Are Grey’s Anatomy stars Ellen Pompeo and Katherine Heigl still friends?

Josh Kelley, Katherine Heigl, Ellen Pompeo and Chris Ivery 12864_LC_0663.jpg (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
Josh Kelley, Katherine Heigl, Ellen Pompeo and Chris Ivery 12864_LC_0663.jpg (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage) /

Since Grey’s Anatomy made its premiere on ABC way back in 2005, the long-running series has made its fair share of headlines for events both on and offscreen. From shocking character deaths to behind-the-scenes feuds, the series entertains no matter what.

Ellen Pompeo starred in a series regular capacity on the history-making medical drama up until season 19, while Katherine Heigl left the series back in its sixth season in 2010. Heigl won an Emmy Award in 2007 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Emmy for her performance in the show’s second season.

Because Grey’s has been a series with so much written about the goings on with its cast and various dramas occurring outside of the hospital’s own drama, fans might be wondering if Ellen Pompeo and Katherine Heigl have remained friends following Heigl’s departure from the series, especially since the Grey’s favorites are set for an on-camera reunion.

Are Ellen Pompeo and Katherine Heigl still friends?

Even though they might not be the best of friends, Ellen Pompeo and Katherine Heigl are still friends after Heigl’s 2010 departure from Grey’s Anatomy. The pair worked together for over 100 episodes of television, likely creating a lifelong bond as coworkers, women, working mothers, and friends. Pompeo and Heigl follow each other on Instagram and keep up with each other’s posts.

When Heigl left Grey’s in the sixth season, she told Entertainment Weekly that she and Pompeo “text a lot” and joked that it was “pissing [her] off” that she hadn’t met Pompeo’s daughter yet. Heigl went on to call the cast her friends and family. Surely, with everyone going in their separate ways over the years, they aren’t as close as they once were, but they will always be friends.

Ellen Pompeo defended Katherine Heigl

Throughout her career, Katherine Heigl has been very outspoken about the things she believes in and holds true, unafraid to say what everyone else wouldn’t. Prior to leaving the series, Heigl appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman in 2009 and spoke up about the “cruel and mean” 17-hour workdays for the Grey’s cast and crew.

In April 2022, in an episode of her podcast called Tell Me, Pompeo finally stood up for her former co-star saying she was “ahead of her time” and “ballsy.” Here’s Pompeo’s complete quote defending Heigl’s statements about the working conditions on the medical drama:

"“I remember Heigl said something on a talk show about the insane hours we were working and she was 100 percent right. And had she said that today, she’d be a complete hero. But she’s ahead of her time, made a statement about our crazy hours and of course, [it was like] ‘Let’s slam a woman and call her ungrateful.’ The truth is, she’s 100 percent honest and it’s absolutely correct what she said. She was f—ing ballsy for saying it. She was telling the truth. She wasn’t lying!”"

How to watch Ellen Pompeo and Katherine Heigl on Variety’s Actors on Actors

For the first time since Katherine Heigl left Grey’s Anatomy (it’s been well over a decade!), she and Ellen Pompeo will be reuniting onscreen for a sit-down conversation for Variety’s Actors on Actors series. The pair, fresh off runs on Firefly Lane and Grey’s, will be discussing their work leading up to this year’s Emmy Awards race.

According to a tweet from Variety, Pompeo and Heigl’s feature and episode will be released on June 6. There will be a written article on the website featuring their conversation, as well as a full video released on Variety’s YouTube channel. Variety also notes every episode of Actors on Actors season 18 will stream on the free PBS App following their airing on PBS SoCal on June 15.

Watch Grey’s Anatomy and Firefly Lane on Netflix!

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