“Grey’s Anatomy” is making some history-making moves.
The beloved drama, currently in its 16th season, introduced a new doctor on Thursday’s episode, Dr. Lauren Riley, the first-ever recurring deaf doctor on a network primetime series.
Riley is played by Shoshannah Stern, who is deaf.
Stern chatted with Variety about the opportunity and confessed she’s literally dreamed of being a part of the medical drama.
“It was always just me walking around in scrubs with the other doctors like I was one of them,” the actress said. “I remember always having trouble adjusting when I woke up from these dreams because they always felt so vividly real.”
And Stern plans on making real deaf doctors proud, revealing she spoke with doctors who are deaf while developing Dr. Riley and added that the show also reached out “to ensure what they were writing about was accurate.”
“It was most important to me that Riley was the best at what she did because, not in spite, of the fact that she’s deaf,” Stern continued. “It was also important that being deaf isn’t something that defines Riley, it just adds a unique layer to her.”
And Krista Vernoff, the “Grey’s” showrunner, says she was impressed with Stern since their first meeting.
“I fell in love with her as a human, as a communicator, as an actress,” Vernoff said. “I thought she was incredible and I wanted to put her on my show. I did not even know it had never been done before.”