Grey’s Anatomy Guest Star Details How The Show Kept Major Cast Member Cameos A Secret

Prior to the premiere of Grey’s Anatomy’s 18th season, the ABC medical drama announced that several former cast members would be returning to reprise their roles, continuing the trend that reunited fans (and Ellen Pompeo) with Derek Shepherd and other fan favorites in Season 17. While Kate Walsh, Kate Burton and Abigail Spencer were all announced as returning alum in Season 18, at least one name was kept under wraps: Scott Speedman, whose Nick Marsh left a lasting impression on fans after appearing in just one episode in Season 14. 

It’s no easy task, either, keeping such a big secret from the long-running hit’s rabid fanbase — as the Grey’s Anatomy showrunners knew well from Season 17, which, along with Patrick Dempsey, saw the return of T.R. Knight as George O’Malley, Chyler Leigh as Lexie Grey and Eric Dane as Mark Sloan. Scott Speedman said those character comebacks paved the way for his surprise appearance, and he told THR what exactly went into the big Season 18 premiere reveal and how they kept Nick Marsh’s return a secret.

Even I kept wondering how they were doing it. I think the Grey’s showrunners and the whole show had done it the year before with Patrick Dempsey and other returning people, so they had this infrastructure that knew how to do it. I wasn’t allowed to do read-throughs. My name was gone from everything. We changed the character name. We shot three episodes in four days, so they just backlogged it. So people knew about it, but they held off on it based on whatever relationship they have with Grey’s, ABC or Disney. They held their press release until it came out, which was nice.

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