Ellen Pompeo Says Reuniting With Kate Walsh on 'Grey's Anatomy' Was a Long Time Coming (Exclusive)

The star teases Walsh's anticipated return on Thursday's episode.

The countdown to Addison Montgomery's return is on -- and Ellen Pompeo is just as excited as Grey's Anatomy viewers are.

On Thursday's episode, Addison's portrayer, Kate Walsh, kicks off a multi-episode arc in her anticipated return to the halls of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. And her re-emergence back in Seattle is quite a memorable one, as she returns to whip the new class of residents into shape.

An early first look at Addison, released last week, shows her back in the operating room, racing against the clock during a complicated surgery and requesting Meredith Grey's help.

"We are doing a surgery together. Addison Montgomery is presented with a super challenging surgery and she needs some help. So she says, 'Please get me Meredith Grey,'" Pompeo told ET's Nischelle Turner over a recent Zoom interview while promoting her Cadence13 podcast, Tell Me With Ellen Pompeo, "and then I come in and we do this surgery together. And Kate and I had a great time working together. I haven’t really seen her in a really long time because of the pandemic."

Walsh left Grey's to lead her own show, the spinoff Private Practice, which ended up running for six seasons. 

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"And she moved [to] Australia and so it was really, really nice to see her and it was really fun to get to work with her," Pompeo said of their reunion, possibly hinting that Walsh appears in three episodes (or possibly more). "The original cast, we have such an intense bond because we went through something so intense together. And to be able to come together and have the show still be the way in which we see each other and communicate and to see what we created and everything that the work that went into the beginning years... To see all that hard work culminate in something that's still so well-received and still so celebrated is a really special bond that we all have together."

In September, Pompeo teased Walsh's return, calling the former Grey's and Private Practice star "amazing."

"Kate's amazing," Pompeo told ET on the Emmys red carpet. "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 first made her debut as Addison in the dramatic 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.

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. For more, watch below.

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