Ellen Pompeo Previews Grey's Anatomy Season 9

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Sounds like Meredith Grey and her colleagues are in for a very busy fall.

With the ninth season of Grey's Anatomy fast approaching, lead actress Ellen Pompeo took the time to discuss her return to the medical drama and what we can expect from her character September 27 and beyond.

Excerpts from Ellen's lengthy interview with TV Guide below ... take this as a WARNING, there are actually some fairly significant plot details here that Shonda somehow (apparently) let her reveal!

Shades of Meredith Grey

On the start of Grey's Anatomy Season 9: "I like the way they start the season, which is after a three-month jump ... in the second episode we go back to immediately following where we left off, which is an interesting way to tell a story."

"[Episode 2] is mainly the rescue and us going to the local hospital. You just see a helicopter coming over us. We're all in the Boise hospital where we crashed and we stay there a couple days. And then we go back to Seattle."

"And then Cristina leaves to go to another hospital in the Midwest. Obviously Meredith thinks Cristina is running away and she shouldn't. Life sucks, but you can't run every time something happens."

"Why Meredith wouldn't take a job at Harvard is a bit of a stretch. But for whatever reason she doesn't and convinces everyone [but Cristina] to stay. That's a difficult thing to believe when I'm playing it, but I'm just a paid employee."

On what's coming up for Meredith: "Shonda really wants to see her doctors, who are attendings now, teach. We have had interns on the show before and we've taught. Whether this will be different, I'm not sure."

"It's always a challenging balance, but it's always my goal to do things that make the character grow and seem more mature. At the same time, they're always going to write certain behaviors that I only have so much control over."

On some of the show's core relationship dynamics: "I know the Cristina/Meredith relationship is super integral to the show, but something [Patrick Dempsey] and I always discuss is that if sometimes [Meredith's] loyalty seems to be with Cristina before my husband, I don't necessarily think that is all that realistic."

"Otherwise you wouldn't have a very healthy marriage. I don't know why you'd be married if your spouse isn't your number one person. We try to do what we can, but in the same brushstroke, it's just a TV show."

On the impact of Derek's injury: "We're trying to see how that works out. He's trying to operate. Or we'll see if he teaches or whatever. That's a big question. He's happy to survive and that his daughter has two parents."

Also: "We're moving into the dream house. And I think Alex takes Meredith's house."

On Arizona's big storyline: "I'm not really around when they film those scenes, but what I can say is the scenes [Jessica Capshaw] has are really intense and definitely challenging ... it's going to be great for the show!"  

On why she signed a new deal to return for Season 9: "Because I'm not crazy! ABC appreciates me very much and I'm not stupid [laughs]. The network goes above and beyond and I'd be an ass---- to not acknowledge that."

"People still love the show. As cynical and jaded as I can get about it sometimes because I've been doing the same thing for so long, the truth is everywhere I go, people genuinely light up when they talk about the show."

"I can't ignore that, either. That's very significant. If I'm bringing joy to people and entertaining people as an actor, then I should be grateful for that and act accordingly, you know?"

On the new faces this fall: "We have Camilla Luddington, who is an absolute doll. She's a lovely young actress and I think people will enjoy seeing her ... so far to be honest the focus has been Camilla, who really pops."

"She plays Jo, my intern. Meredith takes out all her frustrations about Lexie dying [and another tragedy to come] on Jo. I don't deal with my sister's death yet. That comes up I think in episode five."

On her acting after Lexie's death: "It's not fun. I actually said to my husband the other day, as a younger actress you love the torture and the pain. Acting can be an amazingly cathartic thing, especially for young girls."

"And then when you get older, settled and very happy in your life, you don't want to go to work and torture your soul and feel that pain. I used to be so into that, but now when someone dies it takes a lot of work."

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


This show sucks! C'mon lexie and mark! If they kill off all the best characters what dies that leave?


I never had time to sit and watch the series every week....so glad Netflix has all of the episodes. I just got caught up on everything that has went on for the last 8 seasons. I am excited to start watching season 9 and to continue following these great characters and their lives. Fantastic show!


I can't say that I was all too hyped up about this upcoming season prior to viewing this interview. That's changed now... Ellen Pompeo is awesome. Kudos to her!


I LovE that Ellen P. loves Chyler. It's NICE to Know. But this season is going to be really tough without Chyler (Lexie) Hope I make through. Then 10th season in which I am hoping for TV Miracle Bring Lexie Back!!!


I'm always impressed as to how nice a person Ellen is, and how she doesn't take for granted how lucky she is to have her job and appreciates the fans being so involved in GA.
My only hope that we won't see Mer having Altzhiemers disease like her mother as a SL for the future.
Would Mer really be able to persuade her fellow new attendings to stay put if we hadn't have Arizona loose her leg, Mark die etc. But Cris will probably not be able to cope in her new job away from her support system for the past few years. I'm trying to guess how long before Cris is in SGH scrubs again. probabaly in time for the sweeps


I'm glad how forward and straight she was with everything.
I'm glad she pointed out the unrealistic nature of her relationship with Cristina. Though I love their relationship, she is right about it.
As for Lexie's death, I'm glad she is acknowledging that. I expected Shonda to throw it under a bus.
I'm not sure why Alex has Meredith's old house seeing as he apparently moved in with April and Jackson last season.
Overall, season 9 was looking bad, but after this interview, I'm having second thoughts and look forward to it.


Amazing!! Dealing with lexie's death (and another tragedy yet to come)
My gosh.. can Thursday come already


Great interview and it's appropriate for the wonderful actress who portrays our main character to give us such a fantastic scoop! The more I learn about S9, the more excited I am to see the premiere. I was almost dreading it especially because of Arizona's injuries and the secrecy surrounding her, and also due to the loss of Mark, Lexie, and Teddy. It will still be sad and tough for quite a while.


Was Ellen allowed to reveal so much about season 9 ?!?
Anyway, as we don't have any sneak peeks, at least we know more through her interview. So Cristina seems to be the only one to go to another hospital, but she said after the crash that she was getting the hell out of Mercy Death so... makes sense. I don't think she'll stay away for too long though. Am absolutely in love with the fact that they are all attendings and will be teaching, after all, that was the point of the show, to see them growing as both doctors and people. Still wonder what happens to Arizona...

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