How Grey’s Anatomy Can Live On After Ellen Pompeo Explained By Star

Grey’s Anatomy star Kate Walsh talks about why the long-running medical drama still has a lot of life, even after Ellen Pompeo leaves the show.

Grey’s Anatomy star Kate Walsh shares how the show could live on after Ellen Pompeo’s exit. In the role of Dr. Addison Montgomery, Walsh is a Grey’s original, which made her return all the more notable. Addison believed that, in returning to her old stomping grounds, she’d feel the presence of her ex-husband, Derek, even after his death. That wasn’t exactly the case, but she shared a moment of deep connection with Pompeo’s Meredith Grey. The mini-arc closed the loop on one of the medical procedural’s oldest stories, providing a sweet and understated bit of closure.


It was fitting, since Pompeo will have a reduced role as Meredith moving forward as she focuses on other projects. In an interview with PEOPLE, Walsh talks about her return to Grey’s Anatomy season 19 and how she feels the writing is at its strongest. She says the characters on Grey’s are strong, and that mixing new interns with the original veterans is a fun approach that draws audiences in:

The storylines are so strong… The new interns this season, I love that they’re all fallible and messed up, and so that makes it, I think, a lot more interesting. Interns and attendings, you have OGs come back like me, and that’s been really fun, and also just the writing has never been stronger on the show.

Related: Grey’s Anatomy Season 19’s New Intern Class Avoids A Big Past Mistake

Pompeo’s Grey’s Anatomy Exit Explained

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey in Grey's Anatomy

Pompeo’s departure from the series is not final; she’ll continue to narrate the episodes, in addition to coming back for the Grey’s Anatomy season 19 finale. She elaborated further in a social media post, promising that Meredith would still visit. Pompeo is involved with the ABC show as an executive producer, so her connection to the character will remain solid, but for the foreseeable future, the long-running drama will shift its attention to its recent batch of interns.

In interviews, Pompeo discussed the need to do something new and try different things. While she’s mentioned that she’s grateful for the opportunities that Grey’s has provided, she’s also been upfront about her long tenure on the show and how she’s excited to mix it up with different projects. Pompeo’s last episode as a main cast member will debut on February 23, on ABC, which will likely serve as a proper farewell.

What Pompeo Is Doing After Grey’s Anatomy

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey sitting in her office in Grey's Anatomy season 19

Pompeo has already booked her next role. She’ll lead a currently untitled Hulu limited series that’s based on a true story, which centers on the Ukranian-born Natalia Grace and her adoptive parents, who claimed she was an adult sociopath pretending to be a child. The planned series, which is set to co-star Fantastic Beasts actor Imogen Reid, may remind audiences of the Orphan horror film series. But the real story follows a different path.

The adoptive parents, Kristine and Michael Barnett, were charged with neglect after abandoning Natalia. Most of the charges were ultimately dropped, with Natalia denying the couple’s claims that she was an adult attempting to con them. It seems like Pompeo’s upcoming Hulu series, unlike the campy Orphan movies, will take at least a somewhat more dramatic approach to the source material. In any case, Grey’s Anatomy viewers will get to see Pompeo in a whole new leading performance.

More: Orphan True Story & Real Life Crime Explained

Source: PEOPLE

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