Ellen Pompeo Is “100% Open” To Working With Patrick Dempsey Again

The former Grey’s Anatomy spouses had an adorable reunion at the D23 Expo.

Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc/Getty Images

Meredith and Derek are together again — or at least the actors who play them on Grey’s Anatomy are anyway. Former co-stars Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey reunited at the D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event in Anaheim, California, on Sept. 9 where both were honored as “Legends” who contributed to the Disney legacy with their work (on Grey’s Anatomy for Pompeo; Enchanted and Disenchanted for Dempsey). Amid the fanfare, they still found time for a catch up session.

“We text often-ish, you know, every couple times a year we check in,” Pompeo told Entertainment Tonight at the event. “But we did the show last season or two seasons ago but this is the first time we’ve seen each other in person.” (Dempsey appeared in several Season 17 episodes as the late Derek Shepherd via dream sequences as Meredith Grey battled COVID in a coma.)

Another onscreen reunion could also be in the cards for the pair, as Pompeo confirmed to Extra that she’s “100% open” to working with her former castmate again, provided they can find the right material. “We’ve done some of our greatest work together,” she added. “[We] are very proud of the work we did. We had a great time doing it and we created something really iconic. ... Maybe we have texted about it. I think the fans would absolutely love it.”

Dempsey, for his part, said he’d also “love to work with” Pompeo again — and already has a couple ideas. “It’s always been a really special relationship Ellen and I have had together in front of the screen and behind it as well,” the actor — who was sporting newly platinum blond hair for his role in the upcoming Ferrari biopic — said in a separate Extra interview. He also partially attributed the success of Grey’s to their characters’ “chemistry and the relationship,” explaining that “people want to believe in love.”

But the real fun started when Pompeo crashed her former co-star’s interview with Yahoo Entertainment correspondent Kevin Polowy, who shared a video of the exchange on Twitter. Dempsey quickly pivoted from interviewee to his “new job” as interviewer, taking the mic to pepper Pompeo with questions. After plenty of laughter, he asked about what’s in store for the upcoming Grey’s Season 19, and if she’s “going to do 30 seasons.”

After some more giggling, she answered, “No, I’m not going to do 30 seasons. ... There’s someone missing from the show. I can’t think of who it is. Somebody is missing from the show that was a big part of the show, and it’s not the same without that person.”

Dempsey interrupted, “Justin Chambers ... he’s lovely,” jokingly referencing their fellow original cast member who abruptly left Grey’s in the middle of Season 16. He also quipped that Eric Dane, who played Mark “McSteamy” Sloan is coming back, too, though he also made a Season 17 cameo similar to Dempsey’s comeback the same year.

Though Pompeo is returning to Grey’s for the upcoming season, she recently revealed that she will only be in eight episodes, but will continue to provide all the voiceover narration, per usual, and still serve as executive producer. Her reason for the reduced role is that she is also executive producing and starring in an untitled Hulu limited series about a Midwestern couple’s adoption gone wrong.

“I’ll be back at Grey’s for the finale, and we’ll see if we can keep it going,” she told Deadline at the D23 Expo on Sept. 9, insisting that the series “will be just fine” without her. “I’m going to always be a part of that show — I’m an exec producer on that show, I’ve spent two decades of my career on that show, it’s my heart and soul, and I’ll never truly be gone as long as that show’s on the air.”