Warning: Spoilers are ahead.
Maggie Pierce's (Kelly McCreary) newly discovered cousin stopped by Grey's Anatomy for the Nov. 7 episode, and she kept remarking about how similar they looked. Well, there's a real world reason for that similarity, because Sabrina aka "Sabi" on Grey's Anatomy was played by Kelly's real sister Crystal McCreary.
By day, Crystal is a yoga teacher in New York, but she has some acting experience too which helped lead her to Grey's Anatomy and into playing Maggie's cousin Sabi from Richard Webber's (James Pickens Jr.) side of the family.
Kelly told Entertainment Weekly that it was the sisters' first time acting together, and it wasn't a given that Crystal would play Sabi. Kelly said that she'd heard that the writers wanted to introduce more of Maggie's family, and the team knew that Kelly's sister acted, so they had her audition for the role. They must have liked what they saw in that audition, because Crystal landed the part.
At first, the role started off on a positive note. Maggie and Sabi met and realized how much they had in common. Maggie was thrilled to get to know Richard's family. But then she learned that Sabi had a dangerous tumor that needed immediate operation. Maggie volunteered to do the surgery because she's the best. But when the surgery went sour, Maggie was forced to tell her newly found uncle that his daughter was dead. The short-lived character arc was super emotional, and Kelly said it was really challenging to pretend to be operating on her real life sister. "Weird is an understatement. Surreal and slightly creepy is more like it," Kelly tweeted.
Minus that emotional scene, though, the McCreary sisters had a blast. "It was delightful [working with Crystal]," Kelly tweeted. "Felt like the most natural thing in the world. Nothing like working with family." And Crystal tweeted, "We laughed and giggled, lol. It was so fun to work with @KellyMcCreary for the first time!"
Even though her character died almost as quickly as she was introduced, Crystal was grateful for the chance to influence her sister's character arc in such a big way. "It's so well written that even though it broke my heart, you can feel that, in terms of Maggie Pierce’s arc, it's critical," Crystal told EW of her death scene. "It's a critical part of her character’s life journey, so it was also a real honor to know that I got to help my sister experience this big uptick in terms of the stakes for her character’s life. I got to help with that! So it was really sad but it was also really triumphant."
Since Sabi died, it doesn't seem like the McCreary sisters will be back together again on Grey's Anatomy, but maybe the show can give Sabi a twin sister so Crystal can come back? Please?