Grey’s Anatomy Star Chandra Wilson Talks Her Character, Dr. Bailey
Chandra Wilson has played the role of Dr. Miranda Bailey for all 19 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. In her role, she was originally nicknamed “The Nazi” by her interns. In fact, she was the boss of Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), Christina Yang (Sandra Oh), Alex Karev (Justin Chambers, George O’Malley (T.R. Knight) and Izzie Stephens (Katherine Heigl).
While Yang, Karev, O’Malley and Izzie have since left the hospital, Dr. Bailey is in it for the long run. Read on to find out details about Chandra and her role in the hit medical drama.
Chandra Wilson in Grey’s Anatomy
Grey’s Anatomy creator, Shonda Rhimes once told O Magazine that Dr. Bailey’s personality is loosely based on her mother. She said, “A little bit,” adding, “she’s very no-nonsense.” Rhimes quoted Bailey as saying things like “These people are nasty – all they think about is sex while we’re trying to save lives here.” According to Shondra, her mother is “definitely that kind of realist.”
While the show’s creator added a bit of nepotism into Bailey’s character, the one person who claims is nothing like Bailey is Wilson herself.
Wilson’s acting career
Before snagging her iconic role on Grey’s Anatomy, Wilson started acting and singing from a young age. In fact, she performed in musicals before receiving her degree at New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. Meanwhile, her role in the hit hospital drama was her first big TV role. In fact, Chandra has starred in more than 400 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy since 2005.
While she has starred in so many episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, Wilson once admitted that her character is absolutely nothing like her. In an interview with the Seattle Times, Wilson said:
Miranda Bailey was so not me, so not me that I wasn’t recognizable on the street, because my demeanor, everything about me in my opinion was really different from her.
Meanwhile, despite this, she did acknowledge that she and her character have similar work ethics and family values. However, she did add, “That’s about where our similarities ended.”
Moreover, O Magazine asked showrunner Shonda Rhimes about the casting of Wilson. She said that this was the only character she pictured before the casting calls. However, her original vision for the character was nothing like Chandra. “I pictured her as a tiny blonde with curls,” she said, adding:
I thought it would be unexpected to have this sweet-looking person open her mouth and say tough things. But then Chandra Wilson auditioned, and she opened her mouth and said those same things. I thought, ‘That’s exactly who Miranda is.’
Grey’s Anatomy fans are no doubt happy that Chandra Wilson did take the role in Grey’s Anatomy.