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Chandra Wilson Calls “Grey's Anatomy” Emmys Reunion 'Comfort Food-Like': 'It Was Like Riding a Bike' (Exclusive)

Wilson tells PEOPLE that the 'Grey’s Anatomy' cast "jumped right back into our groove" when reuniting on stage at the 2023 Emmys

<p>Michael Tullberg/FilmMagic</p> Chandra Wilson attends the Walt Disney Company Emmy Awards party at Otium on January 15, 2024

Michael Tullberg/FilmMagic

Chandra Wilson attends the Walt Disney Company Emmy Awards party at Otium on January 15, 2024

It was like no time had passed for Chandra Wilson when reuniting with her former Grey's Anatomy costars at the the 2023 Emmy Awards.

At The Walt Disney Company 2023 Emmy Awards Celebration following the awards ceremony, the 54-year-old actress told PEOPLE it was important to “bring in past and present cast” — including Ellen Pompeo, James Pickens Jr., Katherine Heigl and Justin Chambers — “in order to really pay homage to the show.”

“We've seen each other certainly on and off throughout the seasons, but last night was like our first little rehearsal,” she shared. “It was like riding a bike, we just jumped right back into our groove.”

<p>Kevin Winter/Getty </p> Chandra Wilson, Justin Chambers, Ellen Pompeo, Katherine Heigl and James Pickens speak onstage during the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards at Peacock Theater on January 15, 2024

Kevin Winter/Getty

Chandra Wilson, Justin Chambers, Ellen Pompeo, Katherine Heigl and James Pickens speak onstage during the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards at Peacock Theater on January 15, 2024

Related: Chandra Wilson Says She Is 'Challenging' Herself to Stay Until 'Grey's Anatomy' 's 'Very Last Scene' (Exclusive)

Wilson, who plays Dr. Miranda Bailey on the long-running ABC medical drama, added the cast reminisced about their first time attending an awards show as a group.

“As a matter of fact, we were remembering what it was like when we did our first awards show, I think it was The People's Choice Awards and we all did together,” she recalled. “It was very comfort food-like.”

On Monday, the OG castmates reunited to announce the winner for outstanding supporting actor in a limited or anthology series or movie at the Emmys. The reunion came years after Heigl and Chambers left the series in 2010 and 2020, respectively.

<p>Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty</p> Chandra Wilson, Justin Chambers, Ellen Pompeo, Katherine Heigl and James Pickens at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles, CA, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty

Chandra Wilson, Justin Chambers, Ellen Pompeo, Katherine Heigl and James Pickens at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles, CA, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024

Related: Chandra Wilson Says Ellen Pompeo's Presence on 'Grey's Anatomy' Will 'Ebb and Flow' Despite Limited Role

"When the first episode of Grey's Anatomy aired in March 2005, I'm not sure Shonda Rhimes knew that she had created a show that will have a lasting influence on television and create lifelong friendships," Pompeo began.

Chambers continued, noting how the show and it's "400 episodes and counting" have become a "tribute to everyone who is now part of our family." Though, there have been "some changes over the years," Heigl added, there was "one thing that had remained a constant": Grey's Anatomy's "incredible fan base."

"You stayed with us through plane crashes, super storms, earthquakes and a global pandemic," Wilson gushed. "And as we start our 20th season, we are officially the longest running primetime medical drama in TV history."

"And that would not be possible without all of you," Pickens continued, before Heigl introduced the nominees. "So to all of our fans and to all of you — we thank you."

Related: Chandra Wilson Had a Second Job During First Season of 'Grey's Anatomy' : 'My Bread and Butter'

While speaking with PEOPLE on the red carpet, Heigl called their impending reunion an "odd nostalgic walk down memory lane."

Though she hasn't seen Wilson in "15 years" and Chambers in "maybe 10," the actress explained that her former costars "are people that mean a lot to me."

"I miss them, so it's really nice," she added.

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Season 20 of Grey’s Anatomy premieres March 14 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC

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