Ellen Pompeo Breaks Silence on Isaiah Washington, Katherine Heigl and Her Grey's Anatomy Future: 'I Have an Amazing Life'

greys-anatomy-ellen-pompeo-300Grey’s Anatomy fans worried that Ellen Pompeo will follow Sandra Oh out the door later this season, get ready to breathe a sigh of relief.

In a new interview, Pompeo — whose contract is set to expire next summer (along with all of her original co-stars, including Patrick Dempsey) — expressed little desire to explore life outside of Grey Sloan Memorial.

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“Actors always think the grass is greener somewhere else — I didn’t want to do that,” she told the New York Post. “I have an amazing life. I have a house five minutes from the studio, I have a house in the Hamptons, a house in Malibu, a beautiful daughter whom I see every night, and it’s all because I didn’t leave Grey’s Anatomy.”

Pompeo also spoke candidly about the show’s tumultuous early days, including the high profile exits of Isaiah Washington and Katherine Heigl. “Hurt feelings, combined with instant success and huge paychecks started things spinning out of control,” she explained. “The crazier things got, as I watched all the tumult with Isaiah and then the Katie thing, I started to focus on the work. Maybe it is my Boston, blue-collar upbringing. I just tried to not pay attention to all the noise around me.”

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Other takeaways from the article:

* Pompeo confirmed that Washington was originally eyed for Dempsey’s McDreamy role, but she said, ” I didn’t want him. It was too close to home.” (In real-life, Pompeo is married to African-American music producer Chris Ivery.) “I said I wanted that Dempsey kid,” Pompeo elaborated. “I think that once Isaiah did not get the role it backfired.”

* Pompeo acknowledged that Heigl’s abrupt departure in late 2009 was “tough,” adding, “You could understand why she wanted to go — when you’re offered $12 million a movie and you’re only 26. But Katie’s problem is that she should not have [extended] her contract. She re-upped, took a big raise and then tried to get off the show. And then her movie career did not take off.”

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156 Comments
  1. JJM says:

    Ouch. I love Ellen, but last time someone spoke out on the things of Shondaland they didn’t end so well for them. Ellen’s just lucky these people are the shows history and she’s one of it’s futures. I wish she’d spoke out about Chyler Leigh and Eric Dane. I’m sure there is way more to the story there.

    • Lincoln says:

      When someone speaks badly about someone currently involved IN Shondaland, that’s when things go badly. She’s talking about Isiah and Katie. They’re no longer Shondaland citizens. Ellen will be fine. Chyler and Eric were on the show for very long times. They just wanted something new I’m sure. What I wish she had spoken about was Dr. Erika Hahn’s abrupt dismissal. Now that is something no one ever talks about.

      • JJM says:

        Eric Dane was fired. That was a fact stated when Shonda admitted to “budget cuts”.
        Still, Brooke Smith was treated like garbage. Her character walks into a parking lot and never came back? Barely heard of again? No respect for the character or the actress seeing as she was just in as much shock when they fired her due to the “chemistry with Callie not sustaining in the long run”. At least offer the woman a chance to come back here and there. Right now would be a good time too seeing as the woman was the one to push Callie out of the bisexual closet. She’s split from Arizona, so now would be a good time to see some twisting turn of events with this.

        • Trina says:

          “Budget cuts”. Same reason given for Tim Daly’s departure from Private Practice and Shonda apparently didn’t even have the decency to call the man herself. Poor guy had to find out from his agent.
          And then you don’t see Shonda stop bloating up the GA cast. Now someone’s gonna jump in and say but those actors’ pay packages would’ve been smaller, but one still can’t help the bitterness missing the characters we’ve grown attached to over the years.

          • Lindsay says:

            Couldn’t agree more. I understand budget cuts had to be made, but Eric Dane’s character was not the one to kill off. There were plenty of others to choose from, such as April. Now Shonda has added a bunch of new interns that most people don’t care about. She seems to care less and less about what the fans think and instead tries to shove new characters down our throats. The show was much better when Eric was there. I really enjoyed Mark and Derek’s friendship.

          • kay says:

            she’s adding new characters because she, and the network, want Grey’s to be like E.R.; where the characters can move on and the show lives on. that’s why they’re working so hard to make the interns likable.

          • Lindsay says:

            I’m aware of why she’s adding new characters and I realize that shows have to evolve over time. However, by focusing so much on new characters and almost ignoring the originals, Shonda and ABC are forgetting what made the show enjoyable. I find it hard to believe that people will still be tuning in to watch these new characters run around once Ellen, Patrick, etc. are gone.

        • rez says:

          Please, Hahn was the most hateful character of the whole series. Her episodes are barely watchable.

          • kelly says:

            Agreed. The best thing that Hahn did was to coin the phrase, “pretty and prettier”. Although I did find the whole “I see leaves” thing rather touching.

          • M A Hamilton says:

            I agree; it’s almost like she didn’t have any redeeming qualities other than her ability as a surgeon. She (Hahn) was never nice to anyone, other than Callie, and was caustic, abrasive and just downright mean. I couldn’t stand that character.

      • dude says:

        Katherine was getting a bad reputation before she started biting the hand that fed her, for speaking out. She was very vocal during the Isaiah/T.R. feud and started getting a bad reputation for being mouthy. It’s sad but America doesn’t not like outspoken women, never has. Between the Emmys and this, if Ellen keeps it up, she’ll get a reputation for being a “mouthy woman.” I like it when people speak up for themselves but it’s just a fact of life.

        • Laura B says:

          Katherine wasn’t standing up for herself in the Isaiah/T.R. feud. That is why she cam off sounding like a big mouth and that is what affected her career. It had nothing to do with her. She hurt Isaiahs career. He made a mistake. Interesting that Ellen is talking about all this now, Isaiah is making a comeback. Are they trying to hurt him again?

          • alistaircrane says:

            Isaiah is the bad guy!!! He’s a homophobic piece of trash, and I’m thankful every day that he got fired from Grey’s.

          • dude says:

            A mistake would have been if he said it once. He said it multiple times, including at the Emmys despite the act T.R. had already confirmed he said it. I don’t think Isaiah feels like he made a mistake. He seems like someone with serious ego problems that couldn’t gel with the cast. That said, I’d be pissed too if I knew I was suppose to be the lead in a show and didn’t get it because an actress didn’t want a black love interest.

          • Temperance says:

            No, Katherine was standing up for her friend, against repeated attacks by a vicious homophobe – which makes her a hero in my book. Great morals, great values (American values, no less), she was awesome. I realize some people like their actresses stewpud, vapid, and silent, but I always just assume that’s jealous talking.

          • Ron says:

            Not to mention he made the “mistake” while physically assaulting a coworker (patrick demsy) In most places that would have meant criminal charges and immediate dismissal.

          • M A Hamilton says:

            I couldn’t stand the Burke character, he just had to be perfect and no one is. His ego was over the top. Then in real life he commented so often about T.R. Knight that it became hard to watch but just confirmed my dislike for the actual ‘him’, just not his character. Katherine was defending her friend and I see nothing wrong in that.

          • sarah says:

            so he doesn’t like gays, so what if he hates them!…. big deal! get over it! there r tons u might not like, should u be judged? no one has to be this sensitive over others’ belief system,not if it’s not killing anyone. then and only then speak up! my suggestion, stay quiet, let others be what they are.

        • lorna says:

          EP said nothing wrong, and answered some questions that people have been wanting answers to for a while. Spoke the truth without bashing anyone. Calm down people.

          • M A Hamilton says:

            True and we heard it from someone who knows, she’s there. I wish Katherine had stayed though. AND, I wish Sandra Oh wasn’t leaving.

      • Audrey says:

        I don’t watch the show anymore (frankly, Shonda killed off too many characters to keep me invested. Note to Shonda – not every person who leaves the show has to die a tragic, horrible death) but I would also LOVE to find out what happened to Dr. Hahn. Good call, Lincoln – and glad to see others remember her. Brooke Smith was SO amazing in the role. I remember reading at the time that Brooke wasn’t “conventionally attractive” enough to keep viewers watching – enter Arizona to solve that problem. Hahn’s exit was handled so poorly. Boo.

        • Chris says:

          The actress was fine, but Dr. Hahn. And not “every person” who leaves the show dies. Burke, Izzie, Hahn, and Teddy are just a few examples of characters who simply left and are still alive.

    • I personally do not like Shonda. She acts like her shows are the only good ones and I’m sorry but I stopped watching Grey’s Anatomy after the big shooting in the hospital. Shonda is not that great and her shows get stale IMO.

      • Me says:

        I can’t stand the whole Shonda crap. Sandra Oh is the biggest racist who doesn’t like white people, but once again moves to a white country (Canada) then finds works in a white country (US). And Ellen Pimpeo is another piece of trash with her recent comments about everything being so white. Such a shame some would be called racist if we mentioned her typical black criminal husband. I love women who have kids with criminals & then think anything they say about the importance of their children actually matters. The show was so ridiculous in the beginning with all the heads of the hospital being black. Yeah, like that’s realistic.

        • Ron says:

          Wow… You are not to bright are you? Ever heard of google? She moved to a white country? As a canadian, its not soo white. Her parents are Korean but Sandra was born in… Ottawa, Canada! Her major relationships included Alexander Payne (white, they were married for a few years), and Andrew Featherston (2007 til present), also white… Yeah, she sure hates the whites! BTW she still holds her canadian citizenship.

        • Margaret says:

          The only thing that’s so racist, is your ignoramus comment.

        • james says:

          she did not “MOVE” to canada. she is CANADIAN, and one of the most intelligent and passionate actors alive, she is great because she chooses to act rather than be a celebrity.

        • Amanda says:

          What the hell? What is wrong with you? I literally still have my jaw open from reading your comment. This can’t be serious can it?

    • M A Hamilton says:

      I agree about ‘Lexie and Mark’. When Lexie died, I was tearing up, “No, not Lexie.” I couldn’t believe they would kill her off. She was a nice person, cared and was good for Meredith. Mark was the ‘go to guy’ for plastics and was a good character. Felt very bad when he died. Also I wish they’d leave the Arizona and Callie romance alone. Many gay people, many straight people, have long and happy lives together, don’t cheat, remain faithful. Why does Shonda think that no one can have a happy relationship on this show?? Come on, Shonda, they love each other, let them make up and remain together.

      • Amanda says:

        Maybe because if she left the relationships alone, there would be no show….. People are always complaining about the story lines, the character changes, the way she messes with relationships etc. But you do realize it’s a TV show right, and that those things are necessary? Don’t get me wrong, as a huge fan, I hate it when it happens too, but you realize that without those things happening, there would be no show? Who is going to tune in for ten seasons to watch Callie in a happy, loving relationship where everything is perfect and happy? If the show was actually like that for every relationship and every story in every episode, no one would watch! There would be no story….

    • AAM says:

      Chyler Leigh left because she asked to leave. She had 3 young kids at home and wanted to be able to spend time with them. She took 3 years off and is now on a new tv show.

  2. Tony says:

    I would love to see Izzie and Burke at least one last time to bring some closure to their stories.

    • JJM says:

      People could argue that Burke got his off-screen closure by winning the Harper Avery Award (back in season four), as well as his mother coming into it and speaking on his behalf. As for Izzie, the writers gave her a temporary out (back in season six) when Heigl took a break to film a movie (or two). They filled the storyline by separating Alex and Izzie and that pretty much meant Izzie could leave as she also burned her bridges with Meredith and also lost her job. Pretty much she had nothing left at Seattle which is why she left to start fresh. Heigl was meant to come back around episode 19 (7 episodes after she’d left), but she never showed up thus last minute rewrites for several scripts, etc, etc. Overall, both their storylines are over, as well as their characters. Aside from getting mentioned time to time, they’re done I guess. The one character I would like to see back though is Erica Hahn. I know she wasn’t a HUGE character and probably lacked fans, but I enjoyed Brooke Smith’s presence on screen and I feel writing her out was a huge mistake based on the fact that her “chemistry with Callie wouldn’t sustain in the long run”.

      • Trina says:

        I remember Brooke Smith’s departure was quite sudden and she herself expressed shock and disappointment over the matter. Whoever up there in abc did a real classy job dropping the bomb on her. (Yes, I remember a lot of fans being unhappy with Erica/Callie, but still.)

      • Anne says:

        I seriously have to disagree that Izzie’s story was over. Who got custody of Alex and Izzie’s embryo’s? In real life those sort of things are HOTLY fought over in divorce court. Personally I wish someone would sit KH down on her bony ass and make her realize she’s okay but not all that. She got great dramatic work on GA the likes she’ll never get in a movie since she’s seen strictly in fairy floss romcom movies. I’d love to see Alex get a letter informing him Izzie is about to use one of the embryo’s….bringing a kid into the world without his permission.

        • JJM says:

          Anne, I’d give that story an emmy! Also, it’d totally make for a great storyline between Alex and Jo. I mean, it’d be a recycled one (Mark and Lexie), but it’d be good to see that dynamic of Izzie and Alex on screen with Jo in the middle!

        • I’ve thought the same thing about the embryos, but with Izzie showing up with a sick toddler, and Alex having to deal with having a kid and possibly blaming Webber, because he suggested the “deposit.”

        • Julie says:

          Oh I forgot about the embryos! That would be a great storyline. Shonda…are you reading this?

        • Ron says:

          She’s already said she would be open to doing some guest appearances if asked…

      • shay says:

        not true after Izzie’s horrible exist episode 12 she was done there, her first departure was for her to have a bond with her adopter little girl than she came back but wanted to say more at home with her because grey’s take a lot of time and doing a movie is less long

    • Laura B says:

      It would be great to see Burke come back and take Christina with him!!

  3. Sara says:

    “Actors always think the grass is greener somewhere else — I didn’t want to do that,” she told the New York Post. “I have an amazing life. I have a house five minutes from the studio, I have a house in the Hamptons, a house in Malibu, a beautiful daughter whom I see every night, and it’s all because I didn’t leave Grey’s Anatomy.”

    Love this!!! She’s the reason I watch Grey’s.

    • Sara says:

      Very smart!

    • Columbus says:

      Me too. Smart woman to realize what this show was able to bring to her – and to appreciate it.

      • Liz says:

        Yes, that’s smart, but she admits she only does her job for the money… No passion at all for the art, that’s sad… Patrick Dempsey is the same, he wants the money for his racing; Justin Chambers for his kids etc…
        They’re completely disengaged from the storylines.

        • Lindsay says:

          They all show up and do their job and deliver strong performances. It’s their business as to why they stay on the show. Who is to begrudge Justin Chambers for working so that he can better his family’s life?

        • Patrick says:

          But that isn’t their job. Their job is to show up, read lines that someone else wrote, and read them the way someone else wants them to be read. They don’t choose their clothes, where they stand, how they move, etc.

          We act as though the actors have some ownership of the roles, but they don’t. They are one step up from mannequins.

          Lots of the fanbase has complained about absurd situation, repetitive stories, or irrational behavior. Which are all true, and all things that happen when a show has been on for a decade. It isn’t real life. It is a fantastic job. They make millions of dollars a year on an ensemble drama. That means they don’t have to live at the studio. Some weeks they work a lot, others they barely show up. All while getting months off.

          • Mel says:

            Sign me up!

          • Veronica says:

            What PLANET ARE YOU FROM? Of COURSE THEY HAVE “…some sort of ownership…” over their roles!! The arc of growth, POV and depth of emotion are ALL CREATED BY THE ACTORS…you IMBASIL!! YES-someone else writes the lines…and the actor’s “job” CERTAINLY IS BASED WITHIN THEIR INCREDIBLY STRONG PERFORMANCES! You absolute terd. You must know absolute JACK about artistic accountability. I’d LOVE to see YOU attempt so show up everyday, pull a range a depth of emotion from the core of your literal “existence,” achieve an affect SO IMMENSELY PROFOUND, that an AUDIENCE of MILLIONS is so acutely and deeply mesmerized by your performance that they literally experience this array of emotion right along with you-crying, laughing, ranting…..oh….it’s all just in a day’s work, huh? Just “mannequins,” right? You incredible ass.

        • tp says:

          She didn’t say that. My question to you is how many people work for free? Everybody works for the money. Some are just fortunate enough to love their work which helps them to love their life.

          • RD says:

            Exactly! Everybody does their job – in part – to get paid. We all need to live. Why should people have to move on just to get a “better” job if they’re happy where they are? We’re acting like just because it’s art they need to give more to the job or something. If she’s going to work, doing her job, and putting forth an enjoyable performance (and enough people are fans that it must be working), why should it matter if her happiness in her home life is part of why she stays?

        • Jessica says:

          For me they all bring it 10 seasons in. I watch for the original cast. Money or not. And at the end of the day, love your job, co-stars and everything.. everyone works for the paycheck. They are still there, they show up to work, they didn’t leave in the middle of the contract. So..

          • M A Hamilton says:

            So true. Everyone who is able wants to work in some fashion or another. And who wouldn’t want a better life?

        • Jay says:

          Hate to break it to you, but 99% of the population on earth only works for the money. Why should an overpaid actor be any different?

        • Amy says:

          Liz, if you are working at your job for the passion, not the money, I am sincerely jealous of you.

        • Julie says:

          What do you do your job for? I am not ashamed to admit that my primary goal for working is for the money. It helps that I like it but it’s mostly the fact that I have two kids to feed and send to college and a mortgage to pay.

        • Ana says:

          Given the lousy SLs they have been given for the last few years, I can’t blame them. It’s good money for not that much.

          I need that job.

        • Les says:

          That’s quite the leap you took there, Liz. I certainly didn’t see Ellen saying that at all. And ya know what, most people work to live, they don’t live to work. Some are lucky enough to find the work they do is in fact their passion in life, but I don’t think in most cases that that’s the norm.

        • Lauren says:

          Who says they don’t have passion? They all seem to act their hearts out on that show. I am sure they wouldn’t stay if they really didn’t like the stories.

    • Kate says:

      She is smart but it’s also a little disingenuous not to mention that she doesn’t have anywhere else to go. Ellen is a big fish in a small pond (greys), but outside that show she is a bit player. She’s never going to be a movie star, and I don’t necessarily see her ever leading another tv show.

      • DarkDefender says:

        Movies are no longer the end all, be all. TV is now equal in status, as many actors make small fortunes playing characters on television. Good for Ms. Pompeo for recognizing that she has a great life, a job she enjoys doing and the pay for that job doesn’t make her wish she was working somewhere else. Most workers in America cannot say that.. Like what she says or not, it’s nice to hear the actual truth.

      • dude says:

        I was talking about this with my friend earlier and I must agree. As soon as Grey’s is over, that’s the end of her as a leading lady. She’ll continue to get work but I don’t see her leading any other show.

      • M A Hamilton says:

        But do you think there is anything wrong with that? Many actors felt they deserved more, were in a hit show, and left, barely to be seen or heard from again. She’s smart to stay, I think and earn her paycheck. I like her and her acting, who do I miss, Mark and Lexie. I don’t know the full story behind their departure, but I think it was a mistake. The smart ones and thankfully the ones who’s roles are still viable, have stayed.

      • Troy Rison says:

        7 years ago, when the show was in it’s prime, she did have opportunities. She was expected to be the next huge Hollywood actress. She passed on that in favor of staying on the show. Now that she is older and the show has faded, she probably won’t ever be a leading lady, but I don’t think she cares. She is married to Chris Ivory and likely has a Scrooge McDuck sized vault of money at her house between her Grey’s income and his income. That, combined with royalties from syndication, means that she never has to work again if she doesn’t want to.

    • Rhea says:

      Everybody works for money. 99% of people in this world carry on working in fields that are not necessarily their passion. For me, she sounds very content and not necessarily ambitious. Reaching a new height in terms of creativity or acting does not appear to be her goal. To be honest, its a smart choice but sounds odd coming out of her mouth. Most artists wouldn’t want to admit stuff like that. As for Katherine Heigl, she tried her luck in movies, got momentary success and has moved on to a new TV project. Its been years, people should let it go. I hate what happened to the onscreen characters because of that nasty fight that took place between Shonda and Katherine.

    • dude says:

      Given her personality I seriously doubt she was intentionally bragging but it’s hard not to come across that way when you’re listing all your properties. I didn’t need to know she owns three houses.

      • Sara says:

        HA! As a fan of hers, I know how much houses, she owns. I doubt she was bragging, it’s not in her character. If she’s a bragger and stuff she would promote every little thing about herself on twitter over and over, like some of the newbies on GA do lol.
        She was just telling how grateful she is that because of Grey’s she had all of those. From a bartende to lead a show for all these years and make millions must be big and special for her and of course be thankful.

  4. megan says:

    Very smart. I never knew that about Isiah wanting the McDreamy role.

  5. Lea says:

    I could never stand Izzie and Burke the characters, and the actors that play them. So good riddance I might say for the show. Most from the cast/crew must were relieved they were gone.

    Good interview with Ellen for NYPost, I admire how honest and grateful she always is. But TVline can you interview the leading lady herself? I would love an interview with her from you, especially before the big 200th episode. Thanks!

    • dude says:

      I didn’t know you knew the cast and crew personally…

      • Lea says:

        After KH was gone, there was an interview, and it was said it was refreshing on set for the cast and crew, that the negativity and drama was gone from set.

        • shay says:

          hum where? because just after Patrick said good things about her and Justin & Kate are very close friends. Elle was a friends didn’t know what happened. Jessica said goo things too…

  6. Sidney.B says:

    I love her so much ,good thing she’s staying at least another season for her fans.
    The stories about Heighl and Washington aren’t brand new information , I want more intel about Izzie’s possible comeback and Shonda’s behaviour

    • JJM says:

      I think that both Heigl and Shonda need to act professionally and do what’s best for the character of both Izzie and Alex. I respect that it’s her show and that she’s a high presence when it comes to ABC, however, it seems to me that it needed to be done in the respect of Alex’s character most of all. He never got closure and has pined for Izzie in both season 6 and 8. Further mentioning her in pretty much every season since she left. Shonda even stated back in season seven that if Heigl was interested in coming back that she would to “give closure to the relationship”, however, once Heigl said (towards the end of season eight) she was interested in coming back to see where her character was, Shonda said she wasn’t interested in “changing storylines at the moment”. I think putting her in towards the end of season eight when the residents were doing their boards would have been the best place to see her character again for a 2 episode arc.

      • shay says:

        NOW the one who don’t act professionally is Shonda because Katie apologized for the emmy comments and said she’ll be okay to come back if they wanted but she understands it’s quite difficult because there are now a lot of characters

  7. Lea says:

    Also best decision of Ellen wanting Patrick Dempsey as her leading man. :)

  8. Tracy says:

    She seems to be making comments that will cause controversy. First she started with the race comments about the Emmy and now this. Someone wants attention.

  9. Kate says:

    So is she claiming she got to choose McDreamy? It’s like foot in mouth disease runs rampant on that show. One of the reasons I stopped watching Greys was because the off screen drama started overshadowing the on screen drama. Izzy, George, and Burke had lame write offs and I couldn’t help but think it had to do with the writers punishing the actors.

    • Larc says:

      She didn’t actually say she was in a position to decide who played the role, only that she didn’t like Isaiah Washington in it and preferred Patrick Dempsey.

    • shay says:

      totally agree and yes it was a way to punish them (mostly for Izzie & Burke), they didn”t think about the fans

  10. Mel says:

    Good for Ellen. Good head on her shoulders. She obviously did not bite the hand that fed her like Isaiah and Kate. Now she’s got a wonderful life and won’t ever have to worry about anything ever. Smart girl. She needs to write a book when all is said and done (hopefully not for a while).

    • Patrick says:

      Isaiah didn’t bite the hand that feeds him. He made a stupid, hurtful, and hateful slur. At the time, the show was a big hit, but it wasn’t a money machine like it is now. Shonda had to fire him. And she promptly ran George into the ground. Based on what we now know, the guy who played George WAS a problem on set. He didn’t seem to be very professional. Isaiah used the f-word to describe him, and the rest of the cast publicly turned on an actor who seemed to be one of Shonda’s favorites. The attacked his use of the word. They certainly didn’t defend George. Katie was the most vocal, probably because she wanted to start some bull-mess as an excuse to get out of her contract and make movies.

      Shonda got hers. She set about making George and Izzie unlikeable. She wrote George off pretty quickly, and let Heigl walk.

      • Ed says:

        Where was it ever mentioned that TR Knight was a problem on the set?? post a link to that interview or story because I never heard of that. TR wanted out of his contract because George was turning into a background character. What big story did George have in S5? Besides the last 3 episodes of that that season. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Patrick come to TR’s defense?? So I completely disagree with “nobody came to TR’s defense”

        Katherine Heigl got vocal because Isaiah called her best friend a very disgusting name. Call my best friend that word you can be damn sure I am going to defend them too.

        I’ve accepted that we will never see Izzie again. I remember during Shonda’s Oprah interview, she said that they have a “No A**holes” clause, and something tells me that has to do with KH. Speaking of that interview, why wasn’t the Isaiah situation brought up? For someone who was promoting Scandal, that sure as heck was a big scandal.

        • tp says:

          Supposedly he was constantly late and after Washington was fired he felt like King Big Sh*t and started causing problems at the table reads and trying to control the direction his character was going. Google it. However, just because a link is provided doesn’t make it true. All three were booted off for causing trouble. The show must go on.

      • Ron says:

        Wow thats a lot of revisionist history right there. Isaiah didn’t make a little oopsie and the f word slipped out. He had a temper tantrum because Patrick (not T. R.) was frequently late and while GRABBING PATRICK BY THE THROAT AND PUSHING HIM AGAINST A wall referred to T. R. as Patricks f*ggot, because he was pissed off at Patrick not T. R. Also Heigl was one of the shows biggest assets, she wanted out bad to focus on her movie carreer and got her wish.

      • shay says:

        not true at all! TR did nothing wronf on the set! and the Isaiah drama was way before Katie’s one

  11. Rynna says:

    LOL she and Dempsey take digs at the show all the time and keep re-upping their contracts. Must be nearing contract time again for her as she’s now claiming she loves it there.

    • Lea says:

      She’s always so grateful, even on twitter! So she made some comments on how unrealistic her friendship with Cristina is and how immature is to the bestfriend be before her husband? Not every actor/actress likes everything but that doesn’t mean he/she hates the show. And at least things got better since she spoke and talked about them.

    • Ana says:

      …and yet, ABC keeps offering them more money to stay. Says something, doesn’t it?

  12. Kyle says:

    She’s awesome! I appreciate her honesty about the business side of acting. People have a misconception that it’s rainbows and sunshine all the time when it’s just like any other job…good days and other days where it’s not as good. It’s obvious her comments are coming from a loving and nonjudgmental place; it’s just the facts of what happened during that point in time. Love her. She is so talented!

  13. G says:

    I love her so much! Love how honest, straight forward, grateful and smart she is.

    Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey are the reason I tune in season after season.

  14. Anne says:

    Did she really get to pick Derek? I seem to remember in a interview Shonda said she wrote Mcdreamy with PD in mind and spoke to his manager, his manager wasn’t sure and PD decided to audition because he loved the part. Shonda offered it to him virtually straight away. Guess someone stretched the truth

  15. DonInFremont says:

    WHAT???? They didn’t ask her about doing a Daredevil sequel? She IS Karen Page…. ;-)

  16. Keith says:

    Ellen Pompeo telling the truth, and how it is and in a classy way. How much I adore this lady.

  17. greysfan says:

    Ellen is awesome and she says things how they are. She is a very very smart person. Its what makes her so great and what i love about her so much. Looking forward to what Season 10 is going to bring us.

  18. Robin says:

    Interesting! I definitely agree that she was wise to stay! Though I don’t know if I would go as far to say that KH’s movie career didn’t take off. I mean she may not have any awards for any of the movies she did, but she’s did a few. Yes they were romantic comedies but so what that is a big market. I do wish she would have stayed on Grey’s though….I would personally love to see Izzie come back…though I don’t really think that is likely….ever. :/

  19. asd123 says:

    For once I wish she had said that the show was over for her so that Shonda would have to reconsider this idiotic idea of a Cristina-less Season 11. 10 seasons are more than enough.

  20. Nan says:

    You elect to include Ellen putting Katherine down but not Justin’s comments about her?

    • Danyelle says:

      I could be wrong but JC’s nice words about Hiegl are well documented, said lots and often. But Ellen finally talking openly about the whole mess = news.

  21. Jenny says:

    I like her well enough but she leads with her multiple homes, what about any kind of passion or love for what she does? It’s easy for her to say what KH should have done when Ellen doesn’t have multi-million dollar movie offers coming her way. She’s too plain to ever be a headliner in a movie.

    • Emily says:

      I think Ellen’s comments about Katie were directed to how she went about leaving — signing a brand new contract for more money and then trying to exit. Ellen’s point was simply if she wanted leave then she never should have resigned. No one would have said anything if Katie simply chose to leave when her contract was up, like Sandra Oh is doing now.

    • Markus says:

      Every job becomes less exciting when you’re doing it for a long period of time. But I think, she would have quit if she didn’t love playing Meredith.

    • Mel says:

      That was just a highlight from the New York Post article. She didn’t “lead” with that comment. And you saying Ellen is too plain to headline a movie is extremely rude. (Please post your picture so we can all see if you can be a movie-star headliner). Obviously Ellen knows exactly what’s she’s doing in her career, and what she wants out of life. Not everyone wants to be a movie star. Like she said, she lives 5 minutes from work. She’s not in some exotic location without her family for months at a time. Who are you to judge anyone?

    • tp says:

      Honestly after quite a few flops (though I enjoyed most of them) KH doesn’t have multi-million dollar deals coming her way either. Ironically, the movie she bad mouthed turned out to be her most successful. Kinda like her tv career. I hope she’s done burning bridges cause I would like to see her in something successful again.

  22. Tia says:

    Ellen is so awesome! I love that she’s not afraid to speak her mind, especially after all she was telling the truth. About Katie.. lol she bash her own movies so Ellen didn’t say anything wrong, also she’s the one who wanted to return to Grey’s after all. (Happy that Shonda didn’t accept her back.)
    Tvline, Ausiello and Matt can you interview Ellen Pompeo herself sometime soon? I always love to read her interviews.

  23. N says:

    I still watch for Alex…..But I don’t like “fake Izzie”. Alex and Izzie shippers got royally screwed by Shonda! I still love Katie.

    • Heck says:

      Besides Mer/Der which other shipers weren’t royally screwed by Shonda? Point one. Screw the stupid woman with no respect for fans. She has no support from me. I see none of her series, now or in the future.
      Cr/owen are her latest broken aquisition. She must be so happy. She proved her point. That’s why Sandra opted for leaving now. She knows this was the story that was to be told. And there’s nothing more to tell. If she stayed any longer, they only would keep walking in circles for the time she stayed on the show and ending in the same place they are today. Their story wasn’t going anywhere as she had always planned.

  24. Karl says:

    Patrick Dempsey captured everyone’s attention at the time when he did an arc on Will&Grace playing Will’s closeted boyfriend. He impressed, and eventually got the role as Mcwhatever

  25. Jenna says:

    Just got a chance to read the New York Post ‘TV Week’ article in its entirety. In this piece Ellen Pompeo is not bad mouthing Katherine Heigl at all. In fact, what she says about Heigle is understandable (for Heigl that is) Who wouldn’t at age 26 take a chance when offered movies and a great paycheck for making them? A chance to move from television to motion pictures? If we see a better work opportunity sometimes we take it. It’s life and it can be a gamble. In Katherine Heigl’s case, the later films she has done have not had the success that a couple of her earlier ones did. But KH is returning to tv and tv in the past has been very good to her. No harm or foul in anything Pompeo said there and not a hint of bad mouthing Heigl. If you are a fan of GA (and I am) the messy leaving of Katherine Heigl, the interviews she did at the time (which she admitted she should have been more careful in her choice of words) and the abrupt departure of her character Izzie Stevens, was “tough” not only for her friends in the cast like Ellen, but for fans. But hey, KH took a shot. I get it. In terms of how Dempsey was cast; its old news. Most fans know Washington was in consideration as well, and Pompeo had really “hoped” Patrick would get the role.

    As for the cast. The originals do what we all do in life. We sometimes stay at our jobs if the pay is good, it works for our family, we enjoy it, and we sometimes leave if better opportunities present themselves. It’s not just Pompoe/Dempsey. Justin Chambers has also basically stated he will ride GA until the wheels fall off. And I don’t see Wilson or Pickens expressing leaving either. Great gig, good pay and time off. It’s what we all want. Doesn’t make these people greedy or selfish. They are on a much grander pay scale than the vast majority of us, but the work situation and reasons for staying is true for anyone. Overall I liked Pompeo’s comments in the entire article. She was asked direct questions and answered them without bad mouthing anyone in the process. Honest and straight forward. Nothing wrong with that.

  26. Deanna says:

    At least she’s honest. Sometimes the truth does hurt.

  27. Krieson says:

    Has Ellen Pompeo really become THAT pompous? “Katie’s movie career really didn’t take off”? Did she really say that? Katherine Heigl is making movies on a regular basis. Sounds to me that Pompeo regrets not leaving Grey’s Anatomy and that she has become pigeon-holed in that character role. Not only that, but Ellen seems to have gotten too comfortable with a regular paycheck where she’s doing the same thing from 9-5.

    Ellen simply waited too long to jump ship, the same problem that I believe exists for Sandra Oh. I think Ellen simply missed the boat on jumping ship and Katherine Heigl is the only one from the original cast to have successfully managed her movie career.

    I look at Katherine Heigl’s success the same way I look at Harrison Ford. When Star Wars ended with the original trilogy, Ford was the only member of the original cast to have succeeded at a long and successful movie career. Mark Hamil has had a successful run but in the animation sector with portraying The Joker for the past 20 years before he decided to retire from doing the voice of that character.

    Ellen is simply jealous and pompous.

    • Annie says:

      Said Katherine Heigl’s mother….. You even manage to get a cheap shot in there at Sandra Oh’s expense. Not everyone is overly infatuated with Katherine Heigl’s movies anymore hence her returning to TV – on NBC no less lol but it’s REALLY…I mean REALLY obvious you do. The Harrison Ford comparison was funny though. Completely ridiculous and without merit, but funny non-the-less.

    • Aeol says:

      Katherine Heigl hasn’t had a hit movie since Knocked Up, and she bit the hand that fed even then. I’m not rooting for her success or failure, but let’s not pretend that homegirl has had consistent success since leaving Greys.

  28. Summers says:

    The more she talks the more I cringe. I stopped watching GA after S5 nor support any Rhimes subpar shows. After 5 years it looks like things haven’t changed. It’s just more obvious that Ellen has a lot of issues,fabricates the truth,and now apparently can see the future. I’ll be glad when this show ends. It’ll be known for the off screen drama than what happened on screen.

  29. Antwon says:

    I don’t have a problem with anything Ellen said. It is a known fact that Katherine Heigl is a diva and difficult to work with and so is her mother! This is nothing new. My friend was an extra all three years on Roswell and he said of all the cast members, she was the most icy. She even spoke out during Roswell’s first season saying how she wasn’t sure if she could just play a supporting role. The lead was Liz Parker and that went to Shiri Appleby but all three girls auditioned numerous times and Shiri got it due to her chemistry with Jason Behr who is actually married to Kadee Strickland from Private Practice…talk about small world.

    Katherine Heigl needs a filter. Why would you diss your Emmy nod by saying “I don’t feel I deserve it. I don’t think my work warrants an Emmy nomination” that was a slap in the face to Shonda and her team. And then after she extended her contract and begged for a movie role…Shonda accommodated her schedule and impacted the rest of the cast and crew and Katherine went on a talk show complaining about working and 18 hour day. Well, she left out the part that it was done for HER benefit so she could make that awful movie. I don’t blame Shonda for politely declining her desire to return and give closure to Alex/Izzy fans. You should have thought about the fans before you abruptly asked to be let out of your contract!

    • Jenna says:

      Why is it okay and great for Pompeo to be honest about her character and acting, but when Heigl did it it was a scandal? Heigl was bring honest about the emmy. Hello, ghost sex and saving a deer? Doesnt say Emmy winner all over it. Besides, I would love for Izzie to come back and reunite with Alex. Perhaps them leaving together.

  30. Ammie says:

    Katherine said as she was leaving Grey’s that she wanted to reduce work and focus on her newly adopted child. She did that and has since adopted a second child. She has been in movies, even if they weren’t blockbusters. She’s also sold a tv show to NBC. Let’s see where all the actors are 10 years after Grey’s ends.

    • april-ann says:

      I couldn’t stand Katherine when she left but I agree with you now. She’s not a good actress IMO, and watching her onscreen is laughable at best. I don’t even care, even though I do believe it about her and her momager being difficult to work with. Many, many are difficult to work with we just don’t hear about it. I don’t think anyone and I mean it, anyone, should work for that horrible woman Shondra. The networks shouldn’t sign her shows. She is just an awful person, disrespectful to the characters she writes, the actors she hires and unceremoniously fires and above all the fans who (for whatever reason) continue to watch. I show my disrespect for her by not watching her shows. About where will they be in ten years? Ellen Pompeo’s career will most likely end with this (hope she’s saved her money so she can keep on affording all those houses!), she seems to know it and that’s why she has stayed, and just like her, most of them don’t have the looks or the talent necessary to keep “acting”. It is regrettable though, that she holds grudges just like her producer. I see no need to dredge up other names when there’s an article about yourself unless it is your agenda to diss fellow actors in the name of vindictiveness.

      • Mary says:

        You might have a reading comprehension problem if you took what Ellen said as being vindictive.
        I think the quote was if Katherine wanted to be in movies she should have not resign, which I personally agree with. Katherine try to play both sides and unfortunately it backfired on her. Ellen was ask questions regarding KH and Washington and just answered them. Actually it is immature to dislike a person you never met (RE: Shondra) because you do not like the way she writes the show. You can as you say not watch, but sorry her shows are some of the top rating shows around and networks would be stupid not to pick them up. I think people on the internet need to get a grip, these are TV shows not real life. I believe Ellen had a career before Grey’s and probably would have one after. Believe it or not, when you have children, being a big star might not be the end all for all actress.

        • april-ann says:

          I agree with you about the ill-advised manner in which Katherine conducted herself and was not condoning it. But I find it tacky to publicly judge the career choices of one’s peers, point out their lack of success, then put oneself on a pedestal for choosing differently. Ellen could have handled those questions with class and diplomacy instead. It’s an example of where honesty is not “refreshing”. What she did was not cool. I don’t care how Shondra writes her shows. I can dislike her professional moves which are out there for the world to see and comment on that without the need to have met her personally. Yes, unfortunately her shows score high ratings. She seems like an arrogant witch who enjoys using her power to intimidate and hurt people. She seems vindictive based on certain decisions she has made. I believe scads of actors are terrified of her and she likes that, something which I believe reflects on her as a person. We all know that tv shows are not real life but last I checked this is a tv website and posters should be allowed to comment on tv shows without preaching from you. I don’t believe Ellen had much of an acting career before Grey’s.

          • Mel says:

            I find your comments about Shondra funny. You don’t know her. How do you know she’s an arrogant witch? I find it interesting that so many of the people who worked on Grey’s worked there for a very long time. No one is bad mouthing her, and even after they left they don’t bad mouth her. If Shondra was that horrible. the actors would have quit long ago. And frankly, if she wants to crow a little about her success, then why shouldn’t she? She has had three hits – Scandal, Grey’s and Private Practice. Yes, to be as successful as Shondra, you have to at times make hard, uncomfortable choices, and sometimes be a harda*s. That’s just business.

          • april-ann says:

            No one would dare badmouth her, even after leaving for fear they’d never work again. Some have never worked again even though they didn’t badmouth her. Scary.

  31. liz says:

    Refreshing to see an actor with this opinion. And glad that Dempsey seems to be of the same opinion. Especially in these hard economic times with millions of people out of work, not thinking the grass is greener is refreshing.

  32. Sara says:

    This interview did not really make me like Elen. She seems a bit pompus. Oh…I’ve got a house here, a house in the hamptons, and malibu. Was it necessary for her to list all the houses she has? Sorry…but she’s a bit full of herself

    • Mel says:

      I disagree. I like the fact that she shared just how much Grey’s has enriched her life. It’s nice to know she made many good investments in her future and that she is so appreciative of it all. Good on her.

  33. Deion says:

    Good for Ellen. She seemed very grounded when responding about Heigl and Washington. Heigl’s Emmy made her feel like she was bigger than everyone else and Isaiah Washington made his own bed. I forsee Ellen and Patrick re-upping as long as ABC wants to air the show. Sandra Oh will go on to give us more greatness. Justin Chambers will stick around as long as they will have them. And I’ve even softened on a return for Katherine Heigl. The Alex/Izzie storyline, that they built for several seasons, got a terrible end. It would be great if as soon as Alex finds some happiness with Jo, Izzie turns up for some closure.

  34. Amy says:

    “Why would you diss your Emmy nod by saying “I don’t feel I deserve it. I don’t think my work warrants an Emmy nomination” that was a slap in the face to Shonda and her team.” She never dissed her Emmy nod. She didn’t submit her name for consideration. Hardly the first actor or actress to do so. And she was right – she didn’t get any decent story at all in season 4. If Heigl is a bitch for her honesty than so is Pompeo.

  35. cas says:

    I loved Izzie and I liked Burke too. I don’t even know what Isaiah said, nor do I care, but people are entitled to their own opinion, they just need to learn when not to voice it. I wish people at my work would get fired for some of the things they said, that would be nice. On a different note, Katherine may not have had her movie career take off but I hardly think she is hurting for money, I am sure she has a few houses too. Not everyone needs 3 houses to be content in life. I believe she wanted movies, not only for the money, but also scheduling is sometimes easier which married women and mothers like over a TV show which can take up a lot of your time.

  36. jovas says:

    People! Acting is a JOB! Pays well, does well, great! Ellen is not rubbing her houses in our faces! She’s merely saying she likes her life the way it is! Great! Great for her, great for us! And if the cast and crew feel the same way, we’ll have a GA run that will be like ERs! Awesome!

  37. Sam says:

    Pompeo STFU. So sick of her big mouth.

  38. jAY says:

    Ellen has very diplomatic in what she has said. Ellen is enjoying her lifestyle and is grateful for it.
    KH film career has spluttered and is all but over, hence her running back to the long hours of filming tv shows that KH complained about!.
    IMO Sloan was written out because his character was so linked to Lexie.

  39. shay says:

    I think this is bullsh*t at least it’s remixed!

    “Pompeo confirmed that Washington was originally eyed for Dempsey’s McDreamy role, but she said, ” I didn’t want him. It was too close to home.” (In real-life, Pompeo is married to African-American music producer Chris Ivery.)”

    How before even the show begin, she didn”t want him because it was close home? Because at that time she wasn’t married so it’s impossible she said that or it was because of that!

    “I said I wanted that Dempsey kid,” Pompeo elaborated. “I think that once Isaiah did not get the role it backfired.”

    LoL it’s why he was on the show for 3 seasons?

    About Katie’s comments I don’t know but if it’s true she has no right to judge Katie’s career, it’s mean. Drama between Shonda & Katie is not her business and Katie & her were friends, don’t know what happened but I think even after Katie’s departure I saw them together for lunch…

    But like I said I think it was remixes and Ellen tweet about that!

    Ellen Pompeo ‏@EllenPompeo 7 Oct
    “@HuffingtonPost: Ellen Pompeo throws some shade at her former #GreysAnatomy co-stars http://huff.to/1bN8tff ” no shade at all…but nice try

    than a fan tweet that

    Steph Edmond ‏@stephed101 7 Oct
    @EllenPompeo I have seen this article written so many different ways. If they all printed it in the same context there would be no story

    and she replied

    Ellen Pompeo ‏@EllenPompeo 7 Oct
    @stephed101 100% true

    and guy watch Ellen on the show “What Happens live” (google it) she talked about them and she said :

    Of T.R. Knight, Katherine Heigl and Isaiah Washington, Pompeo said she missed Heigl and Knight the most — it was a tie. “T.R. and Katie are kind of the same person,” she said. “They’re a sandwich.” When asked who was the “bigger bitch” to work with out of Heigl and Washington, Pompeo said, “Isaiah all the way!”

    and it’s a video so I can trust it. So either this article she’s a liar (tweets & video) or she’s honest and the article is remixed or totally wrong

    and for some people, Katie made a mistake but she apologized! even if she was right, her storyline was awful with already having sex with Georges than saving a deer,… and she never said something bad about shonda or her ex greys castmates. The drama was that not money or whatever! I made peace with the fact Izzie will never come back because Shonda don’t want to and she’s rancorous. Why I made at her it’s because she didn’t think about the fans making Izzie’s exit the worst. I wish she killed her off but she prefered to make her leaving her husband then came back for leaving again after Alex’s speech and leaving that way Mer!

    I don’t watch the show anymore not because Katie leaving but because I lost interest, it’s too much drama while before there was some good comedy, lexie, mark & georges’s death… and the new characters, the interns I hate.

    People want the fans to move on but hater should do too

    • Annie says:

      And yet you’ve gone to great length to post a bunch of tweets, research and other things all having to do with a show you “claim” you don’t watch. That really doesn’t pass the smell test. I mean, if you have stopped watching GA, these types of trash stories that are printed in the New York Post wouldn’t effect you in the slightest. What celebs say on Twitter – in particular when associated with a show you no longer watch would mean nothing either. But look at the size of your post and the huge amount of copy/paste you are doing here just to prove a point on a publication that isn’t known for being all that reliable vs a show on Bravo that many (outside of Ellen Pompeo’s fanbase or die hard GA fans) wouldn’t tune in to or find on YT either. The fact that you even mention the new interns, let alone know them enough to quote “hate them” kinda gives you away since that only started last season.. At least admit you not only still watch, but are on the obsessed side of the fandom. It’s okay. Most of us who take the time to read and post on these types of forums and blogs are VERY interested in our shows without apologies. If you are calling others on their honesty, you should at least step up to the plate yourself.

  40. celest says:

    Hi, I also feel Izzie needs to come back to the show, she was Alex’s one true love, she made him a better man and I loved the way they were together. He also complimented her and love her so much in a non-chalant way. The way she just left him after all the Dinny and George and THEN cancer stuff with him marrying her AND fertilizing embryos!! I mean, really, what woman will just leave with no return when a man does that. I really do like the idea of her using the embryos and making a come-back that way. Their story is not finished… Hope Shonda will take some fans ideas into consideration. Not every one like Heigl, but I did love her character, she was pasionate and yes, impulsive, but brought nice spice into everything.

  41. Casey says:

    I would LOVE to see Izzie come back, but she really did burn her bridges with her friends before leaving. If they could fix the whole ordeal that would be great though. As far as Cristina leaving I think Shonda is doing a good job of severing her ties with her friends so that she can leave without being missed (As Izzie nearly did). Killing of George was horrible though, he was by far one of my favorites. Maybe a revisit from Teddy too! I loved Teddy.

  42. s any consolation, men are not good in handling heartaches.

    Tell him what’s going on and let him know
    that it’s time to move on ‘ separately. So the question arise if
    you don’t make any attempts to apologize your mistakes then what should
    you do right now.

  43. Why delete people's comments? says:

    She didn’t pick Patrick. There was a comment here (since deleted) with a link to the Paley interviews. Patrick and Shonda spoke about him auditioning and Shonda said she was thinking of dialog for him during the audition. He auditioned after Rob Lowe turned down the part (google and you can confirm this).

  44. Matt Webb Mitovich says:

    Hi! Comments with links quickly get rerouted to a Spam folder. But I have approved that one to now post.

  45. Emily says:

    While the whole thing is true about Patrick auditioning in front of Shonda, I’ve read previous interviews from Patrick where he mentioned that he was also considered for the role of Dr. Burke. Isaiah even stated on Oprah that he was in contention for the role of Dr. Shepherd before being cast as Dr. Burke.

  46. DonInFremont says:

    Hey Matt….how can I “uncheck” the email notification box? I’m getting flooded with replies, I only wanted replies to my own snarky comment…thanks, you guys do a great job here!

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