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Ellen Pompeo is Confused by Her Grey Character Too

Posted by Fara Kearnes on May 19, 2006 7:42 PM |

Ellen PompeoEllen Pompeo , who plays basket case Meredith Grey on the hit series "Grey's Anatomy" says her character frustrates her too! "I just show up and say my lines... I have to show up and say what they write," she says and adds, "Something I say a lot is, 'Why does she keep making these stupid mistakes? She's smart enough to make it through medical school, but she can't figure out that she shouldn't be sleeping with strangers.'"

In an interview with zap2it, Pompeo says that her character's relationship-challenged life is complicated and is planned that way. She gets involved with the married Dr. Derek Shephard, then sleeps with her housemate George in a weak moment, then falls for the vet Finn who treats her dog, which makes Derek jealous and he sets his sultry gaze on her to win her back - if only for just a quicky on a table in an examination room. Imagine having to choose between Derek (Patrick Dempsey) and Finn (Chris O'Donnell)! Oh the problems this girl has!

"It's done very much on purpose," says Pompeo of the messy life of Meredith, "to create a female lead character who is very flawed. Shonda (Rhimes, the series' creator and co-executive producer) feels like she's diving into new waters there. You know, I don't really have much of a say. I just show up and say my lines. There's no collaboration on the characters and the writing. This is a 9-to-5 job. I have to show up and say what they write."

"Some of the individual scenes I struggle with, and that's OK, because if it's a struggle, I'm learning. My biggest fear about doing a series television show is that I would be bored. But at the same time, there are episodes where I struggle with the choices that Meredith makes. So something I say a lot is, "Why hasn't she learned this lesson? Why hasn't she learned any lesson? Why does she keep making these stupid mistakes?'

"She's smart enough to make it through medical school, but she can't figure out that she shouldn't be sleeping with strangers."

Admitting that Meredith's choices frustrate her "all the time," Pompeo says, "Sleeping with George was definitely, definitely, definitely a top frustrating moment. I just didn't understand why she would make such a massive mistake and sleep with someone who is close to her. I just can't. I could never justify it, and I still can't."

But, Pompeo adds, "Shonda understands it, and that's all that matters. In series television, they need these catastrophic events to happen, to supply the next five episodes with material."

"It's a catalyst for all the little waterfalls that have to happen, so I understand it from a writing standpoint, why things happen. But you do have to bring them to life, and when you don't understand something, it's quite difficult to do that."


The show is a hit for me based on Ellen, she is the only reason I started watching that show.. she rocks, I wish I could meet her in person, but that will never ever happen, so I will just tune in every week and enjoy her show.

Congratulations to Ellen and her new husband. Some people exude both outward and inward beauty. Ellen is one of those people. A walking poem. Have a great life. May many many good things come your way.

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