Kate Walsh Praises Patrick Dempsey’s ‘Hugely Moving’ Return to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

She’s a fan! Kate Walsh left her full-time role on Grey’s Anatomy all the way back in season 3, but she’s kept up with the show since then — and she likes what she’s seen.

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The Private Practice alum, 53, particularly enjoyed the way the series brought back Patrick Dempsey, a.k.a. Derek Shepherd, earlier this season. “I was actually thrilled and thought it was incredibly clever the way they brought people back during [Meredith’s coma],” she told Us Weekly exclusively during an interview about her partnership with Sheba Brand to launch the world’s largest coral reef restoration project.

Kate Walsh Praises Patrick Dempsey’s ‘Hugely Moving’ Return to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’
Kate Walsh and Patrick Dempsey. Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock; BabiradPicture/Shutterstock

“What a great device that was,” she continued. “Honestly, I thought it was just awesome and chilling and hugely moving and really cool to take a very kind of, I would say cliché device of, you know, ‘coma in the hospital drama,’ but then make it this amazing thing where you’ve got Pat and T.R. [Knight], and did Eric [Dane] come back too? It’s just so cool.”

Now that she lives in Australia, the Emily in Paris star would have trouble participating in any future cameo appearances, but she’s open to the idea. “I guess they’d have to have me Zoom in at this point,” she joked. “I would have loved to do it, but you know, I’m in a different hemisphere.”

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Walsh also revisited her infamous first scene as Dr. Addison Montgomery, who introduced herself to Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) by saying, “You must be the woman who’s been screwing my husband.” The moment, which aired during a 2005 episode, remains a favorite among Grey’s fans, even 16 years later.

“That 30 seconds got a lot of notoriety,” the Umbrella Academy actress said, noting that it probably got her more “attention” than anything she’d done up to that point in her career. “That’s part of the fun fantasy of Shondaland … being double board-certified and, you know, wearing Jimmy Choos and Prada. What couldn’t Addison do?”

Now, Walsh is just happy that her acting career has given her the opportunity to partner with Sheba on the reef restoration project, which will eventually regenerate 185,000 square meters of reef.

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“[Grey’s] really brought me to where I am now,” she explained. “A place to be able to use my name and my energy to help bring awareness to campaigns like this one with Sheba … especially in my place in life now too, I just want to help wherever I can.”

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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