“Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo got surprisingly candid about the high-profile departures of two of the show’s big stars.
Though the hit ABC series has faced a number of cast shake-ups during its 10-season run, in a new interview with the “New York Post,” Pompeo opened up about two of the most tumultuous departures.
Now 200 episodes in, the actress, who portrays Meredith Grey on the show, says that Isaiah Washington’s exit was likely put in motion before the series even began filming.
Pompeo shared that creator Shonda Rhimes wanted Washington to play her boyfriend, but as a woman married to African American music producer Chris Ivery, she felt the relationship was “too close to home.”
“I said I wanted that Dempsey kid. I think that once Isaiah did not get the role it backfired.”
Washington’s contract for the fourth season was not picked up after he allegedly used a gay slur against his costar T.R. Knight before repeating the word in a defense backstage at the 2007 Golden Globes.
Though she wishes Katherine Heigl, known by friends as Katie, all the best, she was open about how their instant success led to “hurt feelings” and “things spinning out of control.”
“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.”
The 200th episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” airs Thursday at 9pm on ABC.