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