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Ellen Pompeo recalls an on-set FIGHT with director Denzel Washington


Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo launched her new podcast Tell Me on Wednesday, where she opened up about a nasty on-set fight with director Denzel Washington.

The 66-year-old actor and filmmaker made his TV directing debut on a 2016 episode of Grey’s Anatomy dubbed The Sound of Silence, and the Oscar winner didn’t immediately get along with 51-year-old actress.

Pompeo opened up about the altercation with Patrick Dempsey on one of three new episodes of Tell Me released on Wednesday, revealing getting Denzel to direct was a tactic to try and convince Pompeo to stay on the show.

Ellen on Denzel: Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo launched her new podcast Tell Me on Wednesday, where she opened up about a nasty on-set fight with director Denzel Washington

Ellen on Denzel: Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo launched her new podcast Tell Me on Wednesday, where she opened up about a nasty on-set fight with director Denzel Washington

TV debut: The 66-year-old actor and filmmaker made his TV directing debut on a 2016 episode of Grey's Anatomy dubbed The Sound of Silence, and the Oscar winner didn't immediately get along with 51-year-old actress

TV debut: The 66-year-old actor and filmmaker made his TV directing debut on a 2016 episode of Grey’s Anatomy dubbed The Sound of Silence, and the Oscar winner didn’t immediately get along with 51-year-old actress

Dempsey left the ABC series in 2015, revealing that she had considered leaving too because so many of the original stars had left.

‘After you left, I was like, “Eh, why do I have to stay here? Everyone’s gone. I gotta go now. Sandra’s gone, Patrick’s gone, I gotta go, too,”‘ Pompeo shared.

She added that the idea of getting Washington to direct an episode was an idea concocted by her co-star and executive producer Debbie Allen, to keep her ‘interested’ in the show.

Considered leaving: Dempsey left the ABC series in 2015, revealing that she had considered leaving too because so many of the original stars had left

Considered leaving: Dempsey left the ABC series in 2015, revealing that she had considered leaving too because so many of the original stars had left

Director: She added that the idea of getting Washington to direct an episode was an idea concocted by her co-star and executive producer Debbie Allen, to keep her 'interested' in the show

Director: She added that the idea of getting Washington to direct an episode was an idea concocted by her co-star and executive producer Debbie Allen, to keep her ‘interested’ in the show

Pompeo said he came in ‘three weeks prior so he could get caught up,’ speculating he had, ‘probably never seen the show.’ 

‘He did the show because his wife is a big fan… I think he saw it as a good exercise to just come in and direct something quick. But, imagine Denzel Washington coming on to direct an episode of Grey’s Anatomy? That’s something that I never thought that I would see, ever,’ Pompeo added.

She continued that Denzel had an ‘energy and a vibration’ that all superstars have, though she added, ‘He doesn’t know s**t about directing TV.’

Never: Pompeo said he came in 'three weeks prior so he could get caught up,' speculating he had, 'probably never seen the show'

Never: Pompeo said he came in ‘three weeks prior so he could get caught up,’ speculating he had, ‘probably never seen the show’

The episode featured Pompeo’s Meredith Grey getting attacked by a patient, resulting in a broken jaw as she had to pretend to have her jaw wired shut.

The fight started when Pompeo went off script, when the actor who was apologizing to Meredith wasn’t looking her in the eye when he spoke.

‘And he wasn’t looking at me in the eye… and I yelled at him, I was like, “Look at me! When you apologize, look at me!” And that wasn’t in the dialogue,’ Pompeo said.

Attacked: The episode featured Pompeo's Meredith Grey getting attacked by a patient, resulting in a broken jaw as she had to pretend to have her jaw wired shut

Attacked: The episode featured Pompeo’s Meredith Grey getting attacked by a patient, resulting in a broken jaw as she had to pretend to have her jaw wired shut

‘Denzel went ham on my a**. He was like, “I’m the director! Don’t you tell him what to do!”‘ Pompeo shared, adding what she responded with. 

‘I was like, “Listen, motherf***er, this is my show! This is my set! Who are you telling- You barely even know where the bathroom is!”‘ Pompeo added.

She clarified that she has, ‘the utmost respect for him as an actor, as a director, as everything, but we went at it!’

Director: 'Denzel went ham on my a**. He was like, "I¿m the director! Don¿t you tell him what to do!"' Pompeo shared, adding what she responded with

Director: ‘Denzel went ham on my a**. He was like, “I’m the director! Don’t you tell him what to do!”‘ Pompeo shared, adding what she responded with

Pompeo said his  wife came to visit and Pompeo said she was ‘not OK with him’ and she wasn’t talking to him.’  

Still, even after all the hostilities, Pompeo insisted that they were both, ‘fine after that,’ adding, ‘He’s just one of the best to ever do it.’

Grey’s Anatomy kicks off its 18th season Thursday night at 8 PM ET on ABC. 

Visit: Pompeo said his wife came to visit and Pompeo said she was 'not OK with him' and she wasn't talking to him'

Visit: Pompeo said his wife came to visit and Pompeo said she was ‘not OK with him’ and she wasn’t talking to him’



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