You wanted to know why literally everyone has been killed off or rode out into the sunset on “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Now Ellen Pompeo herself has explained it on her own podcast. Pompeo, the queen of hubris, admitted on her own little radio show that she once yelled, “It’s my show!” to Oscar winner Denzel Washington when he, for some reason, directed an episode of “Grey’s” in 2016.
The extra weird part of this is that her podcast guest was former “Grey’s” star Patrick Dempsey, who was her co-star until she forced him off the show several years ago. Last season, Dempsey returned for a few “death” episodes. Now he’s on the podcast. He is really a glutton for punishment. Or maybe he elicited this conversation.
But on Pompeo’s “Tell Me with Ellen Pompeo” the Godzilla of Grey’s recalls she didn’t like the way another actor was delivering lines in the Denzel-directed episode.
“He [the actor in question] made this choice to speak very softly — and I was pissed that I had to sit there and listen to this apology. And he wasn’t looking at me in the eye. Again, we love actors who make choices. And I yelled at him, I was like, ‘Look at me! When you apologize, look at me!’ And that wasn’t in the dialogue.”
Washington, director of several well regarded movies and a two time Oscar winner, also a Tony Award winner, didn’t like Pompeo speaking to one of his actors. Pompeo recalls: “Denzel went ham on my ass. He was like, ‘I’m the director! Don’t you tell him what to do!’”
But Pompeo, who’s become out of control as “Grey’s” has turned her into an unlikely and by the way no award winning star of a soap opera that is strangely still on the air, told Denzel Washington: “I was like, ‘Listen, motherf–ker, this is my show! This is my set! Who are you telling? You barely even know where the bathroom is!’”
This actually happened in 2016, the same year Denzel’s Oscar nominated “Fences” was released. He was nominated for Best Actor, Viola Davis won for Best Supporting Actress. I have new respect for DW for not walking off the set of this two bit TV drama. My guess is he took the job to warm up for directing “Fences,” or as a favor to Shonda Rhimes.
Dozens of actors besides Dempsey have been tossed off of “Grey’s” over 18 years, not to mentioned maligned so badly in their exits that they’ve had to fight bad reputations. Let’s start with Katherine Heigl. And there’s a reason Sandra Oh hasn’t returned even for a cameo. Anyone who returned last year did it for SAG Insurance points.
The funny thing is, the departed actors probably all have NDA’s, or are too scared to speak out about Pompeo. So the fact that she admitted this herself is too funny.
Like it or not, “Grey’s Anatomy” continues tonight. (I’ll be watching “SVU.”) Kate Burton, a real actress, returns tonight to play her dead character after a decade away, for four episodes.