Throughout the past 16 years, Grey’s Anatomy fans have watched every single twist and turn in the life of Meredith Grey. But what has it been like for actress Ellen Pompeo and her family behind the cameras?
Speaking on InStyle’s podcast Ladies First with Laura Brown, the 51-year-old mother of three opened up about life at home with her husband, music producer Chris Ivery, while filming the wildly successful series. In particular, she shared what it used to be like for her and Chris to tune into Grey’s on Thursday nights and watch her lock lips with her on-screen flame Derek Shepherd, played by actor Patrick Dempsey.
“Poor guy had no idea what he was getting into,” Ellen said on the podcast. “I remember in the beginning it was really hard for him. He was like, ‘This is not what I signed up for. You go to work and make out with that. I like Patrick and everything, he’s a good dude, but like really?'”
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Ellen and Chris met at a grocery store in Los Angeles back in 2003, two years before Ellen landed her breakthrough role at Grey Sloan Memorial. When she was approached about the acting gig, she thought it’d last “six months at best.” But 17 seasons later, she’s still at it. Despite Chris having a tough time with Ellen’s intimate scenes, it sounds like he has gotten past his initial reservations.
“My husband is a fantastic guy, and very, very secure,” Ellen told Queen Latifah in 2013. “I think that’s probably why I’m so into him—because he’s got so much swag. He’s just so secure that nothing shakes him.”
Chris echoed her words in an interview with Us Weekly in 2019. As Grey’s fandom knows, this was around the time Meredith decided to finally pursue a relationship with Andrew DeLuca, portrayed by actor Giacomo Gianniotti.
“There was a time back in the day that I watched it a lot, but then I didn’t know if she had a lover,” he told the magazine. “I would say I’m not jealous; I’m really confident, but it’s awkward.”
That said, the 54-year-old understandably stopped watching Grey’s around that time. “She’s acting but now she’s got this new lover, which I know him, Giacomo [Gianniotti],” he added. “He’s a great guy. I actually like him. And to be honest, I haven’t watched those scenes because I feel like it can be awkward.”
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