‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Why Ellen Pompeo Had a ‘Knock-Down, Drag-Out Fight’ With the Director of This Episode

by Jeremy Spirogis
Justin Chambers, Ellen Pompeo, and Sandra Oh of

ABC not too long ago introduced that Grey’s Anatomy has begun filming for season 17. Starring as Dr. Meredith Grey because the medical drama debuted in 2005, Ellen Pompeo has headlined most of the present’s most well-known episodes.

One entails the second installment of a two-parter that aired following Super Bowl XL in 2006, the place Meredith has to dismantle a bomb inside a person’s chest. Featuring Kyle Chandler as bomb knowledgeable Dylan Young, the landmark episode instigated a significant distinction of opinion between Pompeo and director Peter Horton.

Justin Chambers, Ellen Pompeo, and Sandra Oh of 'Grey's Anatomy'
Justin Chambers, Ellen Pompeo, and Sandra Oh of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Scott Garfield/Walt Disney Television by way of Getty Images

An explosive ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

The episode entitled “As We Know It” aired on February 12, 2006 and have become a groundbreaker for the rookie collection. Ending with the bomb going off as Young carries it out of the working room, present creator Shonda Rhimes made certain community execs had been on board with the storyline.

“I remember having to talk it through with [then ABC Entertainment Group president] Stephen McPherson,” Rhimes advised Entertainment Weekly in 2017. “It was a big deal that we were doing the Super Bowl episode, so I wanted to make sure it was something they wanted to do. He seemed fine with it.”

Horton recalled the arrange required to make the ultimate scene as reasonable as doable.

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“It was a very ambitious proposition,” the Grey’s director mentioned. “There were a number of long days because of that. When that explosion scene came up, the only way you get through it is with a tremendous amount of prep. We worked on how we wanted to do it, what walls we wanted to collapse, what lights we wanted to fall.”

Ellen Pompeo’s stunt double takes a success

In the scene the place the bomb explodes, the digital camera exhibits Meredith in sluggish movement getting thrown to the bottom as a result of power of the blast. Pompeo was relieved {that a} stunt double would stand in for her in the course of the bodily portion of the shot.

“It was very late at night when we filmed it,” Pompeo defined. “I had been working something like 17 hours. I was exhausted, so I was excited that I didn’t have to do the stunt. They had this amazing stunt girl who was going to do it for me. They strapped her to a cable so they could pull her back when Kyle blows up.”

Unfortunately, the stunt individual bought a bit of greater than she bargained for after trying the scene.

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“The stunt double was fairly young,” Horton mentioned. “She wasn’t quite prepared for when she got yanked, having landed on her back and getting her head snapped back. And boy, did it. You could hear it. … she had to go through concussion protocol. We’d only had one take of this thing, and I needed to have a couple of things adjusted from that one take, so I had Ellen do it.”

Meredith Grey takes the autumn

When Pompeo bought wind of Horton wanting her to do the stunt herself, she was fairly vocal about her opposition to the thought.

“We had a knock-down, drag-out fight because he insisted I do the stunt,” Pompeo revealed. “I said, ‘A f*cking professional stuntwoman just gave herself a concussion doing it. I’ve been working 18 hours. I can barely see straight. Now you want me to try it?’ He was adamant. I was adamant. We were screaming at each other.”

Some artistic enhancing helped preserve Pompeo secure when she lastly relented to do the scene.

Ellen Pompeo of 'Grey's Anatomy' Ellen Pompeo of 'Grey's Anatomy'
Ellen Pompeo of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Peter ‘Hopper’ Stone/Walt Disney Television by way of Getty Images

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“If you look in the episode, you will see the stunt girl hit her head,” Horton mentioned. “We left that in. It had been very effective. But we used part of Ellen’s take, which is the part she never remembers. We never would have put her in jeopardy. We pulled her much slower than we pulled the stunt double.”

Fortunately, Pompeo got here out of the scene unscathed and the episode continues to be thought of one of many medical drama’s finest.

“It was the spotlight of Grey’s Anatomy,” Horton commented. “It was a special moment when it all came together in just the right way.”

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