‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Actor Jake Borelli Can’t Wait to Explore His Character’s Queerness in Season 19

“I’ve been pitching quite often to have Levi experience more sides of the queer community,” the longtime cast member on the ABC drama tells TheWrap

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Dr. Levi Schmitt stepped out of the hospital, went to a party and found himself a new love interest on “Grey’s Anatomy.” And that’s just the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the character played by Jake Borelli.

Levi has been single for more than a year after stepping away from the first relationship between two gay men to be featured regularly on the long-running ABC medical drama. Fans were passionate about the pairing of Levi (Jake Borelli) and Dr. Nico Kim (Alex Landi) for many seasons but welcomed the arrival of traveling nurse Carlos (Calvin Seabrooks) with messages of support on social media when the character was introduced in the March 9 episode of “Grey’s.”

The hour featured the new class of interns — who had recently been allowed to move into Meredith Grey’s former home in Seattle following her move to Boston — deciding to throw a big housewarming party to celebrate their new digs. Levi attended the event and met Carlos, leading to flirty conversations and, eventually, a big kiss.

Borelli welcomed the storyline and teased that the chemistry between the doctor and the traveling nurse will be explored further this season.

“It was so fun playing in those scenes with Calvin, who plays Carlos, and just to have another queer actor on set has been really, really great,” Borelli tells TheWrap.

Apart from the satisfaction of seeing the overworked chief resident of Grey Sloan Memorial step out of the hospital and meet new people, Borelli said he cherishes the opportunity to see Levi explore his queerness outside of his first relationship. The character came out as gay in Season 15 and immediately found himself committed to Nico.

After their at-times tumultuous relationship officially ended, Levi’s love life went on the backburner as he took on more responsibilities at the hospital. Still, Borelli craved the time to sink into his character’s identity.

“I’ve been pitching for quite a long time, especially because Levi and Nico broke up over a year ago now, to have Levi experience more sides of the queer community, and to really meet more queer people and see what he actually wants and actually deserves and actually needs,” Borelli said. “We’re starting the ball rolling here with Carlos and we’ll see where it goes.”

Part of Levi’s evolution on the show also involves his duties at the hospital. As the chief resident supervising the new class of interns, he’s essentially playing the role Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) first played at the start of the series. Thursday’s new episode, titled “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves,” will see Levi scrubbing in with returning legend Dr. Catherine Fox (Debbie Allen) on a “big, scandalous” new case. Expect the usual “Grey’s” doses of drama with another look at how Levi handles his leadership role with the interns.

Borelli admits Levi might be “overcompensating” a bit with his newly-acquired power, but says he hopes the OG Bailey herself can give him some pointers as the season progresses.

“I think this moment for Levi is truly about him trying to find his footing as a teacher and figuring out how he can lead a new group of interns while also trying to learn himself. So that’s where we’re going, [moving toward] the end of the season” Borelli said.

“Grey’s Anatomy” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.