Getting To Know The New Resident Of “Grey’s Anatomy,” Jake Borelli

Jake BorelliPhoto Credit: Jonny Marlow

You know Jake Borelli best as Dr. Levi Schmitt on ABC’s award-winning, medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, but now, it’s time to get to know the man behind the scrubs.

But first, a bit about Borelli himself. Originally introduced during the 14th season of Shonda Rhimes‘ hit series, Borelli instantly became a fan favorite as one of the newest interns to join Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Fans tuned in weekly to watch Dr. Schmitt’s historic storyline unfold, as they witnessed the first kiss between two male doctors and the first major gay (male) romance in the show’s history. In film, Jake was most recently seen starring in Freeform’s The Thing About Harry. The film marked the network’s first ever gay romantic comedy.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Borelli knew at a young age that he wanted to be an actor. He got his start acting with the Columbus Children’s Theater when he was just 10 years old, going from the stage he went on to work in local commercials and radio in Ohio. In 2009, a few weeks after he graduated from high school, he decided to make the move to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of being a full-time actor. He has been working ever since. Here, he discusses his journey to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.

Jake BorelliPhoto Credit: Jonny Marlow

How is “Grey’s Anatomy” creating a new chapter for the series after Ellen’s departure?

As we’ve done in the past, we’ve brought in a whole new group of interns this year, and we get to see how they fair at Grey-Sloan. Seeing new classes break in and climb the ladder at the hospital has always been one of my favorite parts about the show.

Where will your character fit into the mix? How will things change for you?

There’s a big shift for Levi this season. He’s no longer just the student anymore, he’s both a student and a teacher. It’s been so wonderful getting to play opposite these five new interns and it’s been an exciting experience seeing how Levi deals with new responsibilities. He’s slowly figuring out his own unique teaching method, and even though I think he’s over compensating a little bit, I really believe he will find his way.

From a viewer’s perspective, Dr. Levi’s earlier days do not seem as stressful as compared to this season. What can you tell us about Dr. Levi’s transformation?

I honestly just think his stressors have changed. In the beginning he was thrust into one of the most iconic hospitals in the country and I think a lot of his neuroses came from his eagerness to try to prove himself at Grey-Sloan. Although, during the pandemic season, things definitely changed for him. The stakes got way higher and he started realizing just how stressful and emotionally taxing the life of a surgeon can be, which, as we know, culminated in him losing his first patient, Devin, which took a huge toll on his mental health. In spite of all of that, I do think all of these challenges are going to make Levi the incredible surgeon I know he can be.

You have been on the series for a few years now. What can you tell us about your personal journey from when you first started working on “Grey’s Anatomy” to now? Do you still enjoy it? How has playing the role helped you evolve as an actor, a person?

It’s wild how on such a long running show, six years can feel like the blink eye, but it truly has been quite the ride. I have learned so much as an actor. Getting to work with some of the best television actors there is has truly been one of the highlights of this job. Levi and I have also gone through a lot of similar personal growth together. We both came out of the closet hand in hand and I truly am so grateful to play him.

Jake BorelliPhoto Credit: Jonny Marlow

What is it like working with such a large cast, and who do you hang out with when the cameras stop rolling? What does that look like on a rare night off, or are you not hanging with your work buddies on the weekends?

Jaicy Elliot who plays Taryn Helm has been a best friend of mine since we started together in season fourteen, and it’s really been so great to have this new crop of interns to hang out with. Not to mention, Niko Terho and I go way back from our THE THING ABOUT HARRY days, so it’s been a blast having him in Los Angeles finally.

What are you hoping will happen for Dr. Levi’s storyline?

I hope this show goes forever! Maybe one day Levi can be chief, ha ha!

“Grey’s Anatomy” is definitely an emotion-filled series. What has been your most difficult scene to film to date?

Honestly, no matter how many times you drill a monologue filled with medical jargon, the second you get a scalpel in your hand, and the fake blood starts gushing, everything seems to go out of the window. But phonetically memorizing while washing dishes is a life saver.

What is something unique that most folks don’t realize about you?

I’m an avid knitter and one day I hope to become the grandma I know I truly can be.

What to you is the greatest luxury in life and why?

Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken and not having to tie my shoes anymore because of Kiziks.