Grey’s Anatomy Star Anthony Hill Talks Playing A Doctor, Early Inspirations and What’s Next For Him

As avid television viewers know, popular medical drama Grey’s Anatomy has reigned network television station ABC for decades. This year, the series finishes up its 18th season, celebrating its 400th episode at the season’s finale. Having first premiered in 2005, the series has since undergone myriad changes to its original cast of characters throughout its many years on air. Although many beloved characters have come and gone, viewers have remained transfixed by the introduction of new additions to the Grey’s Anatomy family.

Most notably, cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Winston Ndugu, played by Anthony Hill, first attracted the attention of Grey’s Anatomy fans when he was introduced in episode 19 of Season 16. Entitled ‘Love of My Life,’ this episode gave viewers a glimpse into Winston’s potential to capture their hearts. Since his introduction, Hill has joined the permanent cast and has become well-loved by the Grey’s Anatomy fanbase. 

A well-seasoned actor, Anthony Hill has been featured in many popular network series over the course of his career. You may recognize him from his work in episodes of NCIS, Scream: The TV Series, How to Get Away With Murder, and Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia. An Oklahoma State alum, Hill comes from an athletic background and demonstrated his skill playing college football. However, despite his athletic talents, Hill’s passion for acting drove him to pursue a career in the acting industry in which he has since garnered many guest roles on major network series.

Photography by Franz Steiner. Courtesy of 42West.

Over the course of his career, Hill has consistently landed roles in popular series, demonstrating his range and skill playing deputies, baristas and even patients. Now Hill has transitioned from patient to doctor, starring as Dr. Winston Ndugu on Grey’s Anatomy. Through his heartwarming portrayal of Dr. Ndugu, Hill has established himself as a fan favorite with a compelling story to tell over the course of the last two seasons.

We caught up with Anthony Hill to talk about his inspirations, his experiences, and what he’s working towards.

How did your love for acting begin? It started with my love of movies, and watching them with my dad. I would do impressions of every character we watched, my #1 impression was and still is Ace Ventura lol.

Who has been one of your biggest inspirations? Denzel Washington. And more recently Donald “I can do anything” Glover.

You’ve been featured on many popular network TV series such as How to Get Away With Murder and NCIS. Aside from your current role on Grey’s Anatomy, what has been your favorite experience in your career and why? It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It was a show I loved before I booked it, and I got to travel with the cast to Philly. It was an unforgettable experience.

Photography by Franz Steiner. Courtesy of 42West.

Your character Winston Ndugu was first introduced in Season 16 of Grey’s Anatomy, and has since been a member of the permanent cast. What’s been your favorite part of working on Grey’s Anatomy? The collaboration. I love witnessing the teamwork involved each week, in order to make an episode of television. 

What’s your biggest takeaway from your experience on the show so far?
My biggest takeaway is that being flexible and malleable with the ability to pivot and go a different direction at any given moment is crucial for the team effort that is storytelling on network television. 

How would you compare yourself with Winston?
I would never step foot into an OR with tools in my hand, so we’re very different.

How are you alike and how are you different?
We are alike in our love and sacrifice for our families, but on the other hand I am much more direct, and less of a pushover.

What character development would you like to see happen for Winston?
I would like to see him interact with other main characters of the show more often. I feel like this would put his personality on display and open him up a bit more. I would also like to see something shocking involving his family happen in the future. That would be fun.

Photography by Franz Steiner. Courtesy of 42West.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your acting career? The rejection. It’s fairly consistent and relentless in this industry. But it’s par for the course.

How have you dealt with this? I’ve pushed through it, and continue to with self-belief and by having positive and HONEST people around me.

What tips would you give to others looking to follow a similar path? Some people would say to  just dive in wholeheartedly, but I would say test the waters and make sure you genuinely love story telling. For example, take classes, perform in plays, communicate/network with other  people in the industry and get a feel for if it’s really what you want for your life. 

What are you looking forward to most in the near future? Being in films, and portraying characters that allow me to explore life more fully and help tell stories that shift the culture in a positive way.

Anthony is wearing a coat by Ted Baker, Pants by ZARA MAN, Sweater by Ted Baker, Necklace by Nordstrom collection, Watch by MacKinnon Watches and Shoes by TAFT.

Photography by @steiner.creative.
Full story & interview by @emmackehl.
Styled by @allzedetails.
Makeup by @muaxsally.
Special thanks to @christy_osler + @42west.

Contributing Entertainment Writer, Contrast Magazine.

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