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Justin Chambers, who plays Dr. Alex Karev on Grey's Anatomy. (Sy Bean / Seattle Refined)

Keeping Up with Karev: Justin Chambers spills secrets from 'Grey's Anatomy' set

We've been talking a ton about Grey's Anatomy this week, in preparation of the premiere of their 14th season.

Think about that - 14 seasons! It takes a lot to get through over 300 episodes, plot twists left and right, and cast members dropping in and out like flies.

In fact, there are only a handful of characters who have been there since the beginning - and one of them is Alex Karev, played by Justin Chambers.

"Alex definitely, you’ve seen a big transition from the first few seasons," said Chambers when we chatted with him this summer. A handful of the cast came up to shoot scenes in Seattle, and you KNOW we had to get some fact time with them. "He [Alex] had a lot of bravado, cocky - he’s definitely become more sensitive as the years progressed and a lot of that has to do with his relationships with his patients, but also with his fellow doctors."

Chambers isn't new to Seattle like some other cast members (cough, Kevin McKidd, cough) - the show filmed scenes up here several seasons ago.

"It's great to be back!," he said. "Different landscape, different vibe, ate at a great restaurant last night, lots of good food here - feels like I’m doing a plug for the city but it's true, I’m a tourist here."

After 14 seasons, only four characters remain that were in Season 1: Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson), Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.) and Alex Karev (Chambers).

"I don’t remember life before this show, it’s been so many years," laughed Chambers. "It’s a great blessing, get to work with the people I want to work with get to play a character that’s fun and pay the bills, can’t ask for anything more."

Many people joke that the show just keeps going - but Chambers sums it up well:

"You’re on a successful hit show, you enjoy playing these characters, why not just keep riding until people don’t want it?"

Seriously - just give the people what they want!

"We all really do get along and make the best work we can," says Chambers about his cast mates. "As an artist you want to express yourself, and if people respond - you feel like you’re doing something and that’s gratifying. It makes me excited to get back to work."

One of the seminal relationships in the show is not romantic - shockingly - it's the friendship between Alex and Meredith, played by Ellen Pompeo.

"Ellen’s great to work off of, there’s great chemistry there," he said. "I like that there’s sort of a sibling love for each other."

A pipe dream for many fans is that Alex and Meredith end up getting together, but Chambers wasn't spilling any secrets.

"People project and see what they want to see, and that’s all in Shonda’s head," he said. "It will go where it goes - anything is possible. As an actor my job is to fly with what’s written and justify it in my mind, and I can do that."

Grey's Anatomy premieres tonight, September 28 at 8 p.m. on KOMO 4.

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