Ellen Pompeo teases she ‘hopes’ to make ‘a few appearances’ on Grey’s next year: ‘Not a complete goodbye’

The actress left the long-running series earlier this year after 19 seasons

Todd Williamson/E!  Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Todd Williamson/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Meredith Gray may be out of Gray Sloane Memorial, but she hopes to return to Seattle soon.

Pompeo, 53, is currently executive producing the show after her character Meredith said goodbye in season 19 earlier this year. However, in the last episode of Varietyof the series Actors on Actors, the actress confided to her former Grey’s Anatomy costar Katherine Heigl that she would be open to returning as Meredith down the line.

“I’m hoping to make a few appearances next year, if I can find the time,” Pompeo said. “No, it’s not a full goodbye. And I think we have an interesting story to tell.”

Related: "Grey’s Anatomy" Cast: Where are they now?

First, Pompeo will film a Hulu series titled The orphan. “It’s going to be a very interesting role to play,” she told Heigl, 44. “I haven’t played another character in 18 years. It’s crazy – crazy city, crazy city.”

But Pompeo feels ready for his next adventure after being on Grey’s for so long.”

“I’m happy to drop it,” Pompeo said. “We’re past that point. I think it’s normal for Meredith to stop making bad decisions.”

Eric McCandless/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Eric McCandless/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

The mother-of-three cited her character’s relationship with Nick Marsh (Scott Speedman) as one of her “frustrations” with the show. “I felt so happy to be able to walk away and I felt like I had accomplished something amazing,” Pompeo said. “Everywhere, as I’m sure everywhere you go, people are running up to me and saying, ‘I love you!’ It’s weird and weird, but it’s just love coming my way.”

Heigl, who played Dr. Izzie Stevens for the show’s first six seasons, left the show in 2010 but said she was still recognized as the character — sort of.

“I was at the liquor store – I needed some wine. And this man walked up to me and said, ‘Excuse me. I’m so sorry, but my daughter, she’s freaking out here. Would you mind talking to him for a minute?’ “Heigl told Pompeo. “And I was like, ‘Sure. Come on, honey.'”

The girl asked Heigl if she knew Grey’s Anatomy, and after Heigl assured her, “She said, ‘Do you know Izzie Stevens?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I do,'” Heigl continued. “She says, ‘Are you her mother?’ Luckily it didn’t happen again.”

More recently, Heigl played Tully Hart in the Netflix series path of the fireflies, which ended in April after two seasons. When she ponders whether she would ever return to Grey’s Anatomyshe shared with entertainment tonight in 2019 that the decision would be “difficult” to make.

“I do not have [thought about Izzie] in years. I don’t know. I don’t know if I would or if I wouldn’t,” she said.

Related: Katherine Heigl Opens Up About Her ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Character Return Would "entertaining"

“I almost feel like it would be almost distracting again, sort of, from what they’ve been doing with this show in the seven years since I left…and what it’s become and what it’s is for the fans now,” she continued. “It must feel like it would just be kind of like, ‘Yeah, we already gave up…why are you here? “”

Heigl and Pompeo recalled to Variety that the public hardly even saw Grey’s Anatomy at all. “I just remember being nervous that they weren’t airing it,” Heigl said. “There was a time when it wasn’t clear. They didn’t like it.”

Pompeo claimed an executive “almost took a nap” on series creator Shonda Rhimes and “almost didn’t air that pilot.” Now, over 400 episodes later, Grey’s is television’s longest-running medical drama.

Richard Cartwright/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Richard Cartwright/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Pompeo admitted that she also miscalculated when it came to the “Choose me. Choose me. Love me.” speech that Meredith gave to Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) in season 2.

“I fought that talk so hard,” Pompeo said. “That’s another really interesting thing in life – some things that I was so against, and I was like, ‘I can’t beg a man on TV! It’s so embarrassing.” And then it turns out to be one of the most famous scenes of all time.”

Ron Tom Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Ron Tom Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

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Grey’s Anatomy can be streamed on Hulu and Netflix.

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