Ellen Pompeo was actually furious when ABC tried to cast another male love interest for her after McDreamy left
Meredith Grey is a medical rockstar, and the actress behind the iconic role, Ellen Pompeo, is just as — if not more — badass. In a brutally honest interview, Pompeo opened up about her utter disappointment when the show scrambled to find a male love interest for her character as soon as former on-screen partner Patrick Dempsey bid farewell to the series.
"The ink wasn't even dry on his exit papers before they rushed in a new guy," Pompeo told The Hollywood Reporter. "I was on vacation in Sicily, decompressing — it was a long working relationship and it was a tumultuous end and I needed a moment to just chill with some rosé — and they're calling me, going, 'What do you think of this guy?' 'What do you think of this guy?' And they're sending pictures. I was like, 'Are you people fucking nuts?' 'Why do you feel that you have to replace this person?'"
Grey’s Anatomy experienced a ratings spike when Dempsey left — largely thanks to Ellen Pompeo’s spectacular performance, of course — but it appears that ABC felt that the show wouldn’t thrive for long if they didn’t find a male love interest to replace McDreamy right away.
We can only imagine how Ellen must feel about not being perceived as enough.
"I couldn't believe how fast the studio and the network felt like they had to get a penis in there," she said. "We brought in Martin Henderson, but they didn't love the storyline, so that ended."
Now, Pompeo is the highest-paid actress on a primetime drama, raking in $575,000 per episode.
In her same interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the star discussed her fight to get paid what she deserves and how Shonda Rhimes played a big part in empowering her in her journey to get to where she is today — and we love this example of women supporting women.
If there’s anything we learned from the past 14 seasons, it’s that Meredith Grey and Ellen Pompeo are fighters. With or without a McDreamy in her life, we know that both will survive AND thrive. (She is the sun, after all.) And we’re so glad Pompeo is drawing attention to this important issue.