Scottish actor Kevin McKidd, 36, is taking some heat from Grey's Anatomy fans. His character, Dr. Owen Hunt, who is dating Sandra Oh's Cristina Yang, has added a new surgeon to Seattle Grace Hospital: the gorgeous Dr. Teddy Altman, played by Kim Raver. McKidd gives us the dirt on how Teddy will affect Owen and Cristina's relationship, how much Owen knows about Cristina's ex, Dr. Burke (Isaiah Washington), and how fans have influenced his performance. Plus: Have McKidd's children seen his work?
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I think rough road is too simplistic. I think, yeah, it's not going to be easy. It's never meant to be easy. It's a TV show. But I think it's rough and also very passionate. I think this season so far for them has been very work oriented. I think they've realized they have very different points of view when it comes to work. They have this deep connection in their personal life with each other and I think you saw that last season. This season was seeing them disagree on fundamental issues at work. I think this whole thing with Teddy is going to really crystallize and intensify everything that's come before and change everything in a way we don't expect. I think it's going to bring some really interesting revelations about Owen and Cristina.
Should fans be worried about the arrival of Teddy?
Teddy and he are friends. Very close friends. My analogy is almost like two people who climb Everest together. They probably know more about each other -- the essence, the core of that person -- than that person's wife. And I think being in Iraq is kind of that same experience. So it creates a really interesting dynamic. Cristina is now obviously going to fall in love with Teddy because she's the teacher she always wanted and is this amazing surgeon. Cristina and Owen are in love. They've struggled so much and they know how much that means to them. And Teddy and Owen have this deep connection. So I think that it's almost like a strange embrace that the three of them are in. I think that it's not going to be a threat, but I think it's going to make things very complicated and there's going to be a lot of passionate exchanges.
Was Teddy's relationship with Owen in her imagination? Or did something actually happen between them in Iraq?
I think we have to wait and see. We're not that far ahead of what you guys are seeing as far as what we're shooting. That's very much the question that she laid out there, and Owen was too taken aback to really say anything in that moment. I think the answer to that question is coming and and it's not what we expect.
Do you know how many episodes Kim Raver will be in?
No, I don't actually. I'm not sure. I wish I knew, but I don't know.
Would you consider Owen naïve? He brought a blonde bombshell into the hospital and didn't think it would complicate things with Cristina.
If it was me and my life, I probably would question it a little bit more. It's a TV show so you have to make those leaps of faith. I get that point of view. But I genuinely think, or the way I justify it, is that he knows Cristina. There's been a lot of comments saying he doesn't get her. He does get Cristina. He absolutely does. He knows Teddy so well. He knows how fantastic she can be. And he knows how frustrated his girlfriend is right now. So I think it is genuine. I think he wants to put all that aside in a way and he knows Cristina might initially have a problem with this. But he has faith that despite her initial reservations she's going to realize that Owen is right and that Teddy is the perfect mentor for her. So I don't think it's naïveté, I think he genuinely loves Cristina and he genuinely has a positive outlook.
Will Owen find out about Cristina kissing Jackson?
I don't think he will. No. I'd be interested to see how he reacts if he ever did. I don't think it would pretty, because he's very possessive and very passionate about his relationship. But I do not think he's going to find out about it.
Based on last episode's lunchroom scene, it seemed like Owen knew about Cristina's relationship with Dr. Burke. Do you know if that's the case?
I actually debated that with a writer on set that day. My feeling on that is that Owen knows as much as this guy Burke was one of the top cardio Gods in his field, so obviously most attending surgeons would know that person's name. But beyond that I think he knows the bare bones of what may or may not have happened. I think that's it. I don't think that story's been told yet for Owen. That's how I'm operating. He knows the basic information, but he does not know the truth.
Does fan feedback influence how you think about your character?
It does. You know I think people have become so invested in these characters that I think it would be disrespectful to not take those points of view into account. It's a very interesting dynamic between fans and you the actor and the character. Because me, the actor Kevin McKidd, I sometimes see Owen do things that I don't agree with and I don't think he should do. But the point is that of course he should do that because it makes good TV and it creates the bait and heat and some kind of controversy about people's choices. People make mistakes in their life all the time, so why shouldn't TV characters? I think that dynamic between what fans want for their favorite characters and what the actor wants for their character and what the actor ends up doing is always very interesting.
Switching gears, have you shown your children -- Joseph, 9, and Iona, 7 -- any of your work?
You know, there's not much they're allowed to see because there's blood on Grey's, there's lots of blood on Rome. Basically, I'm just about to do a voice for a big Pixar movie that comes out in 2012 called Bear and the Bow. It's Reese Witherspoon, Billy Connolly, Craig Ferguson, myself, and a few other actors. And I can't wait for that because my kids will be able to go to the premiere. In fact there is one film coming out in February called Percy Jackson & the Olympians and my son has now read all five Percy Jackson books because I'm in it. So they're very excited about that because they can actually watch it for a change. 'Grey's Anatomy' airs Thursday at 9 p.m. on ABC.