Posted: 8:52 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013
By Sarah Korones
After 10 long seasons portraying Dr. Meredith Grey, actress Ellen Pompeo has finally come clean about all the drama going on behind the scenes of Grey’s Anatomy, including her thoughts on former co-stars Katherine Heigl(Izzie Stevens) and Isaiah Washington (Preston Burke).
In a profile of Grey Anatomy celebrating the show’s 200th episode, Ellen told the New York Post that former co-star Isaiah Washington, whose high-profile departure after Season 3 gained much media attention, was actually considered for the role of Derek Shepherd.
“You know they wanted Isaiah Washington to be my boyfriend,” Ellen said. “Shonda really wanted to put a black man in the mix. I didn’t think they were really going to put an interracial couple on the show and I didn’t want him.”
“It was too close to home,” Ellen, who is married to African-American music producer Chris Ivery, said. “I said I wanted that Dempsey kid. I think that once Isaiah did not get the role it backfired.”
Considering Isaiah’s drama-filled final season on the show, we think “backfired” is a more than appropriate word choice. After the actor used a derogatory slur toward homosexuals during a fight backstage with T.R. Knight (George O’Malley) and then dropped the same word at the 2007 Golden Globes, Isaiah was not asked to return for Season 4 of the show.
Ellen seemed to have a tougher time saying goodbye to Katherine Heigl who left the show during Season Six, but not before refusing an Emmy nomination by saying the show’s writing for her character was too weak.
“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,” the actress said. “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.”
So how did Ellen stay calm throughout all the behind-the-scenes craziness?
“Hurt feelings, combined with instant success and huge paychecks started things spinning out of control,” she said. “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.”
Ellen admits that despite all the ups and downs, she’s happy she stuck with Grey’s Anatomy — and we are too!
“Of course I have thought about leaving. 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,” Ellen said. “Actors always think the grass is greener somewhere else. I didn’t want to do that. 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.”
Source: New York Post