Through the years, 'Grey's Anatomy' has seen more than its fair share of drama — and we're not just talking about what we see onscreen. The circumstances surrounding the departure of Katherine Heigl and Isaiah Washington became a major source of gossip and speculation during the show's earlier seasons. But during a recent interview with the New York Post, Ellen Pompeo finally broke her silence on the matter and expressed very little desire to explore work outside of Grey Sloan Memorial herself.
“Actors always think the grass is greener somewhere else — I didn’t want to do that,” Pompeo remarked, whose contract is set to expire next summer. “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."
As for why she thinks her former colleagues (Heigl and Washington) chose to search for greener pastures, Pompeo has a few ideas. “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.” Definitely a smart move to make.
Pompeo even went so far as to call Heigl's abrupt departure as "tough" for the whole cast, 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.” Zing!
The actress also confirmed that Washington was actually eyed for Dempsey’s role, but admitted that she didn't want him for the part. ”I didn’t want him. It was too close to home,” Pompeo stated. (In real-life, she's married to African-American music producer Chris Ivery.) “I said I wanted that Dempsey kid. I think that once Isaiah did not get the role it backfired.”
Very insightful! It's always nice to get an inside scoop of what goes on behind closed doors from a source who actually saw everything firsthand. What did you think of what Pompeo had to say? Does this help shed some light on the whole 'Grey's' drama? Sound off on your thoughts in the comments below!
'Grey's Anatomy' airs on Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC.