Isaiah Washington Breaks His Silence

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: There are rumors that you were originally supposed to be the lead in a Grey's spin-off. Did Shonda ever approach you?
ISAIAH WASHINGTON: Me for a spin-off? No. No. Never. I love Shonda Rhimes and her writing ability and I felt like she made me a better actor because of her talent. I was invited back by Shonda to be part of the team and I always had a team player mentality about that. I took it as a humbling opportunity to be invited and be part of the team. I'm going to miss her writing. She's an extraordinary talent. She's very collaborative and allowed me to create the Dr. Burke that the world has grown to love.

Would you be open to cameo on Grey's?
Dr. Burke is probably the greatest challenge I've ever had. I've studied the medical world extensively. I enjoy surgeons and I'm glad they do what they do and I gave it everything I had. If Shonda calls me and says, ''Look we want you to do something for Grey's Anatomy'' I probably would not hesitate. But I don't really see that happening.

How do you think this is going to affect your career?
I'm working right now [on the indie film, The Least of These]. I can only take one day at a time. I can only apologize so many times. I can only accept so much responsibility. All the players involved have taken care of what we needed to take care of in-house — and the media took it in a different direction. I hope that everyone is happy for the outcome for Isaiah, but Isaiah will go on and do what I love to do. And I have to go about the business of letting people know what's written about me is not the truth. I'm merely an actor, a husband, and a father who's trying to do a great job and be very grateful and understanding that I'm in a very privileged position. This isn't a time for me to be looking back; it's only a time for me to be looking forward. I just hope people can understand in the industry and otherwise that it's a horrible misunderstanding what transpired with our show and it was blown out of proportion. If the naysayers out there feel that some justice has been served and that they're happy with the outcome, so be it. It's incumbent on me to take what I do, do it well, grow from the experience, and move on.

Do you have any concerns about being labeled as difficult as an actor?
Hopefully I'll have an opportunity to address a lot of that down the road. It'd be very cleansing for my soul to let the fans and the general public see a side of me that I feel was horribly represented in the press.

What type of offers have you received?
I've gotten a ton of offers in both film and TV, and now my agent Ben Press and I are just sorting through all the options. There is one network in particular that's very interested. But I don't want to say anything specific until it's a done deal.

Why did you decide to make the movie The Least of These?
Actually, I decided to do the part based on the recommendation of Sandra Oh. I was telling her about it last fall and she felt it was a strong role that would be good for me. Since Sandra is a Golden Globe winner among other things I always take her advice. She's a smart lady.

Would you work with ABC again?
[Laughs] I don't know. That's up to ABC.

Originally posted Jun 12, 2007 Published in issue #940 Jun 22, 2007 Order article reprints
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