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Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo said Denzel Washington “went ham” on her when he directed an episode of the show, and now the actor has responded to her comments about the experience.
As Pompeo said on her Tell Me with Ellen Pompeo podcast last year, Washington proved to be difficult for her to work with when he helmed “The Sound of Silence,” the ninth episode of the 12th season of Grey’s Anatomy. She told podcast guest Patrick Dempsey that her and Washington “went at it” after she improvised a line of dialogue. In his recent interview with Variety, the actor-director said that he doesn’t remember the incident in question and insists things are all good.
When asked about her comments, he replied, “No, no,” and claimed that he cannot recall clashing with Pompeo on the set. With a “slight grin,” as interviewer Clayton Davis noted, he added, “But it’s all good.”
In her original discussion on the matter, Pompeo said Washington told her, “’I’m the director, don’t tell him what to do.’” In response, she said, “‘Listen, motherfucker, this is my show. This is my set. Who are you telling?'” Despite the hostility, she maintained that it was an “amazing experience” to work with him. “So, we didn’t get through it without a fight, but that’s actors for you,” she said. “Passionate and fiery and that’s where you get the magic, and that’s where you get the good stuff. So, it was an amazing experience, it really was.”
She also added that she has the “utmost respect” for Washington as both an actor and director, and that he’s “just one of the best to ever do it.” Despite that, she faced a minor controversy for her comments. It doesn’t appear as though Washington is phased, though.
In the same interview, Washington also reflected on how he was concerned for Chadwick Boseman’s health prior to his death in 2020. “A man among men. He suffered quietly. He made the movie, and nobody knew. I didn’t know. He never said a peep about it. He just did his job,” said Washington, 67. “I wondered if something was wrong because he seemed weak or tired sometimes. We had no idea, and it was nobody’s business. Good for him, keeping it to himself.”