Ellen Pompeo Says Kate Walsh's 'Grey's Anatomy' Return Is 'Fun and Nostalgic' (Exclusive)

The star of ABC's long-running medical drama called Walsh 'amazing.'

Ellen Pompeo is excited as viewers are to welcome back Kate Walsh to Grey's Anatomy.

The star of ABC's medical drama sang Walsh's praises on the Emmys red carpet on Sunday, calling her former co-star "amazing." Walsh will return for multiple episodes in season 18, reprising her fan-favorite character, Addison Montgomery, for the first time in eight years after wrapping Grey's spinoff, Private Practice.

"Kate's amazing," Pompeo said of Walsh. "That's one of my favorite things about the show right now is having original cast members come back. It's so fun and so nostalgic and we all have such an incredible bond that's kind of hard to describe and it's been a lot of fun having everybody come back."

Walsh won't be the only familiar face back on Grey's in the upcoming season. She'll be joined by another Kate -- that's Kate Burton -- who is back for several episodes as Ellis Grey, Meredith's late mother.

Pompeo also reflected on last season, which saw Meredith dealing with the effects from COVID-19 and spending a significant portion of the season in a coma.

"We had to work around COVID obviously and so we had to be creative and think of ways to keep the show going and still be safe. The coma was one and then the beach and the dream sequences was another and of course, bringing back people who had passed on to the other side," she said. "I think it just resonates with people right? Everyone wants to have one last conversation with someone they've lost."

Walsh first made her debut as Addison in dramatic fashion in the final moments of the season 1 finale of Grey's in 2005, when her surprise arrival in Seattle complicated her then-husband Derek Shepherd's romantic relationship with then-intern Meredith Grey. Walsh remained a series regular for seasons 2 and 3 before transitioning to lead Private Practice, which ran for six seasons until 2013.

New of the actress' reprisal came a few weeks after Burton's return was announced. Since season 17, Grey's has seen a flurry of familiar faces pop back in following last year's appearances by former cast members Patrick Dempsey, T.R. Knight, Chyler Leigh, Sarah Drew and Eric Dane.

Grey's Anatomy premieres Thursday, Sept. 30 on ABC. For more, watch below.

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