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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    From the UA to ABC

    Kate Walsh
    Kate Walsh

    Have no fear if you too are one of the students who still haven’t declared a major. Kate Walsh, star of the hit ABC show “”Grey’s Anatomy,”” has done more than all right for herself despite struggling to find a major at the UA that was the right fit.

    “”I changed my major, like, eight times at the U of A,”” Walsh said. “”I started off business, then I went to poli sci, then I went to general studies, then I went to English.””

    Although Walsh, who was in town Saturday for two lectures sponsored by Planned Parenthood, had always been interested in acting, she never actually majored in theatre arts when she was at the UA. She had worries about the practicality of being an actor as a profession; Walsh admitted it’s necessarily not a great way to make money. In addition, her family was not thrilled when Walsh finally decided to drop out before graduation to pursue acting instead.

    “”(My mother) said, whatever you do, don’t do those kinds of films, meaning porn, and that was her amount of faith in me,”” Walsh said.

    Walsh came back to America after teaching English in Japan and was going to major in theatre arts, but she decided to drop out instead.

    “”It was like I couldn’t do anything else,”” Walsh said.

    “”It was what I really wanted to do, so it was sort of just by process of elimination.””

    Walsh took part in black box theater and improvisation at the local a. k. a. Theater, which has since closed. She has no regrets now about dropping out and sees it as the right decision, but she admitted that when she first left, she found the decision difficult.

    “”I would feel like, what do I put down on applications for jobs? I went there, I was there for a couple of years, but I didn’t graduate?”” Walsh said.

    After working at the a.k.a. Theater and a local coffee shop, she went to Chicago to study acting and afterward landed roles in “”The Drew Carey Show”” and “”Grey’s Anatomy.””

    “”It’s so funny because I don’t even know how many credits I have left to graduate,”” Walsh said. “”I’ve never had a hang-up or shame about not having a degree.””

    On “”Grey’s Anatomy,”” she was cast in the villainous role of Dr. Shepherd’s wife, who broke up the romance between the doctor and title character Meredith Grey. She said she sees some similarities between her character and the new character Dr. Mark Sloane, also known as “”McSteamy”” (played by Eric Dane). Both can be seen as the character everybody loves to hate.

    “”They’re just like real people,”” Walsh said. “”There are some people that are arrogant, and they have other sides to them that are charming. I think they do a great job on ‘Grey’s’ of showing all the different sides to all the characters.””

    Just as fans of the show may have finally gotten used to having Walsh around as Dr. Addison Shepherd, the episode that aired a week ago showed Walsh finalizing her divorce. Despite the play of events, Walsh isn’t worried about the security of her role.

    “”Unless somebody pushes me down an elevator shaft or something, I’m there for a while. I think they like having a strong female attending character on the show.””

    Walsh was in town Saturday for two events sponsored by Planned Parenthood. One event allowed her to meet with teens who have been involved in the Teen Awareness Group and another was open to the public at Club Congress. Walsh said although the focus on “”Grey’s”” is not always about reproductive health or birth control, it has made her more educated about certain things.

    “”If you’re playing a concert pianist, you either learn to play the piano or you find out everything you can about it. That’s the sort of thing that made me want to be an actor,”” Walsh said.

    Walsh had used Planned Parenthood in Tucson when she was younger and became a member of its Board of Advocates. She was interested in having the chance to come back at a conference, when a member of Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona mentioned doing an event here.

    While Walsh doesn’t have control over the way stories are written on “”Grey’s,”” she’s very proud of the way that the show portrays issues about birth control and other issues that Planned Parenthood advocates. She cited as an example an episode that aired a couple of weeks ago about taking out a woman’s IntraUterine Device.

    “”These are just certain things that for some reason you don’t just hear on other shows or you can’t have a conversation about in this culture,”” Walsh said. “”(The writers) don’t ask permission; they just say it.””

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