“To be honest, when Sandra Oh left the show, I was like, ‘Ugh! How can I continue without Sandra? ‘ “
With Grey’s Anatomy preparing to start season 17, I think it’s safe to say that the series has grown into one of the most talked about and beloved shows in television history.
And none of her success would have been possible without Ellen Pompeo, who has starred in over 363 episodes, directed 2 episodes, and is the series producer.
However, on several occasions, Ellen wasn’t sure she wanted to continue playing Meredith Gray.
Speaking to Dax Shepard on his podcast, Chair expert, Ellen explained how the departures of Sandra Oh and Patrick Dempsey affected her in completely different ways.
First of all, Ellen said that when Sandra decided to leave, she wasn’t sure she could continue. Ellen remembers thinking, Ugh! How to continue without Sandra? Is there a show without Sandra?
While Patrick as Derek was an iconic part of Grey’s Anatomy, Ellen shared a lot more screen time and “everyday scenes” with Sandra, so Meredith without Cristina was a huge loss for Ellen.
Ellen said that season 10, which featured Cristina’s final episodes, was when she started to “weigh [her] options “and think about how to stay Grey’s Would classify her forever as Meredith, and if that meant she would never work again.
Ellen elaborated, saying, “Sandra is a different kind of actor. … You never doubt if Sandra Oh is going to work again, right? It will work forever, right? But for me, I had to think, Will I be working again? Or am I going to be so typical?«
Meanwhile, when Patrick decided to leave during Season 11, it was completely different for Ellen. This time around, she had to deal with other people – the studio and the network – believing that she couldn’t carry the show without “the man.”
Ellen said, “I could have left because the man left, which is not a story I want to tell. Like, ‘He’s not here anymore, so I have to go.’ This story then becomes: “What can I do without this man?” Because they had been putting this in my head for so long that I was no good without him. ”
Of course, Ellen decided to say on Grey’s Anatomy, and she said one of the reasons was that she wanted ” [to] prove to [herself] that they were wrong in all the things they put [her] head over all these years. ”
Another reason, which Ellen has spoken publicly about before, was that she wanted to prove that she could reshape the toxic work environment that took place behind the scenes.
So Ellen used her newfound power to “change the story of the show experience.” She said, “I wanted to see if we could change the culture and we could make the setting a happy place, because it never has been. “
Ultimately, Ellen said, she’s grateful that she stayed after Sandra and Patrick left because Grey’s Anatomy for the best is something she is very proud of.
Basically I’m so glad that Ellen decided to stay Grey’s Anatomy because I literally can’t imagine this show going on without her.
You can listen to Ellen’s entire conversation with Dax on Chair expert here.
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