Ellen Pompeo has broken her silence on the latest and, perhaps most surprising, Grey's Anatomy departure.
As previously reported, Justin Chambers stunned fans late last week when he confirmed that he was moving on from the beloved ABC series.
What made this decision most jarring wasn't necessarily that the actor was leaving -- he has been a regular for over 15 years, after all, and even the most loyal fans must understand the desire for a new challenge.
Instead, what shook viewers to their core was this aspect of Chambers' announcement:
He's already filmed and appeared in his final Grey's Anatomy episode!
Dr. Alex Karev will simply and quietly be written off the show after we were informed on the November 21 installment that the character was taking off to spend time with his sick mother.
“There’s no good time to say goodbye to a show and character that’s defined so much of my life for the past 15 years,” Chambers said in a statement to Deadline on Friday, adding:
“For some time now, however, I have hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices.
"And, as I turn 50 and am blessed with my remarkable, supportive wife and five wonderful children, now is that time.”
Now, in the wake of this stunner, Pompeo has finally spoken out.
Replying to a Tweet from Vanity Fair about the news, which proclaimed that “#GreysAnatomy is about to feel one of its biggest losses yet,” the actress noted that she couldn’t agree more.
“Truer words have never been spoken,” Pompeo wrote of her fellow original cast member, including with her message a broken heart emoji.
Pompeo, of course, has anchored Grey's Anatomy since the pilot episode.
Along with Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr., she is now just one of three original stars still included in the credits each week.
Pompeo is signed through next year and the drama has already been renewed through next year.
It's safe to assume that will at last mark the end of this series and that it will conclude in May 2021.
Continued Chambers in his statement:
“As I move on from Grey’s Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rhimes, original cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew, both past and present, and, of course, the fans for an extraordinary ride."
He's the latest big name to leave the show, although insiders insist that Chambers is doing so with no ill will and no scandal attached to his name.
In the past, the same couldn't be said of Patrick Dempsey, Isaiah Washington or Katherine Heigl.
Pompeo, meanwhile, revealed during a September appearance on the Late Late Show With James Corden that her ideal Grey’s Anatomy ending would feature many of these original cast members making a return.
"Well, I can’t really say what I think, because if we really do what I want to do, then that would give it away,” the actress teased, adding on this program:
“I’d love to have some of the old cast come back. That probably won’t happen, but that would be the most amazing way to [end it] … There’s a lot of pressure on that final episode.”
Grey’s Anatomy airs on ABC Thursdays at 9/8c and, as we said, has already been renewed for season 17.