‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Alum Sarah Drew Reveals Why April and Jackson Didn’t Kiss in ‘Look Up, Child’: ‘Part of Me Wanted a Kiss’

Fans of Grey’s Anatomy rejoiced over the reunion of April Kempner (Sarah Drew) and longtime love Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) on the May 6 episode, “Look Up, Child”. The on-again, off-again couple had a serious heart-to-heart during the highly anticipated storyline, yet physical contact was kept to a minimum. Drew revealed why they had to keep some distance in place, as well as some disappointment of her own on the lack of a lip lock.

Jesse Williams and Sarah Drew in a scene of 'Grey's Anatomy'
Jesse Williams and Sarah Drew of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Richard Cartwright/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Jesse Williams and Sarah Drew had to follow social distancing rules

The highly-anticipated episode followed Jackson visiting his estranged father as he reaches the decision to leave Grey Sloan Memorial. Determined to balance the inequalities in medicine, Jackson sets his sights on running the Avery Foundation and asks ex-wife April to assist him in his new venture.

Though the chemistry between the two characters still radiated off the screen, Drew explained that there couldn’t be much physical interaction due to remaining social distancing protocols instilled by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We weren’t even supposed to have a hug or a hand grab,” Drew said, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Despite the restrictions, both actors managed to work in some intimate contact. “Both happened on the day between the two of us. … At first, we couldn’t do the hand grab and hug, and then we just did them.”

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Sarah Drew’s thoughts on a ‘Japril’ kiss

While fans got to see a hug between Jackson and April, they were hoping for a kiss and verbalized their disappointment on social media. Drew felt a smooch in the storyline may have gone overboard.

“I do think a kiss, it would have been too much,” the Grey’s Anatomy alum explained. “I love how it leaves the audience hoping and wanting more and drawing their own conclusions. It’d be intense to drop this bomb that her marriage was over and five seconds later they’re making out.”

The fan-favorite couple has experienced ups and downs since season eight. With Drew’s final episode in 2018 showing her at the altar with ex-fiancé Matthew, “Look Up, Child” revealed that her marriage was over, leaving the door open for a full-on ‘Japril’ reconciliation. Still, Drew understood why a kiss was left out of the script.

“There’s tenderness there about all the things he’s asking her to do,” Drew remarked. “Uprooting her life, going on this epic journey — and you’ll need to take some time if that’s the direction they’re going to go in. I’m glad we held it back.”

Though she then admitted, “Part of me wanted a kiss at the end, too.”

Jesse Williams’ announced exit from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

News of Williams’ departure from Grey’s Anatomy after 12 seasons coincided with the ‘Japril’-themed episode.

“I will forever be grateful for the boundless opportunities provided me by Shonda [Rhimes], the network, studio, fellow cast mates, our incredible crew, Krista [Vernoff], Ellen [Pompeo] and Debbie [Allen],” Williams said in a statement to Deadline. “As an actor, director, and person, I have been obscenely lucky to learn so much from so many and I thank our beautiful fans, who breathe so much energy and appreciation into our shared worlds.”

He continued, “The experience and endurance born of creating nearly 300 hours of leading global television is a gift I’ll carry always. I am immensely proud of our work, our impact and to be moving forward with so many tools, opportunities, allies, and dear friends.”

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Drew shared her gratitude in helping her longtime friend and onscreen love interest wrap up his journey on the medical drama.

“I was excited to get to be a part of his departure,” Drew said. “That relationship between the two of us and ‘Japril’ is so meaningful to both of us. It felt like the perfect time to come back and do a special episode to be able to help Jackson make his big departure.”