Thanks to the many fans who alerted us to this interview. It is, as the magazine bills it, just what the doctor ordered.
In a candid conversation with Ellen Pompeo, who's every bit as outspoken as she is stylish, L.A. Confidential Magazine gives us one of the best looks yet at the Grey's Anatomy star we've come to know and love.
If Pompeo had to write an essay on "What I Did on My Summer Vacation," it would probably be about the globe-trotting she's done - New York, Paris, Japan â€" in the weeks leading up to the new season of her hit show.
It's been a wild ride for the 37-year-old Boston native, who got engaged in November to fellow Bostonian Chris Ivery.
Ellen Pompeo's first blip on the Hollywood radar came as Jake Gyllenhaal's love interest in Moonlight Mile (2002).
She popped up again here and there in smaller roles in memorable movies like Old School and Catch Me If You Can. But in 2005, Grey's Anatomy suddenly thrust her fully into the spotlight.
Pompeo shines as Meredith Grey, the intern whose sexual exploits and professional struggles are chronicled in excruciating detail each week, much to the delight of the show's 25 million-plus loyal viewers who keep tuning in to ogle Grey's McLoveInterest du jour.
Unlike her character, however, Ellen Pompeo is anything but indecisive.
Full of opinions on everything from young Hollywood to the media, Pompeo just calls it like she sees it - a refreshing trait in a town where honesty is so rarely the best policy.
"I just think the media should take this country in a different direction. We're so focused on the wrong things," she says. "We're teaching young girls that this is what they should be focusing on: rich and famous girls who are rich and famous for nothing. What are we doing to this younger generation? It's not very responsible."
Follow the jump to read Ellen's interview ...
Los Angeles Confidential: You've been traveling a lot during your hiatus. Is that how you typically spend your time off?
Ellen Pompeo: I think it's important as an actor to get away and experience different cultures. It enriches you. I'm fortunate that the show's in so many different countries and that they're nice enough to invite us [to visit]. They treat us so wonderfully. You know, I spend 10 months of the year in Los Angeles, acting. So I think it's really important to travel and have rich real-life experiences to bring to my acting when I come back to the show. Your whole life can't be about work or Hollywood.
LAC: And planning your wedding? When will you fit that in?
EP: Oh my goodness. I swear we're going to get married at some time. We're just trying to fit it all in. It won't be a big ceremony â€" we want one thing to ourselves.
LAC: A lot of TV actors make movies while they're on hiatus. You started out in film; do you still have an interest in that?
EP: Certainly, and I get a lot of very interesting offers from some pretty remarkable people, but I can't take advantage of them because the show doesn't let me. I'm lucky the show is so successful: I never have to do another movie I'm not proud of. I can be super, super picky. So unless it's an A-list director and an A-list script, and an A-list cast, I don't really have the desire to be in movies just to prove that I can. I know I can, because I came from movies.
LAC: You're contracted for six seasons, right?
EP: Yes, although I just signed on for a seventh. The show could end tomorrow, but if they want me for seven seasons, I have to oblige. I've committed to them. They can let us go anytime they want, but we can't leave anytime we want.
LAC: On that topic, during the Isaiah Washington controversy you seemed to steer clear of making any substantive comment on his being fired from the show. Is that because you feel there's not much for you to say?
EP: I think so. It's better to not exacerbate it. I think everybody's tired of it. For me, what's important is to move forward, do whatever I can personally to make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen again.
LAC: Another thing that's been done to death in your past interviews is this obsession with your weight. Why do you think people care so much?
EP: I guess it's a normal question from the media because I'm really thin. The dangerous thing about it is that I get a ton of fan mail from little girls â€" from seven years old to 16 â€" about how they love me and I'm a role model for them. And I think the media is really irresponsible in portraying me as having an eating disorder. I just worry about the girls who look up to me â€" I don't want them to think I starve myself or don't eat, and that to be like me that's what they have to do.
LAC: Why is it so hard for people to wrap their heads around the fact that some women are naturally thin?
EP: You know what's funny? I understand if you see a picture of someone who was 40 pounds heavier three years before; then the weight loss is very dramatic and obvious. But you'll never find a picture of me where I'm a lot heavier than I am now. I've only ever fluctuated two to three pounds in my whole [adult] life.
LAC: Do you have any interest in having children of your own someday?
EP: I do. I do. With the show, I just don't know if it's entirely fair to myself and to everybody else right now. We'll see what happens.
LAC: So after your travels you immediately start work on season four. What would you like to see happen to Meredith this year? Last season was kind of bananasâ€¦
EP: [Laughs] Yeah, it was! I'm much better off not having any expectations. The reality is that I have to be Zen about it because I have absolutely no control over what they do. I'm just happy to have a job and I love my job, and I love the people I work with. Whatever happens, it's OK. It's not a bad way to make a living.
LAC: When did you realize Grey's Anatomy was a hit? Was it clear to you from the minute you got the script?
EP: It was two years in, when I got invited to do the Oprah Winfrey Show. I thought, okay, well, this has clearly gone to another level now.
LAC: You've been nominated for a Golden Globe before. What's your take on awards shows?
EP: Of course it's nice to be nominated. I don't live or die by it, but it's very flattering. To be nominated would be a nice compliment. There are fantastic actresses in this category every year. But at end of the day, we're not saving lives. We're just actors.
LAC: Speaking of saving lives, now that you've been doing the show for a while, do you think you could perform a real-life medical procedure if you had to?
EP: [Laughs] Absolutely not! But I could call 911 very well.
LAC: Have you given any thought as to who you'll be wearing to the Emmys?
EP: No, I haven't, but I know I'll be wearing something a lot lighter than last year. I'd just gotten back from the Dior couture show in Paris and I wore this beautiful velvet dress that John [Galliano] gave me. And it was gorgeous, but it was so hot.
LAC: Well, it's always better to be comfortable at these things.
EP: [Laughs] Yeah, it is, but it's kind of impossible. There's no such thing as a comfortable gown.
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