Giacomo Gianniotti Divulges His Most Embarrassing Moment On “Grey’s Anatomy”

  Giacomo Gianniotti Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins/

Giacomo Gianniotti is perhaps best known for playing Dr. Andrew DeLuca on Grey’s Anatomy from 2015-this year, and in true Grey’s fashion, died in the recent mid-season premiere. The return was a big episode for his character and he was able to say goodbye to the show and his Grey’s family. But alas! This isn’t the last you’ll see of the Canadian-American, Italian-born heartthrob. The 32-year-old star not only made his directorial debut this year (also on an episode of Grey’s) but voiced a character in Disney and Pixar’s recent release, Luca. Here, we chatted with Gianniotti about Grey’s, life and what fans can expect next.

Giacomo Gianniotti Photo Credit: DFree/

What are you going to miss the most about DeLuca? What was your favorite part about playing him?

I loved the people I worked with, I loved seeing the impact of the stories we told in real life, literally saving lives in certain cases. I also loved all I learned in these seven years. I’m no surgeon but I sure have learned a ton about the medical world, and my respect for healthcare workers is unmatched, they are my heroes.

What was it like to play Meredith Grey’s love interest in the years following Derek’s death?

Ellen and I always got along from day one and had fun, so when that story line came about it was really just a great opportunity to spend more time and have more fun together. She is an incredibly generous soul and I’m grateful for her friendship.

Fans were devastated when you left the show, but are you happy with the final story line your character had?

I think Human Trafficking is something EVERYONE should be talking about and not stop talking about until serious change is reached. The statistics are staggering and something must be done. That we got to shed light on that issue through our story and show how everyday people can be heroes is beautiful, and Deluca being reunited with his mother in death was a cherry on top.

If DeLuca had lived, do you think Meredith would have ended up with him or Cormac?

Hard to say, I think with DeLuca finally having gotten help, therapy, medication, exercise, rest, and diet all in check, he was the best version of himself he had ever been. It would have been interesting to see how something like love, which was always something difficult for Andrew could have been in this new lease on life he was beginning to have.

Your character took on two major hot button topics: mental illness and human trafficking. Do you feel good or is it personally important to you to tell stories that connect with important causes?

Absolutely. I think like any actor, being a super hero in a movie or action film would be a blast but there’s nothing more rewarding than telling real stories that shed light on issues we all face. The messages I have received from the mental illness community and from Human Trafficking victims have humbled me to my core and has been one of the great honors of my career, that people felt seen and heard and represented.

How did you transition from acting to directing? Do you have plans to direct more in the future – either for Grey’s or a different project?

Directing has always been a passion of mine. It’s something I have worked hard at for many years. Debbie Allen has been such a great mentor and champion for my directing career and it was she that offered me my first directing job in Hollywood to direct my first episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I plan on pursuing directing very aggressively and am already seeking out new opportunities in this very exciting new playground for me.

Who were you happiest to see when you returned to the set to direct?

Every single person. Cast and crew, I kind of grew up on the show as a young actor and became a man on it. For everyone to see how far I’d come and to see me arrive so prepared and thoughtful was a big moment for everyone. Everyone was very proud and excited. I hope I did them well.

Giacomo GianniottiPhoto Credit: DFree/

You’ve said Ellen Pompeo was like a mentor to you. What role did the other cast members play in your life while on set, or in your personal life? The joker, the magician, etc.

We all have families, wives, husbands, kids… we’re all family people and I think that’s where we all connected. We were always talking about our loved ones waiting for us at home and how much we couldn’t wait to get back to them. Everyone has always been so supportive over the years.

Do you have a favorite behind-the-scenes memory to share from your time on the series?

One time I accidentally poked Geena Davis with a needle that the props department had not placed the latex slab properly and it went and poked her in the back and she said “Ahhhh” with a wince. I was mortified and wanted to implode. She took it really well and laughed and I have many fond memories working with her.

Will DeLuca return to the show at some point in the future?

I don’t believe so but who knows. If I’ve learned anything’s from Grey’s Anatomy, it’s “never say never.”

What do you have coming up for the rest of 2021?

I’m currently shooting a new show for Netflix called “From Scratch” alongside Zoe Saldana which should be coming out next year. I have a small role in the new Disney Pixar film “Luca” where I play a fisherman in a small town in Italy. Lastly, I have a great character in a fantastic new video game for PS5 coming out later this year.

What have you found, especially with the past year having been so difficult for most, to be the greatest luxury in life?

Love. Love. Love.

Giacomo Gianniotti
“Grey’s Anatomy” stars Kelly McCreary, Kim Raver, Gianniotti and Camilla Luddington at the ABC Television Winter Press Tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel on February 5, 2019 in Pasadena

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins/

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