luddington, 29. “I answered the doors in my PJs drinking my morning coffee and it was the paparazzi.”
Produced and designed for American audiences, the film was not well received in Britain, as the actress found out when she went over there to promote it.
The Guardian called it “toe-curlingly, teeth-furringly, pillow-bitingly ghastly.” Ouch!
“We don’t have Lifetime in England,” Luddington says. “They thought it would be a very serious piece. They don’t understand the cheesy, guilty-pleasure aspect of Lifetime movies.”
Just days after returning from that press junket, she started on Showtime’s Californication as the naughty nanny Lizzie.
“I liked going from Lifetime to Showtime,” she says. “I thought it was cheeky.”
Auditioning for a part on Gilded Lilys, a failed pilot from Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes, led to her current role.
Luddington talks about the evolution of her character Jo for a minute before abruptly remembering her most formative American influences.
“The Wonder Years was one of the first shows I started watching as a kid,” she says. “I wanted to be Winnie Cooper. I loved that show.
“And I was a huge Dawson’s Creek fan, bordering on the tragic when I was 13, 14. All that teen angst.”
So was she on Team Dawson or Team Pacey?
“Pacey,” she says without hesitation. “I have a girlfriend, we still get into arguments with who [Joey] should have ended up with. Seriously. We still fight over it.”
Seeing as how L.A. is a company town, has she ever run into Joshua Jackson, who played Pacey (more recently seen on Fringe)?
“I honestly hope I never run into him,” she says. “I would be an embarrassing mess and confess my love for him.”
But with an impeccable American accent.
Camilla Luddington’s character Dr. Jo Wilson may finally have found some consistency in her relationship with Karev, but that doesn’t mean the drama is slowing down for her on Grey’s Anatomy. OK! caught up with the actress at TV Guide’s Hot List party on Monday night and she dished on what’s in store for Jo in the coming weeks.
OK!: What’s coming up for you on Grey’s?
Camilla Luddington: On the next episode I can tell you that Jo is working with Bailey on a surgery and you see that massive amount of tension brewing between her and Ben and Jo is sort of in the middle of that. And then in the episode after that Callie is in a malpractice trial—it’s a huge, huge episode for her and Jo is also working on a surgery with her in that instance and is asked to come to trial to testify. So lots of drama coming up—no Karev drama thank God.
OK!: So things are good with Karev?
CL: Well these are two characters that have huge issues communicating clearly so I’m not sure how long it will last but the next two episodes at least are good.
OK!: We’re happy for them!
CL: It took a Tinkerbell outfit for it to happen apparently.
OK!: Is there anyone you’re enjoying working with more this season that you didn’t spend as much time with last season?
CL: You know what, I really didn’t work with Chandra Wilson much last season and I’m a huge fan of Bailey as a character so I’ve had a few more scenes with her and Jim Pickens and that’s been incredible. I admire them so much as actors and I kind of just watch them work, so for me that’s been really fun.
Here’s what dress and shoes Camilla wore at the TV Guide magazine’s party last night. You can also find the information at our style page.
SHOES: So Kate 120mm Black Suede by Cristian Louboutin
Last night Camilla Luddington attended the Hot List Party organized by TV Guide magazine. You can check the photos from the red carpet in our gallery. We will keep uploading more photos so stay tuned.
You can also see the photos of the mini photoshoot that Camilla’s makeup artist Troy Jensen made and also the photos that Camilla shared on Twitter from the event.
Camilla has given a interview to TV Line about Thursdays Grey’s Anatomy episode which you can read below! I wouldn’t read the interview unless you’ve seen the episode!
TVLINE | The table read for the Halloween episode must have been very funny.
It was hysterical. We loved it just because it was reminiscent of the old Bailey, always popping up and scaring us and not thinking we’re worthy of anything. And then all the zombie stuff….
TVLINE | You had moments like,”The patient leans up and bites Leah in the neck!”
I know! They were telling us it would be Halloween-themed and we heard rumblings about something like a zombie, and I was thinking, “How are they gonna do this?” But it was really cool.
TVLINE | Speaking of scary, I was nervous for Jo when it seemed like she was going to tell Meredith what’s going on with Alex. I was like, “No. Don’t. That can’t end well for you.”
Yeah — this being Grey’s Anatomy, it’d turn out horrible. But I think that in that moment, Jo really has no idea who to turn to. Something they cut from last week is that I had asked [Jackson], “Do you know anything about his dad?” So she’s sort of been putting out feelers, to see if anybody has any idea what’s going on. And at that point, Alex has been so standoffish, and there are so many times she’s reached out but is so exasperated, she does not know what to do. In normal circumstances, she would never, ever reach out to Meredith, but it was like the final straw to her.
TVLINE | Were you on the edge of seat when you first read that final scene, where she’s at Alex’s doorstep? When a couple has a door between them, it could always slam in someone’s face.
It was hard for me, these past two episodes, because I really just feel for Jo. Usually when we’re not filming a scene, we’re not present, but I went and watched the scene that Justin [Chambers] and James Remar filmed in the bar. Because when I read it, it was so heartbreaking and I wanted to see how it went. I felt really invested in both Jo and Alex’s journey with this storyline, so by the time it got to the door [scene], I myself was almost exhausted. I felt like she was again putting it all on the line, but I remember saying to the director, “I don’t want her to be upset. I don’t want her to play it that way. I really feel like, at this point, she feels like she’s done everything she can.” But it’s always scary because I was like, “He’s really not even gonna open the door to her?” And they’re like, “No. He’s keeping it closed.” And that made it so difficult, as she stood there in this costume. There’s something so vulnerable about it to me.
TVLINE | Alex letting her in… Do you feel that’s the biggest hurdle they’ve cleared so far?
That’s an interesting question…. I would say yes. In their relationship, yes. Obviously, the biggest hurdle was admitting that they had feelings for each other. But again, this situation was taxing, because they’re both horrible at communication.
TVLINE | It was almost more of a test than a hurdle. Like, will he let her be there for him in that way?
Yes — and I think the door was obviously symbolic of him literally letting her in. And I don’t feel like Jo has been like this ever in a relationship either. There was a point last week where he says to me in the elevator, “It’s none of your business.” I remember discussing it with the director and thinking, “I would just be like, ‘We’re done.’ I would text him and say, ‘You can’t talk to me like that.’ Even Justin was sort of like, “Wow. He’s giving her such a hard time.” It was almost difficult to play, but I loved it because I feel as if her showing up is something she’s never done in the past. I think she’s thinking that he won’t open the door. I think she’s thinking that it will not fix things, but she just has to say it. I saw that as Jo progressing herself in a relationship.
TVLINE | What can you say about the next beat in their storyine? Will they get some easy-peasy?
Well, yes and no. I think I’m allowed to say this – there’s a malpractice trial for Callie, and Jo assisted her in that surgery. So she’s part of that and that’s a little stressful, and Alex is supportive of her then. But I’d kind of just love them to have some sort of romantic vacation or something! They had a couple of episodes where it was fine and then it was instantly drama. Of course, again, that’s in true Grey’s Anatomy fashion.
TVLINE | Let’s talk about what’s going on with the others. Were you surprised by the Leah/Arizona hook-up? Because they’re totally doing it now.
I know! I kind of liked it. I know that the “Calzona” fandom is so passionate, but I feel like it’s something that Arizona needs to experience. Sometimes you need to experience somebody else, because you always think the grass is greener on the other side. Clearly there was a part of her that wanted to be free and kind of sever that relationship, even though in the beginning of the season she wanted to work on it. I almost see that it’s a good thing, if Arizona sees she needs to really work hard at getting that relationship back on track, because the grass isn’t greener. I think there are fun elements to that story line.
TVLINE | And look at Shane, buying Cristina a drink!
That was interesting. I feel like with Shane, there’s this reaction that’s happened after Heather’s death. That moment between them, where he buys her a drink, is a bit like, “Whoa, I didn’t see that coming.” But I think that’s his character now. And you’ll see more of that this season.
TVLINE | And Bailey, what a sad episode for her. Dropped by Webber, and things aren’t going well with the hubby..
The scene where they’re arguing, and Trick-or-Treaters and coming to the door? That got the biggest laugh in the table read, because as much as it’s sad, it’s hysterical at the same time — or at least it was at the table. But yeah, Bailey’s going through a tough time and you’ll definitely see more of that. Actually, in the next episode, Jo is operating with her, and you see a lot of tension between Ben and Bailey in that episode.
Camilla gave a interview to The Reel Spin and you can read it below! (I have also added a new photoshoot picture of Camilla which you can see here! I’ve also added her Instagram photos which you can see here.)
The Reel Spin: The writing on the show is phenomenal… particularly when unexpected moments of humor are mixed in during the midst of so much drama. Your character, ‘Jo,’ really benefits from this style of writing. She’s smart, quick-witted, and strong… but at the same time, still very vulnerable. What is it like portraying such a complex character?
Camilla Luddington: I love that ‘Jo’ is so complex. She is someone who has felt that she can only rely on herself. This has made her beyond protective of her own feelings and extremely careful about who she chooses to open up to. ‘Jo’ has been emotionally hurt very deeply in the past as well as physically abused, and I think this makes her sensitive to others who she feels has experienced the same hardships as herself. With ‘Alex,’ it took her a long time (and a drunken night at ‘Bailey’s’ wedding) to feel like he was a friend but with ‘Jo’ once she decides to let someone in, she will be fiercely loyal and protective, sometimes to a fault.
As for her falling in love, that was fun to experience filming. Throughout the season, they would let me know where her feelings were at exactly and how open and close her and ‘Alex’s’ relationship were becoming. Letting down ‘Jo’s’ guard allowed me and the audience to see the new playful sides of her that she has not shown before. She shares ‘Alex’s’ dry sense of humor and sarcasm, and the back and forth banter has been fun to perform with Justin.
TRS: Speaking of ‘Jo’s’ quick wit, do you have a favorite line she’s gotten away with saying?
Luddington: I love her line, “Saw it in a movie on cable.” It was in a scene where ‘Alex’ and ‘Jo’ were drunk at ‘Bailey’s’ wedding together and were trying to ‘one up’ each other on who has had a worse childhood. She alludes to living in a home with a dozen or so other kids, having to pee in buckets, and it’s a complete lie. She even fakes getting emotional over the memory of it and once she senses that ‘Alex’ feels bad for her, she reveals she was totally bullshitting. It’s funny and the first moment when the audience get to see their friendship start as two potential ‘partners in crime,’ which is how I like to think of them.
TRS: You and Justin Chambers (‘Alex’) have incredible chemistry. How much fun has it been getting to explore this new relationship this season?
Luddington: Justin and I always have a lot of fun together. We laugh a lot on set and get excited to see what’s next in the cards for ‘Jo’ and ‘Alex.’ There’s a natural ease and familiarity between us because we’ve had an entire season of being stuck together filming, and I think it shows. Especially in scenes where we get to joke around together. This season is tougher then last though because now they’re together and navigating their way through a new relationship, and they aren’t the best at communication. They’re learning, but there are times when I read a script I just wanna scream at them both, “Talk! Please! Just talk to each other!” But, it makes for good drama.
TRS: Shonda Rhimes has a knack for using the perfect songs to heighten tension, lighten the mood, or bring a smile. Do you have a personal favorite song moment that has occurred on the show thus far?
Luddington: At the end of season 9 they played John Legend’s “All of Me” during a montage of scenes where characters were finally getting together or unfortunately walking away from relationships. It was perfectly heartbreaking to accompany each individual situation. Shonda just has that knack for knowing what song will pull on your heart. Once the season finale aired, my twitter blew up, “What’s that song?” and “Does anyone know who sang that?” etc. The music is a character unto itself, I love that the show does that.
TRS: You obviously put in long hours when you are filming… favorite thing to do when you’re not working?
Luddington: I am a huge horror movie fan, so my guiltiest pleasure is to be lazy for the night after a long day at work, stay in and watch a horror movie. If I have a full day off, I love to hike at Runyon Canyon, run or get girlfriends together to go spin at Soul Cycle. There’s a lot of “sitting” that goes on on-set, so on a day off I try to be active.
TRS: What would your fans be surprised to know about you?
Luddington: I love to oil paint. I have 5 paintings hanging in my home that I painted myself. Right I have a whole new set of oils, but I’m out of canvas and dying to get to an art shop and pick some up. To me it’s so relaxing. I like sitting on my balcony, playing music and getting inspired. Also, I’m British, and I think that’s surprising to people as well, because I play an American doctor on the show.
Last night Camilla attended a Halloween party with her friends. She was dress as the Game of Thrones’ character Daenerys Targaryen.
Camilla has made a Instagram account so be sure to follow her! I think Camilla made the account because of all the people pretending to be her on Instagram.