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The Grey's Anatomy Cast Was Nervous About DeLuca's Fate Even During A Table Read

When ranking every season of "Grey's Anatomy" from worst to best, Season 17 isn't anything to write home about for several reasons. For a big chunk of the season, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) was out of commission in a COVID-induced coma while the other doctors scrambled to manage the influx of patients. As the season progressed, death lingered in the hospital halls in more ways than one. Plenty of doctors have come and gone over the years, so longtime "Grey's Anatomy" fans know not to get too attached to their favorite characters. However, even on a show where no one's fate is guaranteed, Dr. Andrew DeLuca's shocking demise is considered one of the most frustrating "Grey's Anatomy" deaths ever.

Portrayed by Giacomo Gianniotti, DeLuca had a rocky start at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. After struggling to find his place with the other interns in his class and coming to blows with Alex Karev (Justin Chambers), he managed to earn the respect of his colleagues and spark up a whirlwind romance with Meredith. DeLuca's storyline also provided an avenue for the show to touch on the importance of mental health, so his unexpected death hit the hospital hard. As it turns out, DeLuca's murder at the hands of a human trafficker didn't just shock the viewers at home. According to Gianniotti, the "Grey's Anatomy" cast was similarly surprised to learn of the character's tragic fate.

The Grey's Anatomy cast didn't know DeLuca was going to die

In the Season 17 episodeĀ "Helplessly Hoping," Andrew DeLuca died after being stabbed by an unknown assailant. During an exit interview with Entertainment Weekly, Giacomo Gianniotti spoke about playing DeLuca for seven seasons and how the character's evolution made his death that much more impactful. Although Gianniotti knew about DeLuca's death beforehand, his fellow cast members were left in the dark about his upcoming departure. The other actors didn't find out about DeLuca's stabbing until a virtual table read, and even then, they didn't know how the storyline would be resolved. According to Gianniotti, the table read left the cast waiting with bated breath to find out what would happen.

"We were all on Zoom, of course, and everyone was just kind of looking up with tears in their eyes and shocked and jaws on the floor and being like, "Are you kidding me?" Because as we find out, we don't know what happens until the very end," the actor told the outlet. "At that time in the script, to protect the integrity of the storyline, in that version of the script, it didn't say whether he died or not. So everyone was on the edge of their seats, wanting the answer."

Despite that glimmer of hope, DeLuca's injuries were ultimately too extensive. Even though DeLuca didn't make it, he later appeared in Meredith's comatose dreamscape, allowing viewers to see the character one last time.