'Grey's Anatomy' star Chandra Wilson reveals she kept a second job while starring on season 1 in case the show got cancelled

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Chandra Wilson
Chandra Wilson. Paul Archuleta/Getty Images
  • Chandra Wilson kept a second job until season two of "Grey's Anatomy," she told Mario Lopez.

  • She kept her job at a bank because short-lived TV shows are common in Hollywood.

  • The actor and director said the bank had to "force" her out because she wouldn't quit.

"Grey's Anatomy" star Chandra Wilson told guest-host Mario Lopez on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" that she was so uncertain about the show's future on its first season that she kept her second job as a precaution.

"As a working actor out there in New York, you're used to having your bread and butter," Wilson explained - referring to a job that would keep money coming in on a regular basis. "My bread and butter was my job in the document-processing department at Banker's Trust."

The actor explained that her job at the bank, now known as Deutsche Bank, was "long-term temp" and worked well with her schedule because her shift was at night so she could audition during the day.

Chandra Wilson on "Grey's Anatomy."
Wilson on "Grey's Anatomy." ABC/Eric McCandless

She joked that she made "high-end" money "because I was [an] operator back in the day. I knew how to do Word, Excel, and Powerpoint."

Wilson, who has played everyone's favorite no-nonsense doctor Miranda Bailey on "Grey's Anatomy" for all 18 seasons so far, said she had a friend who told her, "Don't ever put all of your eggs in one basket, especially when they call you out here to L.A. because the jobs don't last."

She knew her friend was being honest because she had been cast on short-lived shows before. So, she heeded the advice and all through "Grey's" season one would have to call the bank and say, "Oh, I'm not available this weekend, I'm not available this weekend."

"Grey's Anatomy" cast
"Grey's Anatomy" celebrated 350 episodes in 2019. Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images

"When we got to season two, my supervisor said, 'Will you stop calling and telling us that you're not available 'cause we see you on TV,'" Wilson laughed, admitting that her bank employer had to "force me out."

Wilson has now directed many episodes of "Grey's Anatomy," including Kate Walsh's return episode in season 18, "Hotter than Hell."

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