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Ellen Pompeo in New Reader's Digest

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Ellen Pompeo in New Reader's DigestThis month's Reader's Digest observes that not since Ally McBeal has there been such a quirky, angst-ridden, lovable prime-time TV character as Dr. Meredith Grey.

In portraying the female lead of Grey's Anatomy, Ellen Pompeo has generated a great deal of the show's water-cooler and online Reader's Digest to talk about her engagement to longtime boyfriend, record producer Chris Ivery, as well as her views on doctors and her steamy scenes with Patrick Dempsey.

RD: Which was the bigger surprise - your engagement or your Golden Globe nomination?
Ellen Pompeo: They were both very, very surprising, and I wasn't expecting either, honestly.

RD: How does your fiancé react to your romantic scenes with Patrick Dempsey?
Ellen Pompeo:
Chris is the most secure man I know, which is why I'm going to marry him. But I don't like to throw these scenes in his face. I certainly wouldn't like to see him kissing another woman on-screen. He's not an actor, so he doesn't understand just how unsexy it really is with 40 crew members standing around and doing multiple takes.

RD: I hear you try to distract him from watching the romantic scenes.
Ellen Pompeo: Well, yes, baking chocolate chip cookies is a good way. He loves my chocolate chip cookies, so I put them in the oven and make him check on them all the time.

RD: What do you like most about the character of Meredith Grey?
Ellen Pompeo: The fact that she's flawed but is determined to become a surgeon even though she doubts herself sometimes. There's a remarkable amount of sexism on TV. When male characters are flawed, they're interesting, deep and complex. But when female characters are flawed, they're just a mess. It's good to put more flawed but interesting female characters out there because it promotes equality.

RD: Has playing the role of Meredith Grey given you certain expectations about doctors and hospitals that you didn't have before?
Ellen Pompeo: No. I have fewer expectations now because I understand more about what it means to be a doctor and what they have to deal with. With all the pressure they're under, and the many other things they have going on at any one moment, I understand now why they can't be as compassionate as I might like them to be.

RD: Tell us what you have learned about the medical profession.
Ellen Pompeo: I certainly have more respect for doctors than before. I didn't realize the fatigue and pressure that most of them are working under all the time. It's one of the few professions where if you make a mistake, it can mean somebody's life.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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has anyone seen the last episode of greys anatomy?

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I love Patrick and Ellen together! Never seen the chemistry in a couple as believable as theirs! The really seem to be such good friends on and off screen. I think thats great! They always compliment each other in their interviews when asked about each other. I also had read that article about Rob Lowe being offered the part of McDreamy, but turned it down. Patrick had not read for the part until after Lowe turned it down (I think) and it was NO question, he was the ONE after he read with Ellen! I also read where Patrick said how at ease Ellen made him feel at his reading! So, obviously it was meant to be for these two to be together as our lovable Mer/Der couple! As far as Patrick, what an adorable guy! Soooo, good looking, charming, those eyes and that smile, I could go on and on! (ha) and lets not forget about the hair! In these (2) episodes Patrick has been great! I think he should receive an Emmy as well as Ellen! You can tell how he feels from his eyes, and his smile even before he says anything and in these last two episodes the hurt he was feeling was felt by us the viewers. We hurt when he was hurting, thats how good his acting was. You could truly tell how much he loves Meredith and by them being such good friends in real life and enjoy working together as well as they do, I'm sure it makes it easier for him to be himself and show his feelings! I truly think Meredith will live and I think Dereck will propose to her! This will be the wedding and the only blow I can think of for Burke would be that Cristina would break off their engagement. That would be a blow to him, he would be so hurt. I hope this doesn't happen, but this was just a thought!

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Yeah I read that like a month ago that Rob Lowe originally had the part..I supressed that thought long ago....seriously can you imagine? I have never really liked Rob Lowe even in the 80's. No matter what part he played he always looked like he was addicted to heroin...which he proly was...besides the point, I always thought he was a horrible actor. Grey's Anatomy would NOT be as successful without Patrick(and his hair). Patrick is like a fine wine...He has become beautiful himself. Even like 3 or 4 years ago when he did Will & Grace he still had those charming boyish good looks to him. Now he is a MAN, a sexy man! His face has filled out, and he has a certain essence and caliber about him...He will definitly win sexiest man of the year this year!

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Ellen is absolutely gorgeous. I agree with the hollywood innocence. They say not to use celebrities as rolemodels, but Ellen Pompeo is definately my role model. She is worthy of every bit of success she gets. Also ^^ in response to Pink Mists comment about her and Dempsey reading together...I just read yesterday that Dempsey was offered the role only because Rob Lowe turned it down. So Ellen already had the part before Dempsey got called in for another audition. I could not imagine the show without Dempsey. Ellen and him have amazing chemistry.

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I really can't imagine this show with out Ellen Pompeo. She is soo beyond beautiful. She has a certain hollywood innocence about her, which I find very attractive.I wish I could have been in the room the first time Ellen and Patrick read together...I bet after it was over, Shonda was like ok...well that was easy.

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I love this show and Ellen.....Is is sooooo ironic that they mentioned Ally McBeal in this article...because for me it is so true....no since the show Ally McBeal have I been so into and show and character.....
I feel that this is because i can so relate to both Ally McBeal and Meredith Grey.....
They are both kindred spirits.

Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.

Meredith