Ellen Pompeo on Acting, Producing, and Life on ‘Grey’s’

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star Ellen Pompeo talks about keeping it challenging, fun, and fresh after twelve years on Shonda Rhimes’ hit series.

Adulteress. Whore. Medusa. These slurs are just some of the nicknames title character Meredith Grey (star Ellen Pompeo) has heard over her years at Grey Sloan Memorial. A little under twelve years ago, Meredith first graced our TV screens as an intern at Seattle Grace Hospital. Through the subsequent years, her character would see and hear it all. And Ellen Pompeo has seen it all as she has consistently inhabited the character of Meredith Grey.

I caught up with Pompeo earlier this week as the actress, producer, wife and mother was taking some time out for a little pampering. She discussed the mid-season opener (directed by Oscar-winner Denzel Washington), her blossoming talents as a producer, and her methods of having fun after all these years.

AwardsDaily TV: Hi Ellen. How are you? Are you on set right now?

Ellen Pompeo: I am not. I actually having a pedicure. [laughs] This is the only time for me to get my toenails, Jazz. I mean… mamma needed some love, so I had to come and take care of myself one day. I took an hour for myself.

ADTV: Sometimes you need that. You need a little pampering. I remember when I first watched Grey’s in 2005. Did you ever think you’d still be doing this in 2016?

EP: No, I had no idea. No one, including [Shonda Rhimes] expected the show to go this long. It’s an unbelievable gift, and a fantastic challenge also just to keep it going this long and to keep the quality as good as it’s been is a challenge we’ve all been really excited by.

I really get excited by it. I love a challenge. It’s my personality.

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Season 12 Promos & Stills Added!

I’ve updated the gallery with some promotional photos of Ellen Pompeo as well as some MQ (hopefully HQ later!) posters. I’ve also added some high quality episode stills from the season premiere!


Season 12 Focusing On Meredith’s Alzheimer’s For Ellen Pompeo’s Exit?

Could Season 12 of “Grey’s Anatomy” be focusing in on Meredith’s Alzheimer’s disease? She was tested for it back in Season 9 and came up positive for the gene. She has contemplated ending up just like her late mother, who also had the disease. After the death of Derek Shepherd (McDreamy), who suffered through a car accident and botched surgery in Season 11, many fans are expecting anything to happen, and Zap2it speculated that Meredith’s Alzheimer’s arc could be a powerful way to end her time on the show without tying her to another love interest.

But there are rumors that a new male doctor character is coming to the series. TVLine reported that Shonda Rhimes is searching for a “name” actor in his late 30s to late 40s to portray a new series regular role. The requirements for him are that he must be good-looking, charismatic and believable as a surgeon. Some believe this will be McDreamy 2.0.

ABC president Paul Lee announced that Season 12 is “absolutely not” the final season. But Ellen Pompeo’s contract is over after this year. Whether or not she will renew it is currently unknown. This fuels more fire to those rumors that Meredith could be on her way out of the series.

In Rhimes’ statement following Derek’s death, she said:

Now, Meredith and the entire ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ family are about to enter uncharted territory as we head into this new chapter of her life. The possibilities for what may come are endless. As Ellis Grey would say: ‘The carousel never stops turning.’

Do you think Meredith’s Alzheimer’s may be the focus next season and the exit for her character? And would it be bad timing for her to move on to a new love interest at this point? Sound off in the comments section below!

“Grey’s Anatomy” will return on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. on ABC.


Will Derek Shepherd die in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ season 11?

Nothing about Grey’s Anatomy season 11, episode 20 looks good for Derek Shepherd. But is death really the route the show will take?

Derek does not make it to D.C., but does that mean McDreamy’s days on Grey’s Anatomy are numbered? Well, yes and no. Will he die this season? Probably not.

Grey’s Anatomy holds back nothing when it comes to killing off your favorite characters. Just look at all the pain we’ve suffered at the hands of the showrunners! But luckily, in a way, Derek Shepherd’s real life counterpart Patrick Dempsey still has another season written into a contract with his signature at the bottom. It does not seem likely that ABC will be pushing Grey’s Anatomy anywhere before the close of season 12, especially when all the members of the old guard are contracted through another season.

But, hold on! Derek was absent for a good majority of this season. What is stopping Grey’s Anatomy from pushing his storyline out of mind out of sight once more?

When it was announced that Derek Shepherd would be taking the position in Washington D.C. and that neither Meredith nor the show would be following him, the prognosis seemed grim. The show took those few weeks and proved not only that Meredith could survive without him, but that Grey’s Anatomy has plenty of stories to tell in the ORs without ferry boat scrub caps.

Derek’s request as he left his doorstep in the opening of last week’s episode, “Don’t move, wait for me” set off alarms. The fears were confirmed when he did not arrive in Washington, D.C. later that afternoon. While this week’s episode does not promise any answers, it is more likely than not that Derek will find himself roped into an emergency situation before he can make it to the airport.

Patrick Dempsey is looking for his Sandra Oh send off in the near future, but does this season hold any more clues to where he could possibly wind up come the season 11 finale? This week’s episode, “One Flight Down,” refers to a small plane crash that sends quite a few people into the ER, but no news on Derek Shepherd.

What we know for certain is that Patrick Dempsey took a visit to Seattle to film one of Derek Shepherd’s favorite pastimes — riding the ferry boat.

Our bets are on Derek Shepherd surviving season 11 and making his exit sometime in season 12 with proper pomp and circumstance and plenty of tears. Regardless of Shepherd’s fate this season, it is likely that fans of the dreamy doctor who found himself on the floor of Ellis Grey’s home way back in season 1 will begin their goodbyes. After 11 seasons, Dempsey is ready retire from the world of Grey’s Anatomy and hit the track to pursue his other passion, racing.

Where do you hope the show leaves Derek at the end of season 11?


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