Over the last several days, more and more excerpts from Lynette Rice’s highly-anticipated tell-all, How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy, have been made public.
To some, these revelations may be shocking.
Patrick Dempsey was a terror on set?!?
Justin Chambers felt trapped by the repetitive nature of the show?!?
To long-time Grey’s Anatomy viewers, however, many of these stories have been mostly told before.
But not the one below; not to our knowledge, at least.
Speaking to E! News on Tuesday, September 28 in promotion of her book, Rice delved into lead actress Ellen Pompeo, who has anchored the ABC drama since Day One and whose reputation has generally been considered sterling.
As it turns out, though, there’s at least one ex-cast member who would likely disagree with this analysis.
According to Rice, Pompeo has long been a domineering presence on set.
Yes, she’s earned that right.
Yet some might say she took it too far on at least one occasion.
Rice told E! that the Grey’s Anatomy cast often has felt the need to “kiss the ring” when it comes to Pompeo; which is to say, they’ve had to seek her permission to do almost anting on set.
Specifically, issues have arisen over when to take backstage photos… who can take backstage photos… and what then happens to these backstage photos.
Talking to E!, Rice told the story of an unnamed former co-star who ended up without a job because she defied Pompeo’s unwritten rules.
“It was this weird thing that she was taking pictures behind-the-scenes.
“But Ellen got to the point where it really became Ellen’s set, so you should really check in with mom, just let her know, ‘FYI, doing this, are you OK?’ She didn’t do that.”
As a result?
The anonymous series regular met her “downfall,” and ultimately was fired from Grey’s Anatomy, Rice says.
“You’ve got to get the book to see who it is,” she then teased in the interview.
To be clear, we have absolutely no idea who Rice is referring to here.
We do recall Brooke Smith expressing complete shock at being fired back in 2008 from the role of Dr. Erica Hahn.
“I was floored when they told me [I was being let go]. It was the last thing I expected,” she told Entertainment Weekly after learning the news, adding back then:
“It was very sudden.”
Smith added at the time that se thought the decision came from higher-ups at the network and NOT from creator Shonda Rhimes… who eventually released a statement shooting down speculation that Smith was fired because Hahn was a lesbian.
Again, we have no idea whether Smith is the actress Rice claims got fired due to Pompeo’s demand.
We’re just trying to think of a series regular who was let go unexpectantly.
Pompeo, meanwhile, has never denied that she has firm control over the set.
On the latest episode of her podcast (with guest Patrick Dempsey!), the beloved star even said she once clashed with director Denzel Washington over how she exerted this power.
“I was like, ‘Look at me when you apologize. Look at me,'” she recalled screaming at another during a scene.
“And that wasn’t in the dialogue. And Denzel went ham on my ass. He was like, ‘I’m the director. Don’t you tell him what to do.'”
But Pompeo didn’t back down — not even from Denzel Washington.
“I was like, ‘Listen, motherf–ker, this is my show,'” Ellen told Dempsey. “This is my set. Who are you telling?”
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