Ellen Pompeo Willing to Stay on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Without Patrick Dempsey

by | September 6, 2011 at 4:42 PM | Grey's Anatomy

Ellen Pompeo (ABC)

Ellen Pompeo (ABC)

Meredith Grey without McDreamy seems as wrong as Mike without Molly or Castle without Beckett, but according to “Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo, it’s a possibility. Pompeo told TV Guide that she is open to staying with the show after her contract expires at the end of this season even if her co-star leaves, saying “I was invited for eight years — that was my contract — and no one has asked me for a day more… I would love the opportunity to discuss it… I would never turn up my nose at ‘Grey’s.”

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Pompeo acknowledged that Meredith and Derek’s romance is central to the show, stating, “As long as the stories are honest and truthful, and Patrick [Dempsey] and I feel there is material for us to be passionate about, it still beats a 9-to-5 job any day.” However, she is aware that Dempsey, who starred in the hit films “Enchanted” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” may choose to focus on his movie career when his contract expires.  If that happens, she thinks Meredith could still remain a viable character. “I would be lying if I didn’t say that I lie awake at night wondering what would happen. And I have some ideas. Do I love them? I don’t know yet. I’d prefer to think of them as Armageddon scenarios. There are no easy answers.”

“Grey’s” has survived the loss of original cast members Isaiah Washington (Burke), T.R. Knight (George) and Katherine Heigl (Izzie.)  “I didn’t think the show could go on without any of them,” says Pompeo, “yet we found a way to do it.” However, none of them were as central to the show as Dempsey. Television series that have continued after half of a show’s signature couple departed have a mixed track record. “Cheers” thrived for years after Kristie Alley replaced Shelley Long as the woman in Ted Danson’s life. However, “Beauty and the Beast,” flopped after the show’s original romantic lead Linda Hamilton left the series.

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