'Grey's Anatomy's Ellen Pompeo Opens Up About The Show's Katherine Heigl Drama
Grey's Anatomy — constant tragedies and sexy-times and all — has been on the air for a decade. That time, obviously, has not exactly kept the drama to the on-screen characters and their messy, messy lives. The show is celebrating its 200th episode this season, and with it, some of the cast are opening up about what it's been like to be on a show for that long. More specifically, Grey's star Ellen Pompeo has spoke a little on the whole Katherine Heigl and Isaiah Washington of it all. In other words, the stuff that gets them launched to the top of the tabloids.
“Hurt feelings, combined with instant success and huge paychecks started things spinning out of control,” Pompeo said in the New York Post's profile of the show, speaking of the series' quick success and the cast's descent into drama that followed shortly after. “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.”
This season will have Grey's staple Sandra Oh (who's played formidable surgeon Cristina Yang since the pilot) departing, and Patrick "McDreamy" Dempsey almost certainly considering it. Pompeo, though? She seems to understand the fleeing impulse, but has none of her own.
“Of course I have thought about leaving," she says. "It’s always at the end of the season, when you are tired of having no control over your schedule,when you can’t see the forest for the trees, to know how fortunate you are.”
Although she didn't talk in super sudsy detail about the slurs that got Washington booted from the show or every scandalous thought that may have floated around the cast when Heigl quit, she did says this of the latter:
When Katie left, it was tough. 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 renewed 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.
As for her own views on staying on the show? "Actors always think the grass is greener somewhere else. I didn’t want to do that,” she says. “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."Other members of the cast subtly mirrored this take on the matter throughout the article (which you can read all of here), including Justin Chambers, another cast-member from the get-go: “My kids are getting to college age,” he says. “Thank God I can pay for it.”