by Carrie Bell October 29, 2009 10:15 AM EST
Grey's Anatomy doctor Kevin McKidd had to rush from the hair-raising unveiling of the world's first billboard to feature lightning, created with electricity and movie magic to promote his 2010 movie "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief," to a haircut.
“When they flipped the switch, I could feel my hair start to stick up from the static,” McKidd, who plays Poseidon in the Fox family film based on a best-selling children’s book series, told TV Guide Magazine. “There was a tingle on my head, which is ironic because I have to go to the set after this for a haircut. It’s not very glamorous but it needs to be done. I’m getting a little scruffy and I have a big scene tomorrow for the Christmas episode. All I can say is that me and two other people from the cast will be making music and creating something special for the hospital’s holiday gathering.”
He would not clarify whether his character Owen Hunt would be singing or playing an instrument, but neither option is a skill he claims to be an expert at. “I don’t know if I would go as far as to say that I am good, but I will give it my best shot.”
One actor he hopes to keep making sweet music with is Sandra Oh. “Personally, I hope Owen and Cristina make it through the season unscathed and together because I love working with Sandra and I felt like we were telling a valid, emotional, truthful story that many people are going through in this country. But there‘s been so much happening at work with the merger that they have stepped back from the personal side stories. Because they’re in a relatively new relationship, the tension is taking its toll. They’re misreading each other and have gotten out of sync, but they’re going to get back in sync over the next few weeks. Of course, there are also a few things that they’re going to butt heads over. [Those] will be a signal for the problems they will have throughout the rest of the season, which they may or may not manage to resolve.”
While he hopes the on-screen couple works out the kinks, he’s enjoying how much the Seattle Grace/Mercy West merger storyline is keeping everyone on their toes. “I make sure to memorize all my lines so they don’t get any ideas about firing Owen,” he joked before adding, “One of the things they do so well at Grey’s is keep everybody including the audience engaged and hungry. You want contentment in life, not on your favorite TV show. We’re a much better show when the drama level is high. The writers allow just enough happiness to balance out the bleak times.”
"Lightning Thief" gave McKidd a much-needed escape from the bleak realism of the hospital drama during his last hiatus. “Everything on Grey’s is based in reality and they go to great lengths to be accurate whereas this job, playing a Greek God, was like playing make believe. It’s all fantasy. It was fun to wear a skirt again. I haven’t been in one since I finished Rome on HBO. It felt like getting into an old pair of pajamas. It’s like riding a bike.”
If the film is a hit, McKidd may have many more opportunities to exchange scrubs for togas as there are four more novels in the franchise. “My son is reading them a second time and he’s told me which books have a lot for me to do. He can answer any question about the mythology. He did my research for me for this gig. I wish he had as much interest in medical terminology.”