“Pick me, choose me, love me.” Grey’s Anatomy has made an art form out of bringing fictional couples together and tearing them apart. In real life, the cast’s romantic ventures are not always so dramatic.
Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey’s Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd are the most beloved duo in the ABC drama’s history. Since the show began in March 2005, fans have been rooting for the pair, even after Derek was killed off in season 11. Although the actor left the series in 2015, viewers got to revisit his relationship with Meredith five years later when his character returned via dream sequences in season 17.
The Enchanted star told Deadline in November 2020 that it felt “very special” and “really comfortable” to film scenes with Pompeo again.
“It’s like riding a bike. We just have a chemistry and a dynamic that’s always served us well, and I think we have genuine affection for each other,” the actress chimed in. “It was very healing to come back and know that we’re doing something good, putting out a positive story, a healing story, going to make people smile.”
While fans have enjoyed watching Meredith fall in and out of love over the years, Pompeo’s husband, Chris Ivery, was not thrilled when he discovered just how steamy the show is. The couple met approximately six months before she filmed the Grey’s Anatomy pilot.
“Poor guy had no idea what he was getting into,” the Catch Me If You Can actress explained during a July 2021 episode of the “Ladies First With Laura Brown” podcast.
As fans applauded Pompeo and Dempsey for their chemistry, Ivery struggled with their romantic scenes. “I remember in the beginning it was really hard for him,” she revealed. “He was like, ‘This is not what I signed up for. You’re kissing a guy — you go to work and make out with that. I like Patrick and everything, he’s a good dude, but, like, really?’”
The fame that came with the show’s success also concerned the music producer initially. “It was a lot for him at first. He was really a trooper, I have to say,” the Massachusetts native noted. “He is my favorite person.”
Despite the drawbacks to the gig, Pompeo divulged in August 2020 that it has put her in a better position when it comes to her personal life.
“I made choices to stay on the show. For me, personally, a healthy home life was more important than career,” she said on the “Jemele Hill Is Unbothered” podcast. “I didn’t grow up with a particularly happy childhood. So to have a happy home life was really something I needed to complete to close the hole in my heart.”
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Scroll through the gallery below to explore the Grey’s Anatomy cast’s dating histories.