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Recently, Grey’s Anatomy OGs, Ellen Pompeo and Katherine Heigl reunited for Variety‘s YouTube series, Actors on Actors. That’s despite the former disagreeing with the latter claiming that they worked under “cruel” conditions.
The two discussed Pompeo’s exit from the show, as well as Heigl’s recently concluded Netflix series, Firefly Lane co-starring Sarah Chalke.
Of course, they also got candid about their kids watching their breakout show. Unfortunately, their generation doesn’t seem to recognize the actresses well in person.
Heigl shared that one time in a liquor store, a young fan asked her, “Do you know Grey’s Anatomy?” After saying yes, the girl goes, “Do you know Izzie Stevens [her character]? Are you her mother?” The Killers star said “Thankfully that hasn’t happened again.”
Meanwhile, Pompeo learned from her kid that her iconic scene had become a stereotype. “So, OK, this is a real thing. My daughter and her friends, they sit around and they’re like, ‘Oh, she’s a ‘pick me girl,'” she told her former co-star.
Here’s what Pompeo really feels about her family watching her on Grey’s Anatomy.
How Many Kids Does Ellen Pompeo Have?
The Moonlight Mile star and her music producer, husband Chris Ivery have three kids. Their eldest, Stella Luna is now 13 years old. Although her mom isn’t really a doctor, the young teen has shown early interest in medicine. It all started during her visits on the show’s set. “She loves coming to set,” Pompeo told The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
She continued: “Linda Klein is our medical producer, wonderful woman [and] good friend of mine, and she just wants to go straight to Linda’s office and play with all the medical things. Yesterday, I went in to find her [and] she was with Linda with a bone drill, drilling a fake femur bone with a real bone drill. She was supervised, but they have her doing advanced procedures!”
Their second child, Sienna May was born via surrogate in 2014. In February 2023, the eight-year-old sat front row at New York Fashion Week with Pompeo. Then there’s six-year-old Eli Christopher, also born via surrogate. In 2022, he traveled to Italy with his family to attend another couture fashion show.
What Does Ellen Pompeo Feel About Her Kids Watching Grey’s Anatomy?
During their catch-up, Pompeo told Heigl that Stella had watched Grey’s with her since “Everyone in her class in the sixth grade had, which I thought was a bit crazy, knowing what’s in the first seasons.” Her character, Meredith Grey famously has some intimate scenes with McDreamy or Derek Shepherd, played by Patrick Dempsey.
“She was like, ‘Mom, I’m the only one who hasn’t seen it,'” Pompeo recalled. “So I said OK. In the summer, she started watching it. And at first I was like, ‘Oh, this is so amazing, and we’re going to watch it together.'” However, it became too much for her as they got into it.
“Then it was episode after episode after episode, and I was like, ‘I don’t have the stamina for this!'” she continued. “I filmed all these episodes; I can’t now go back and watch it again. What’s interesting is I hadn’t watched a lot of Grey’s because we were always working.”
Heigl — who confessed to being “anxious” to see every episode when it aired — found it surprising. “Yeah, see, that was not good for my mind to do that, so I avoided that,” Pompeo explained. “Many of the episodes I was seeing for the first time with Stella. It’s pretty cool to be a part of something that’s lasted this long.”
The former added that she hasn’t watched Grey’s with her adopted daughter of the same age, Naleigh. “There would be scenes that I would be so embarrassed to be sitting next to her watching,” Heigl said. “I’d be like, ‘Can we fast forward this moment?'”
She was referring to that intimate scene “with the ghost while somebody else was watching in the room,” saying, ‘I don’t know how I’d explain that.”
What Does Ellen Pompeo’s Husband Think About Grey’s Anatomy?
Unlike Pompeo’s daughter, her husband had a tough time watching her on Grey’s. She opened up about it during a 2021 episode of the Ladies First with Laura Brown podcast. “Poor guy had no idea what he was getting into,” the Art Heist alum said of Ivery’s feelings about her kissing scenes. “I remember in the beginning it was really hard for him.”
She continued: “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?'” Pompeo went on to say that his husband “was really a trooper. He’s my favorite person.”