The Q&A

Ellen Pompeo: Mer-Der, She Wrote

What to expect from Meredith and Derek's big reunion? The ''Grey's Anatomy'' star discusses that, why she doubts she'll be around for a season 8, and more

Ellen Pompeo | ELLEN POMPEO ''Meredith can't commit because there are issues with her mother. But if I couldn't commit, why didn't I just walk away? It did…
Image credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.com
ELLEN POMPEO ''Meredith can't commit because there are issues with her mother. But if I couldn't commit, why didn't I just walk away? It did get redundant. But nobody wants to hear me complain''

The wait is over! Meredith and Derek will finally reunite in the May 22 season finale of Grey's Anatomy. In preparation for the big day, we sat down with Ellen Pompeo to talk about the much-anticipated reconciliation, the show's future, and how she lays low when she's done working for the day on ABC's popular drama.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did [Grey's Anatomy creator] Shonda Rhimes tell you that Meredith and Derek were getting back together?
ELLEN POMPEO:
I came in a couple weeks before we were going to go back to work and she invited me in to talk. She pretty much started off by saying she had time over the break to watch the entire series, saw where it started and where it went and where it needs to go now. It helped her get some perspective.

Did she say she made some mistakes?
This is Hollywood. People don't admit mistakes.

How did you feel about Mer-Der getting back together?
I told her to please make it be in a way that makes sense. Don't put us together because the fans want it: so — poof! — we're together. Please make it make sense. I would have preferred that we really stayed apart for a while and then slowly got back together. I just worry how realistic is it after all of the mess.

How had you been feeling about the relationship?
You can't really judge characters, because that's when it gets really hard to play them. But sometimes Meredith has made choices and I'm like, Why would she do this? Why would she continue to keep going back to him after that? You gotta try to find a way to do it, but it's not always easy. I would never let a man treat me that way.

When did you start to feel that Mer-Der was becoming repetitive?
Last season. Season 3 is when the show really started to get a little unfocused with crazy things like Meredith's [failed] suicide, and then George and Izzie. It just sort of seemed like it was all over the place, which it kind of was. I know Shonda was writing Private Practice and her attention was diverted.

How did you feel about George and Izzie?
I love Katie [Heigl] and T.R. [Knight] so much that I didn't really like seeing them together. That's like my brother and my sister kissing. I don't want to see my brother and sister kiss! I think it was a little ratings stunt.

NEXT PAGE: ''I'll never say never about anything. But, I think after seven seasons I'm certainly going to feel like I have nothing to give for this character.''

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