‘Grey’s’ actress discusses role

Sharon Chow

Jessica Capshaw ’94, the actress who plays pediatric surgeon Arizona Robbins on “Grey’s Anatomy,” talked to girls Oct. 6 about her childhood, playing a lesbian character on the show and adapting to the challenges in her life.

The La Femme club invited all upper school students to attend Capshaw’s talk in Feldman-Horn.

As a child, Capshaw loved stories.

“I knew that I loved telling stories but was super shy,” Capshaw said. “I was one of the last kids to learn to read in first grade, and then I was the first to read all of the books and win all of the spelling contests and that was my pride.”

In high school, Capshaw started auditioning and acting in the plays.

Upon graduating, Capshaw attended Brown University, where she majored in English, and later attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.

Capshaw got married at 26 and had her first child before getting a phone call to audition for a three-episode arc on ABC drama “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Though Capshaw did not get that role, the writers wrote another three-episode story arc for her to play Arizona Robbins a few months later.

At first, Capshaw said that people doubted her choice and believed that playing a lesbian character on the show would limit her.

However, Capshaw is proud of her role.

“I want to tell stories that enlighten people,” she said. “I want to play a character that makes people see things.”