It’s the reunion we’ve all been waiting for!
Grey’s Anatomy alum Katherine Heigl sat down with Ellen Pompeo in Variety‘s latest Actors on Actors series, out on Tuesday, to catch up on their careers and the drama that led Katherine to be labeled “difficult” and “unprofessional” in Hollywood.
As you might recall, the actress was blasted after she criticized her own film Knocked Up in 2007. At the time, she said it was “a little sexist” and that women in the movie were “humorless and uptight.” She went on to complain about the 17-hour workday she had to complete at Grey’s before withdrawing her name from Emmy consideration in 2008 because she didn’t think she’d been “given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination.”
Last year, Ellen broke her silence and finally supported her co-star on an episode of her podcast Tell Me with Ellen Pompeo, noting they were working “crazy hours” and if Katherine “had said that today, she’d be a complete hero.” But her support was too late. In 2010, Katherine had enough and quit the medical drama after starring as OG character Izzie Stevens for the first six seasons.
Now, as we all know, Ellen was helming the show until this season when she decided to take a step back as Meredith Grey — though she says she will still appear in a much smaller capacity next season! This is the first time the women have sat down together in years to rehash all their history — and the conversation didn’t disappoint!
The Firefly Lane star reflected on her controversial past, saying:
“I was so naive. I got on my soapbox and I had some things to say, and I felt really passionate about this stuff. I felt really strongly. I felt so strongly that I also got a megaphone out on my soapbox. There was no part of me that imagined a bad reaction. I felt really justified in how I felt about it and where I was coming from.”
“It took me a minute to really stop being a victim because of the reaction that I got and tuning out all that noise.”
The 27 Dresses alum went on:
“I’ve spent most of my life — I think most women do — being in that people-pleasing mode. It’s really disconcerting when you feel like you have really displeased everybody. It was not my intention to do so, but I had some things to say, and I didn’t think I was going to get such a strong reaction. I was in my late 20s.”
It wasn’t until she was in her “mid-to-late-30s” that Katherine was able to “really get back to tuning out all the noise” and ask herself:
“But who are you? Are you this bad person? Are you ungrateful? Are you unprofessional? Are you difficult? Because I was confused! I thought maybe I was. I literally believed that version, and felt such shame for such a long time, and then had to go, ‘Wait. Who am I listening to? I’m not even listening to myself. I know who I am.'”
Ellen then joked that her former co-star was “just a little early” because she could have had her “own megaphone” if she’d just waited until Twitter came out. Very true! Everyone’s ranting about everything these days!
The TV star then suggested one reason Katherine took so much heat was that “nobody likes a super confident woman,” citing why “they’re taking away reproductive rights, and voting rights all over this country, is because they don’t want women to find their power.” She elaborated:
“They don’t want women to have a voice. They don’t want women to have control because they know that we can do it better than they can.”
“I think for me, I just felt that 40 was freedom because I didn’t have to be the young, sweet, naive, people-pleasing ingénue anymore. I had outgrown it.”
Ellen then teased:
“I don’t know about the ‘sweet’ part. I wouldn’t describe you as sweet. And that’s what people had a problem with. Sweet, they can handle.”
Hah! The 53-year-old also pointed out the fact the Life As We Know It lead grew up as a child actor, meaning she “grew up on sets, being told what to do, where to go, what to say, what to feel, what to think, what to eat, when to eat, when to sleep.” The Roswell alum had an interesting take on this, noting:
“It made life easier. But then you get older, and they expect you to make some choices for yourself. Then Grey’s hit, and the success happened. I think that gave me this confidence that was a false sense of confidence. It was rooted in something that couldn’t and maybe wouldn’t always last for me. So then I started getting real mouthy, because I did have a lot to say, and there were certain boundaries and things that I was not OK with being crossed. I didn’t know how to fight that.”
Elsewhere in the chat, Ellen opened up about the iconic “pick me, choose me, love me” scene she filmed with Patrick Dempsey (AKA Dr. Derek Shepherd) in season two when she tries to convince him to choose her over Addison Montgomery. When asked if there’s a line of dialogue people quote to her all the time, Ellen recalled:
“So, OK, this is a real thing. My daughter and her friends, they sit around and they’re like, ‘Oh, she’s a ‘pick me girl.'”
Katherine was shocked, expressing:
“Oh, my God! Is that what that means?”
Ellen went on:
“Yes. 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”?'”
She then unearthed some behind the scene secrets, dishing:
“Listen, I don’t know if you remember that I fought that speech so hard. 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.”
We can’t imagine Grey’s without that scene!!
It’s honestly so nice to hear the ladies reminisce so positively despite all the drama. Hear the rest of their conversation (below)!
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[Image via Variety/YouTube]