Ellen Pompeo recalls spat with Denzel Washington while filming ‘Grey’s Anatomy’: ‘We went at it’

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The Oscar winner guest-directed an episode of the medical drama in 2016

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Ellen Pompeo knows what she wants on the set of Grey’s Anatomy.

The 51-year-old actress has starred in medical dramas since its 2005 debut and has seen a long list of celebrities either guest stars or guest directors.

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One such star was Denzel Washington, who directed a season 12 episode titled “The Sound of Silence”.

In the first episode of his new podcast titled “Tell Her,” Pompeo recalled executive producer Debbie Allen, now roped in 66-year-old Washington, as a “surprise” for Pompeo to direct an episode. To maintain her interest after starring in the show for over a decade. .

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“He probably came over three weeks ago to get caught because Denzel doesn’t watch much TV, he’s probably never seen the show,” the actress shared. “He did the show because his wife is a huge fan. His wife actually told him, ‘That show is amazing, you should do it.’ I think he saw it as a good exercise and directed something quickly.”

Pompeo noted that Washington had an “amazing” presence on set and was a “superstar for a reason”, but felt he lacked experience directing for the small screen.

“Denzel is a movie star, isn’t he? He doesn’t know about TV directing,” she claimed.

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“The Sound of Silence” is the only episode of television that Washington has directed. Prior to this, he directed the films “Antwon Fischer” and “The Great Debators” – since then he has directed “Fence” and “A Journal for Jordan”.

In this episode her character Meredith Grey’s jaw is being broken by an epileptic. He and Washington then disagreed about how the actor who played the patient should apologize to Meredith when the time came.

“I really didn’t want to talk to or see this actor before I did this scene, so I didn’t interact with him much,” the star recalled. “And then, he apologized to me, but he was actually doing it very softly. He made this choice to speak very softly. And I was annoyed that I had to sit there and listen to this apology. And that’s not me. Looked in the eyes. Again, we love actors who make choices. And I yelled at him, I was like, ‘Look at me! When you apologise, look at me!’ And he was not in communication.”

Washington implored Pompeo to stick to the script, saying, he “went the ham on my A–.”

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“He was like, ‘I’m the director! Don’t you tell him what to do!’ He disclosed. “I was like, ‘Listen, Mom – Kerr, this is my show! This is my set! Who are you telling – you barely know where the bathroom is!”

The actress said she has “the utmost respect” for the Oscar winner as an actor and director, despite the controversy.

Denzel Washington has directed four films in addition to an episode of Grey's Anatomy.

“We went to that one day,” she said, per very fab. “And then his wife came over to meet him, and I wasn’t talking to him. I was mad at him. And I said to his wife, I was like, ‘Yeah, he yelled at me today. He told me to pick it up today.’ given, and I’m not okay with him, and I’m not looking at him, and I’m not talking to him.’”

Ultimately, she said the fight was the result of the two actors being “emotional and furious”.

“It was an amazing experience, it really was,” she admitted. “That’s what it takes to get a good s—t. We were fine after that. He’s one of the best at it.”

A Washington representative did not immediately respond to Granthshala News’ request for comment.


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