Grey's Anatomy Tell-All Author Reveals What Ellen Pompeo Is Really Like on Set

By Samantha Bergeson Sep 28, 2021 8:41 PMTags

Paging Dr. Grey!

Lynette Rice, author of How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey's Anatomy, dropped by E! News' Daily Pop on Tuesday, Sept. 28 to spill more behind-the-scenes secrets from the hit ABC drama series—including what it was really like to work with Grey's Anatomy No. 1 star Ellen Pompeo.

According to Rice, the cast felt the need to "kiss the ring" when it came to getting Pompeo's permission...to even post pics on social media. "It was this weird thing that she was taking pictures behind-the-scenes," Rice explained of an unnamed co-star. "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. "You've got to get the book to see who it is," Rice hinted. 

Must Read Moments from How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey's Anatomy

Plus, the Entertainment Weekly reporter spilled on everything she found out about the rumors surrounding Isaiah Washington's casting.

"He believed that he was originally up for that role [of McDreamy]," Rice revealed, claiming that Pompeo allegedly had a hand in re-casting Washington as Dr. Preston Burke. "He thinks it was because she had a Black boyfriend at that time who has now become her husband. And she didn't want art to imitate life."

Instead, Patrick Dempsey was brought on as McDreamy, and butted heads with Washington throughout production. According to Rice, a specifically violent incident took place "late at night, when tempers were already flared because they were working long." 

"It immediately went to pushing and shoving," she recalled. "It just gets big quickly and you don't know what to do. He started in—he, being Isaiah—Patrick came back because obviously there was a defensive move. It escalated quickly but it also de-escalated quickly because they had to come in, pull them apart, stop it, things shut down. Within 24 hours, the studio was scheduling sensitivity training." 

Watch the full interview above for more details! 

How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey's Anatomy is available wherever books are sold.