Ellen Pompeo Reveals Her Encounter With Denzel Washington During Filming Of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’
In addition to being one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed actors, Denzel Washington has built a career behind the scenes since making his directorial debut with Antwone Fisher (2002), also starring him. This drama based on real events has been followed by other films such as The Great Debaters (2007), the most recent Fences (2016) or the upcoming A Diary for Jordan (2012), with Washington in the director’s chair.
However, what many do not remember is that the actor also tried his luck behind the cameras on the small screen, putting himself in front of an episode of Grey’s Anatomy called The Sound of Silence (2016). This is the ninth chapter of season 12, in which, after Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) is attacked by a patient, her colleagues at the Gray Sloan Memorial Hospital try to save her life.
Pompeo has now revealed in a meeting with Patrick Dempsey for his Tell Me With Ellen Pompeo podcast (via EW) that he had some run-in with Washington while filming a particular scene. Although he began by assuring that the director was “wonderful”, he soon recounted the clash they had on set. “He went crazy with me,” Pompeo said.
In the words of the actress, she was shooting a scene for the end of the episode in which Meredith Gray must hear the apologies of the man who seriously injured her, leaving her with a broken jaw. Being such an emotional sequence, Pompeo ended up improvising dialogues following the example of the guest actor who gave life to the patient.
“He decided to speak softly. Meredith was pissed off at having to sit there and listen to this apology, and he was not looking into his eyes,” recalled Pompeo: “We love actors who make decisions, right? So I yelled at him and said, ‘Look at me when you apologize. Look at me.’ That wasn’t in the dialogue and Denzel got mad at me. “
According to the actress has continued to explain, Denzel reminded her that he was the director and not to tell his scene partner what to do. “I replied: ‘Listen, this is my series. This is my set. Who are you telling? You hardly even know where the bathroom is.’ And I have the maximum respect for him as an actor, as a director, like everything, but Yes, we argued one day. “
Not everything was bad
The protagonist has continued to explain that she ended up having a small talk with the Washington woman when she visited the set. Apparently, she was the one who convinced her husband to direct an episode of Grey’s Anatomy because she was such a fan of fiction.
“I told him: ‘Yes, today he yelled at me. Yes, he was hard on me and it doesn’t seem right, I’m not going to look at him or talk to him,” Pompeo recalls: “So we didn’t get out of the fight, but , you know, that’s how actors are, passionate and fierce, and that’s how you get the magic, that’s how you get the good stuff. It was a great experience, really. “
Likewise, the actress has not hesitated to highlight “the energy” and “the charisma” of Washington, and has also revealed that Debbie Allen, producer and director of the series, was the one who signed the actor as director of that episode to prevent Pompeo left the Gray Sloan Memorial, as Patrick Dempsey had already done: “He said, ‘You have to stay. I’m going to surprise you.’ He never told me who he was, but he knew I was a huge fan.”