*Chandra Wilson loves her job and has no problem saying it.
As part of the ensemble cast of ABC’s long running hit drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” it’s easy to see how she could enjoy her work. Couple that with time behind the camera as a director and life beyond “Grey’s” looks pretty good.
“It’s never gets boring. It never gets dull. There’s always something new to discover,” Wilson expressed to EUR’s Lee Bailey as she gears up to direct her sixth episode of the show. “I’m directing on the show now so, you know, it’s expanding my experience and my mind and my resume like that as well. And I just … I never stop learning. There’s always so much to learn.”
And learn she has. Wilson’s turn in the director’s chair came after studying those around her who helmed “Grey’s” over the years.
“Basically, I spent five seasons as a student watching every single director that came through, trying to figure out what was working with some directors and what wasn’t working,” the Texas native confessed. “And then, because I come from a theater background, I have an extreme respect for the crew, an extreme respect for production. So for me, it was about thinking economical at times, getting the shots that we need so we can have our show but then also allowing people to get home and have dinner with their family for a change. We’re notorious for 15, 16-hour days and it’s kind of nice that we can pull it in to like 11, 12 maybe 13 hours.”
Chandra and her kids
Although directing has its share of trials, Wilson was free to do her job without any sense of being under the microscope. To date, she has directed two episodes a season over the last three seasons of “Grey’s.”
“It was about [them] saying ‘Ok. You’re gonna be up in a couple of shows. So is there anything you need to get ready?’ and it just took off. They weren’t micro-managing, weren’t standing over my shoulder,” Wilson stated. “I was like ‘I think I should have somebody standing over my shoulder,’ but no. They trusted that you have the experience from being right there in the room all those seasons.”
Despite a few episodes under her belt, Wilson still finds areas to improve as a director. As a result, she had no trouble with evaluating herself on the other side of the camera.
“From management of what I do, I would give myself a 9,” the mother of three revealed, adding that she sees herself directing feature films eventually down the road. “For creativity, I’d probably give myself about a 7 or so because there’s still so much to feel that’s there for you to learn as far as camera angles and choice moves and getting into and getting out of things. I’m very good at the mechanics of it and … I keep looking for how I can be a little more interesting when directing.”
All in all, Wilson wouldn’t have it any other way as she remains thankful for her professional situation.
“I continue to have a great time with what I do. I’m crazy about my job,” the television actress/director said. “It’s a great job. I’m very appreciative of it. I understand the condition that it’s paced in. It’s given me lots of opportunity to be able to do some great things.”