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There are long running TV shows, and then there's ABC's Grey's Anatomy. The still popular medical drama will close its whopping 13th season tonight, with no signs of slowing anytime soon. And considering the long run of the series, the surgeons of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital have been through a ton of trauma. But there was a time when these near death experiences were new for audience; and it all started with Season 2's bomb episode. Although now it appears that a big stunt caused some serious onset beef with Ellen Pompeo and the director.
The episode "As We Know It" ended with the bomb finally exploding, sending Meredith flying backward. But after Ellen Pompeo's double was concussed when filming the stunt, director Peter Horton asked Pompeo to perform it herself. It didn't work out well. Pompeo explains,
We had a knock-down, drag-out fight because he insisted I do the stunt. I said, 'A fucking professional stuntwoman just gave herself a concussion doing it. I've been working 18 hours. I can barely see straight. Now you want me to try it?' He was adamant. I was adamant. We were screaming at each other. I even said to him, 'Why are you even making me do this? You're going to use that take with her head bouncing off the floor,' because it looked amazing. It was like slow motion. Anyway, I ended up doing it, despite me not wanting to. And of course they used the first take.
Just when you thought Katherine Heigl was the only original Grey's Anatomy who had major drama associated with her role. It turns out Ellen Pompeo did it before it was cool.
All joking aside, it sounds like filming "As We Know It" was an absolutely grueling process for everyone involved. In the same interview, which comes to us courtesy of EW, Ellen Pompeo addressed what a long work day it was at the time of the aforementioned incident. When she was asked to perform the stunt, it was already the middle of the night and she had been working for 17-18 hours. So being asked to partake in such a dangerous scene felt like the final straw.
As a reminder, check out the scene in question below (PS I miss Izzie and Cristina).
While many actors do their own stuns, they do have to advocate for their own personal safety. Ellen Pompeo just saw a trained stuntwoman slam her head extremely hard on her first attempt, so she was in no rush to concuss herself as well.
Director Peter Horton and creator Shonda Rhimes did note that Pompeo's version of the stunt was significant slower and less dangerous than what the stunt performer was injured. And while they indeed kept the cringe worthy shot of her slamming her head, Ellen's takes were apparently used for some of the other shots in the sequence.
And it all worked out in the end. The episode is one of the most iconic Grey's Anatomy has ever seen, and all parties have resolved their issues. Especially since it was over a decade ago.