• Ellen Pompeo said Denzel Washington argued when he directed an episode of "Grey's Anatomy"
  • Washington didn't like it when Pompeo told a guest star what to do while he was directing
  • Pompeo said they didn't get through the episode without a fight, but she also praised Washington's energy

Ellen Pompeo and Denzel Washington had a heated argument on the set of "Grey's Anatomy" when the latter directed an episode of the show.

The "Grey's Anatomy" lead star shared her filming experience with Washington on the hit TV show on the "Tell Me With Ellen Pompeo" podcast. For the podcast episode, she reunited with her former co-star Patrick Dempsey and they talked about directing, with Pompeo encouraging Dempsey to do more of it.

Dempsey asked Pompeo what it was like when the "Equalizer" star came on board to direct an episode after his character was killed off on the show. Washington directed the "Grey's Anatomy" Season 12 episode titled "The Sound of Silence" in 2015.

"He went nuts on me," Pompeo was quoted by Entertainment Weekly as saying.

In one scene, Dr. Meredith Grey (Pompeo) listened to an apology from a man (a guest star) who seriously injured her and left her with a broken jaw. The story was inspired by a real-life incident involving an epileptic patient who had a seizure and accidentally beat up a nurse. It was an emotional scene but Pompeo didn't like the way the guest star apologized to her.

"He made this choice to speak very softly. And [Meredith] was pissed that [she] had to sit there," she said. "Again, we love actors who make choices, right? And I yelled at him, and I was like, 'Look at me when you apologize. Look at me.' And that wasn't in the dialogue, and Denzel went ham on my a--."

She continued, "He was like, 'I'm the director. Don't you tell him what to do.' And I was like, 'Listen, motherf‑‑‑er, this is my show. This is my set. Who are you telling?' Like, 'You barely know where the bathroom is.' And I have the utmost respect for him as an actor, as a director, as everything, but like, yo, we went at it one day."

Pompeo added that she had a chat with Washington's wife after the incident as the latter came to the set. According to the actress, it was Washington's wife who encouraged him to direct an episode because she's a fan of the series. Pompeo told her about their argument and how he allegedly yelled at her. She chose to look at the incident positively.

"So we didn't get through it without a fight, but you know, that's actors for you — passionate and fiery — and that's where you get the magic, and that's where you get the good stuff. So it was an amazing experience, it really was," Pompeo added.

It seems that both actors have already moved on from the incident because Pompeo gushed over Washington saying he was "amazing" during the podcast episode. She also praised his energy and chemistry.

"Denzel is like — his energy is just nuts. He has this vibration, right," she said earlier in the podcast. "Certain actors just have an energy and a chemistry — like, superstars are superstars for a reason… There's just like an energy and a vibration that they give off that makes them super charismatic. Patrick has it, Obama has it. Anyone that I've ever met that's like crazy charismatic has it, and Denzel has it in spades, for sure."

"Grey's Anatomy" Season 18 premieres Thursday on ABC.

"Grey's Anatomy" star Ellen Pompeo said she felt her show had a "responsibility" to look at what health care workers are going through during the coronavirus pandemic
"Grey's Anatomy" star Ellen Pompeo said she felt her show had a "responsibility" to look at what health care workers are going through during the coronavirus pandemic AFP / VALERIE MACON