"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


  • Ellen Pompeo and Katherine Heigl reunited for Variety's "Actors on Actors"
  • Heigl asked her former "Grey's Anatomy" co-star about Meredith's future in the series
  • Pompeo said Meredith leaving Seattle for Boston was not a complete goodbye

Ellen Pompeo and Katherine Heigl just reunited!

The former "Grey's Anatomy" co-stars made a rare reunion for Variety's "Actors on Actors." The duo was launched to fame together in the longest-running primetime medical drama.

During their conversation, they recounted when they were filming the Shonda Rhimes-created series. Heigl also asked about Pompeo's role on the show after her character Meredith left Seattle for Boston in Season 19's finale.

"It's a little bit of trickery because I'm not completely gone," Pompeo said about her character. "Actually, the storyline is very cool. There's a lot of real research that's changing very rapidly about Alzheimer's disease and about what they believe is the cause of Alzheimer's disease. It's pretty controversial. So Meredith's character left to go to Boston because her daughter needed to go to a special school. I will be making some appearances hopefully next year if I can find some time."

Heigl clarified that Meredith was still part of the show and that her departure was not a complete goodbye, which Pompeo assured was the case. Pompeo even teased that Meredith's fans have something to look forward to.

"No, it's not a complete goodbye," she said. "And I think we've got an interesting story to tell."

Season 19 ended with Meredith's colleagues at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital giving her a toast for her new life in Boston. She also took a stand in her relationship with Dr. Marsh by choosing herself with a speech reminiscent of her infamous "choose me" monologue to McDreamy.

"I want you in my life if you want to be in my life," Meredith told Nick before scrubbing out. "But if I have to choose, I'm going to pick me. And I am not going to beg you to love me."

Many were not pleased with how the production wrote Meredith's character in what they thought would be her final appearance as a series regular on "Grey's."

Heigl played Izzie Stevens in the hit ABC series. She departed in 2010 and developed the "ungrateful diva" reputation following her exit. The "One for the Money" star admitted in the book "How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey's Anatomy" that she took some blame for the negative publicity following her departure from the series.

"The 'ungrateful' thing bothers me the most. And that is my fault," Heigl said. "I allowed myself to be perceived that way. So much about living life, to me, is about humility and gratitude. And I've tried very hard to have those qualities and be that person, and I'm just so disappointed in myself that I allowed it to slip. Of course, I'm grateful. How can I not be?"

Pompeo told Heigl she's excited about playing a new character for a limited series on Hulu.

"I'm going to shoot a show for Hulu. We're going to start the Hulu show in September, and the working title is 'The Orphan,'" Pompeo said. "That's going to be a very interesting role to play. I haven't played another character in 18 years. That's crazy — crazy town, crazy town."

Katherine Heigl
“Suits” newcomer Katherine Heigl said that her character Samantha Wheeler has an antagonistic relationship with Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and an uneasy dynamic with Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty) at the start of Season 8 of the USA Network series. Pictured: Heigl attends the Unequaled NBCUniversal Upfront campaign at Radio City Music Hall on May 14, 2018 in New York. Getty Images/Kena Betancur