‘Grey’s Anatomy’s Giacomo Gianniotti Teases Merluca’s Future: ‘There’s A Lot Of Making Up To Do’

All talk of romance is on hold for Merluca as Meredith fights for her life, but HL got EXCLUSIVE scoop from Giacomo Gianniotti about Meredith and Deluca's future, what Deluca would think of Derek, and more.

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Meredith’s life is on the line as she battles COVID-19 on Grey’s Anatomy, and Deluca is fighting to save her. The former couple broke up last season, but there’s clearly still a lot of love between them. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Giacomo Gianniotti about the future of Meredith and Deluca’s relationship. Giacomo acknowledged it won’t be a simple journey for Merluca.

“The last quarter of season 16 you saw Deluca’s mental health seriously self-sabotage the relationship and their romance,” Giacomo told HollywoodLife. “It was crossing over into toxic behavior that was really, really negatively impacting their relationship and their romance, and Meredith’s trust and love for him. There was some serious damage that was done because he was not medicated. He was not seeking or taking therapy seriously. Unfortunately, there is damage that is done. People that are in those states, some of it can be reversed, some people can apologize and move on, but every case is different and case-specific. I think this season there’s a lot of making up to do. There’s a lot of reassessing now that he’s trying to get his life together. Can we work? Was the damage that I did too much? Did I say too much? Did I do too much? Are you willing to entertain the possibility where we could try again?  I think that question is both posed for both people. This season is going to see them kind of re-evaluating whether they want to go back down that road, but of course, something else has paused that storyline. Any talk of love is definitely on pause because her life is the most important thing.”

Giacomo Gianniotti
Giacomo Gianniotti in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ season 17. (ABC)

Everything has been put aside until Meredith recovers, and she’s not out of the woods yet. “It’s hard because he has all these things that he wants to say and talk about, but it’s just not the time,” Giacomo continued. “He has to kind of check his pride, check his ego, check his wants and needs because her life is more pressing and important. All those feelings that he has will just unfortunately have to wait.”

The season 17 premiere featured the shocking return of Derek Shepherd, Meredith’s late husband, in a dream sequence. HollywoodLife asked Giacomo what he thinks Deluca would think of Derek since they never got a chance to meet.

“I don’t know. I think he’s sort of like this monolithic character on the show in terms of Deluca knows what that person meant for Meredith,” Giacomo said. “I think if you’ve ever met someone or know somebody who’s lost their great love and had to move on and they’re now with someone else, the only way you can really be with that person is to completely respect the amount of love that that person will always hold in that person’s heart. You’re not replacing that person. You can’t. it’s unimaginable, right? But you’re stepping into their role, quite literally, as someone who’s going to love and support that person. Deluca is someone who’s very focused on his career, he’s very good at what he does, and has worked very hard to get to where he has in a short amount of time, much faster than a lot of his peers. I think he just probably respect him a lot in terms of what an incredible neurosurgeon he was, what he accomplished in his career, and I think he would have a tremendous amount of respect for Derek.”

Ellen Pompeo
Meredith is fighting for her life after contracting COVID-19. (ABC)

The long-running medical drama hasn’t been renewed for season 18 at the moment. Ellen Pompeo admitted in a recent interview that “this year could be it,” but nothing has been decided just yet. Giacomo admitted that would be more than happy for the show to continue beyond season 17.

“I think Grey’s Anatomy is such a unique show,” Giacomo told HollywoodLife. “This is my seventh year on the show. A lot of people are like, wow, how do you last seven years on a show? Doesn’t it get repetitive? Honestly, the thing that keeps me engaged is that Grey’s Anatomy has always been a social issue show. It’s always been a reflection of the times, of the challenges we’re facing, of the injustices we’re facing, drawing light on topics that need to be addressed. Those topics are never-ending. Every season, we get to bring to light new ideas, new topics, new people, new diseases. I just feel a huge amount of honor and privilege to be able to tell these stories and to highlight these heroes. This season is unanimously about our health care workers who have been largely shut out of the media during this time. People haven’t really gotten an honest look at what it was like to be in a hospital, what it was like to work in a hospital, what it was like to work under the conditions they were forced to be working in. They were understaffed, underprepared in terms of PPE. They were having to use masks for several days when the laws say they should be going through 8 or 9 in one day. They were literally losing their fellow co-workers. Doctors and nurses died giving their lives during this pandemic. They are soldiers, so we really want to tell their stories. I feel a huge honor and privilege to hopefully accurately represent them and make them feel seen. I think a lot of people have been   — for lack of a better word — a little selfish, in terms of it’s all about me, I have to stay home, I have to sanitize my hands, not really knowing the extreme situations that these nurses and doctors are facing. They dream of being home, like you, with their families watch Netflix all day. They dreamt of having that opportunity.” Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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