Pompeo finally let up and allowed Stella to watch, but she couldn't keep going.
Ellen Pompeo thought it would be a lovely idea: introduce Grey's Anatomy to her 12-year-old daughter, Stella, and bond by re-watching the show that launched her career. But just a few episodes into binging reality set in -- she couldn't stomach it.
Pompeo shared that tidbit with Katherine Heigl during their one-on-one interview for Variety's "Actors on Actors" series. The former Grey's Anatomy co-stars, who played Dr. Meredith Grey and Dr. Izzie Stevens on the long-running medical drama, asked each other if they had allowed their teen and pre-teen kids to watch the show.
Heigl, who shares three children with husband Jos Kelley, said she hasn't "gone there yet" with her 13-year-old daughter, Naleigh, prompting Heigle to then ask Pompeo, "Stella has, right?"
Pompeo, who shares three children with husband Chris Ivery, said everyone in Stella's sixth grade class had somehow already devoured the long-running series, which she thought "was a bit crazy, knowing what's in the first seasons."
"She was like, 'Mom, I'm the only one who hasn't seen it,'" Pompeo shared. "So I said OK. In the summer, she started watching it. And at first I was like, 'Oh, this is so amazing, and we’re going to watch it together.' Then it was episode after episode after episode, and I was like, 'I don’t have the stamina for this!' I filmed all these episodes; I can’t now go back and watch it again."
Heigl revealed that, when she was on the show, she'd watch every episode when it aired, adding that she was "anxious" to see how it all turned out.
But for Pompeo? Not so much.
"Yeah, see, that was not good for my mind to do that, so I avoided that," she said in the Variety series. "Many of the episodes I was seeing for the first time with Stella. It’s pretty cool to be a part of something that’s lasted this long."
In that same one-on-one interview, Heigl addressed her Grey's Anatomy exit in 2010, telling Pompeo that, looking back now, she feels she was "so naive" in how she handled her intense emotions on the set.
"There was no part of me that imagined a bad reaction," she admitted. "I felt really justified in how I felt about it and where I was coming from. I’ve spent most of my life — I think most women do — being in that people-pleasing mode. It’s really disconcerting when you feel like you have really displeased everybody. It was not my intention to do so, but I had some things to say, and I didn’t think I was going to get such a strong reaction."