Chandra Wilson spent the first season of Grey’s Anatomy working the graveyard shift.
In an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday, Oct. 14, the veteran cast member revealed that when she started playing Dr. Miranda Bailey–a character she has portrayed for all 18 seasons of the medical drama—she had a second job.
“As a working actor out there in New York, you’re used to having your bread and butter,” Wilson explained to guest host Mario Lopez. “My bread and butter was my job in the document processing department at Bankers Trust at the time, before it became Deutsche Bank. It was long-term temp, and it was perfect because it was overnight and I could still audition and work during the day and make the high-end money.”
Wilson continued, “I had an actor friend who said, ‘Don’t ever put all your eggs in one basket, especially when they call you out here to L.A., because the jobs don’t last.’ And I had gone through a series before, that we only got six or seven episodes before we were canceled.”