Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo recently opened up about an iconic scene in the ABC medical drama, speaking to Variety about her 15-year role as Meredith Grey on the show.
The actress revealed that she didn't find one popular scene in season 2 — in which Meredith famously says "pick me, choose me, love me" to Patrick Dempsey's character Derek Shepherd — as "empowering" to her character.
Ellen will return as Meredith Grey for the 17th season of Grey's, though it's been teased that it will also be the show's last.
After nearly 15 years, it looks like Grey's Anatomy's leading lady is paying a visit back to perhaps the most iconic scene in the history of the show — and sharing what she really thinks about the emotional moment in a revealing new interview.
If you're a dedicated Grey's fan, then you probably know exactly the exact scene in question: Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) walks up to McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) in the scrub room, boldly declares her love for him despite the fact that he's still married to Addison Shepherd (Kate Walsh), then utters those six tear-inducing words that left viewers across the nation sobbing for years. "Pick me, choose me, love me," she says.
Well, nearly 15 years since it first aired in 2005, Grey's star Ellen Pompeo finally opened up about a beloved scene in the medical drama — and it turns out she's not as much of a fan of the show's most famous moment as many viewers. In a new interview with Variety, the actress revealed that she didn't exactly see the fan-favorite scene — which occurs in season 2 episode 5 — as "empowering" to her character Meredith Grey.
Speaking to Variety about her role on the long-running medical drama, Ellen shared what she really thought about the famous moment, first recalling that Meredith's character did stand out to her from other roles at the time.
"I did recognize that the film roles that I was being offered at the time were all the girlfriends and sort of just the chick in the movie with not a lot to do," she said. "And [when] I read the pilot, I did recognize, 'Wow, this is a female lead — with a career.' I wasn’t seeing many of those parts, so I did recognize that."
But despite acknowledging that Meredith Grey has now become one of the most influential female characters in TV history, Ellen went on to say that she didn't always see her character as a strong feminist role, particularly in the earlier seasons of the show — namely one popular scene in which Meredith famously begs Derek to leave his current wife for her.
"Her journey to becoming powerful was not really so obvious to me. I have a different perspective, and maybe people see the beginning of the show as more empowering than I did," Ellen explained. "But that, 'Pick me, choose me, love me' [line]; I was like, 'Why am I begging a man to love me?' To me, that’s not empowering."
Of course, fans of the show will recall that Meredith's heartfelt plea in the scene didn't initially work, as Derek actually decided to try and work things out with his first wife, Addison, first — but it wasn't long until the two fated characters ended up together, eventually having a "post-it wedding" in season 5 (and actually making it official in season 7). Cue what's called by many to be one of the most iconic romances on television — that is, until McDreamy's character (spoiler alert!) was shockingly killed off in season 11 as Patrick Dempsey decided to exit the show in 2015.
Despite her criticism of the particular scene in season 2, though, Ellen acknowledged that her beloved character has evolved tremendously over time, with both Meredith and herself having grown up over the many years that Grey's has been on air.
"I think that a show that runs for as long as Grey’s, the show has had to grow with the characters. I’m 15 years older now, so I’m so much stronger a person than I was then. It just evolves," the actress said. "The writers get to know you, they watch the dailies and they watch the show. Grey’s is so unique, because we’ve been on the air for so long, they’ve all watched me grow up. Shonda and the writers, we’ve all grown up together."
Well, regardless of whether you personally find the scene empowering or not, we'll still be going back to that emotional moment to sob over it shamelessly — in fact, we might just have to rewatch Grey's all from the beginning while we're waiting patiently for season 17!
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