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How Justin Chambers Behaved On Grey's Anatomy's Set, According To Jessica Capshaw

As the characters so often remind us, Grey Sloan Memorial is a teaching hospital, so it's common for "Grey's Anatomy" to explore mentor-mentee dynamics. Dr. Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) and Dr. Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) have one of the best working relationships on the show. Although they get off to a rough start, Alex ultimately becomes a pediatric surgeon because of Arizona's guidance. As a result of their connection, Capshaw spent a lot of time with Chambers on set. During an interview for BUILD Series, Capshaw revealed that she has fond memories of working on set with Chambers, as well as their co-star, Chandra Wilson.

"I love working with Justin, and he was one of the first people I worked with. I worked with him and I worked with Chandra, and I adore them both. And so I have the greatest time," the actor explained (around the 5:40 mark). "He's probably the most, um, just one of the most generous actors. I mean, whether it is, whether he's acting with someone who's been there from day one, or someone who's been there from Season 5, or whether it's a guest actor that just showed up that day." 

Alex is known for being hot-tempered and insensitive, but Capshaw says that Chambers is the exact opposite when the cameras stop rolling. While Alex is usually the first one to fly off the handle, Chambers is the first one to congratulate the cast and crew on a job well done.

Justin Chambers taught Jessica Capshaw about being a generous screen partner

Jessica Capshaw has praised the minds behind "Grey's Anatomy" for keeping the spark alive throughout the seasons, and some of the show's best relationships are platonic. Arizona makes Alex a better doctor, and their opposing personalities allow for some fun banter. It takes Alex a while to develop a sense of compassion for his patients, but Capshaw said that Chambers is nothing but gracious behind the scenes.

"He's just, I mean he's taught me a lot, I have to say. I think that sometimes that generosity is something that we don't happen to naturally, and he does," Capshaw continued in the interview. "And he has taught me that, because when he does that, it feels so good; it feels so nice when people in your world tell you that you've done a good job. Or that you nailed it, whatever. And so when you do, I find that in my own life, I really try to think about that [and] say that, as well." 

It's nice to hear that Chambers is such a considerate screen partner. Unfortunately, the days of Arizona and Alex working side-by-side are long gone. Only a few familiar faces remain and even fans who have been watching since the beginning are ready for the show to end. Alex ultimately left Grey Sloan Memorial to reunite with his ex-wife, Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl), though the real reason he left the show is far less dramatic.

Justin Chambers wanted a change after years on Grey's Anatomy

In the earliest seasons of "Grey's Anatomy," Alex Karev is a character that fans love to hate. He's got a dark past and a chip on his shoulder, but he's charming enough to signal that there's more to the character than meets the eye. Over the course of the series, viewers watch Karev face challenges that humble him. The tough guy persona is just an act to mask his insecurities, a mindset that makes him doubt his career as a pediatric surgeon. Thankfully, Alex rises to the occasion, and he eventually becomes Meredith's (Ellen Pompeo) closest confidante after Cristina's (Sandra Oh) departure and Derek's (Patrick Dempsey) death.

Alex was a fan favorite when he finally departed in Season 16, but in "How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey's Anatomy" by Lynette Rice, the actor explained that the job had grown monotonous. 

"You're in a bubble [on the show]. You wear scrubs every day, you see pretty much the same people every day, in the same four walls, the same studios, you drive the same route to work," Chambers revealed. "For me it [was] sort of a factory job for acting. You just clock in, clock out. Yeah, I guess it is sentimental, but it's sort of like, 'Wow, I just can't believe how fast it's gone.'"

After playing Alex Karev for 15 years, Chambers certainly deserves a break, even if fans were disappointed with the character's lackluster exit.