Grey’s Anatomy icons and original cast members Katherine Heigl and Ellen Pompeo recently reunited, and as beloved as the show is, they both agreed that they can’t help but cringe at the thought of their kids watching certain scenes.
Sitting down for a Variety “Actors on Actors” interview, the two women chatted about the days they spent together on TV’s longest-running medical drama set and where life has taken them since Heigl left her role as Izzie Stevens in 2010. Both Pompeo and Heigl are moms to three kids each, who are now at the age at which their peers have seen the cult classic production. While Heigl’s eldest daughter, Naleigh, has yet to watch the show that catapulted her mom to fame, Pompeo’s eldest daughter, Stella, sat down to experience the rollercoaster ride that is Grey’s two years ago — with Pompeo by her side.
“Everyone in her class in the sixth grade had [seen the show], which I thought was a bit crazy, knowing what’s in the first seasons,” Pompeo told her former co-star. “She was like, ‘Mom, I’m the only one who hasn’t seen it.’ So I said OK.”
Pompeo, who has exclusively acted as Meredith Grey since the show’s pilot in 2005, continued, “In the summer, she started watching it. And at first I was like, ‘Oh, this is so amazing, and we’re going to watch it together.’ Then it was episode after episode after episode, and I was like, ‘I don’t have the stamina for this!’ she exclaimed. “I filmed all these episodes; I can’t now go back and watch it again.”
Explaining that she hadn’t watched many of the episodes as they aired “because we were always working” and it “was not good for my mind” to anxiously see how each episode turned out, Pompeo shared, “Many of the episodes I was seeing for the first time with Stella. It’s pretty cool to be a part of something that’s lasted this long.”
Remembering *That* Scene
Thinking about watching the show with Naleigh, Heigl said, “There would be scenes that I would be so embarrassed to be sitting next to her watching. I’d be like, ‘Can we fast forward this moment?’”
Pompeo agreed, saying, “Yeah. This is sex with the ghost.” Cringing at the memory of the season 5 scene, Heigl responded, “Yeah, that. The oral sex with the ghost while somebody else was watching in the room. I don’t know how I’d explain that.”
The Origin of the ‘Pick Me Girl’
Heigl mentioned that, with the show and her character being as iconic as they are, Pompeo must get people quoting certain lines of dialogue to her whenever she runs into fans.
“So, OK, this is a real thing,” Pompeo said, explaining, “My daughter and her friends, they sit around and they’re like, ‘Oh, she’s a “pick me girl.”‘”
The actress continued, “I’m like, ‘What’s a pick me girl?’ They were like, ‘You know, girls who are like, “Pick me, choose me!”‘ And I’m like, ‘Hello?! Do you know who invented the “pick me girl?”‘”
Pompeo recalled the iconic season 2 scene — specifically how much she hated it. “Listen, I don’t know if you remember that I fought that speech so hard,” she told Heigl. “That’s another really interesting thing about life — some things that I was so against, and I was like, ‘I can’t beg a man on TV! This is so embarrassing.’ And then it turns out to be one of the most famous scenes ever,” Pompeo said.
When Heigl consolingly told Pompeo the scene is “beautiful,” Pompeo hilariously responded, “In the scene, I’m crying, but I’m really crying because I have to beg a man on television.” We love an iconic feminist woman!
Katherine Heigl’s Three Kids
Katherine Heigl shares three kids with her husband, Josh Kelly: daughters Naleigh, 13, and Adalaide, 11, and son Joshua, 6. The couple adopted both of their daughters before becoming pregnant with their youngest in 2016.
Ellen Pompeo’s Three Kids
Ellen Pompeo and her husband, Chris Ivery, also share three kids, two of which are the same age as two of Heigl’s kids. The duo are parents to daughters Stella, 13, and Sienna, 9, as well as their son Eli, 6.
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