Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes put a lot of thought into the development of her characters. Katherine Heigl told Entertainment Weekly that the showrunner was always “really great” at providing a backstory to explain what the characters were thinking before each scene. And it turns out that some of the backstory comes from Rhimes’ own life.
In an interview with O: The Oprah Magazine, Rhimes revealed that the characters Meredith Gray and Cristina Yang were most like her. “There’s a side to Meredith that ties everything together at work,” she said. “I’ll do it. And like Cristina, sometimes I open my mouth and say things that I just shouldn’t say. I do that less now. I am learning.”
Rhimes also opened up about her semi-fictional alter ego in an interview with TV Guide. She explained that Meredith Grey’s “dark and twisted” personality is very similar to her own, and that the character of Cristina Yang actually “spoke out” her own dreams for herself. “She had a genius she was chasing. She loved her job,” Rhimes explained. “I wanted to see her fight this feminist battle and win,” she said, before adding that the character is “the walking affirmation of my dreams.”