Justin Chambers: I Felt Trapped by Grey's Anatomy! I Had to Leave!

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Another day, another blast from the fascinating past of Grey's Anatomy.

As you may have heard, Lynette Rice has come out with a book titled How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy.

Over the last week or so, various excerpts from the well-researched book have hit the Internet, with fans learning that Patrick Dempsey, for example, allegedly acted like a terror on set prior to getting written off the show.

We also heard from Katherine Heigl, who alleges she couldn't find a balance between work life and family life and that's why she left the program.

Justin Chambers as Alex


It's time for a few revealing words from Justin Chambers.

The actor shocked fans in January 2020 when he announced he had quit Grey's Anatomy... rather abruptly.

“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 at the time, confirming his decision right smack dab in the middle of a season.

“For some time now, however, I have hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices," he added, saying that this felt like that time.

Justin Chambers with a Beard

Why, though?

Why leave a wildly successful drama of which you had been a part from the very beginning?

Chambers was an original cast member when he walked away, having turned the character of Dr. Alex Karev from the drama's resident bad boy to a universal fan favorite.

Via an interview for the aformentioned book, Chambers at last shed some more light on his surprising caree choice.

As Alex

“You’re in a bubble [on the show]," Chambers told Rice.

"You wear scrubs every day, you see pretty much the same people every day, in the same four walls, the same studios, you drive the same route to work. For me it [was] sort of a factory job for acting.

"You just clock in, clock out.

"Yeah, I guess it is sentimental, but it’s sort of like, ‘Wow, I just can’t believe how fast it’s gone.'"

Justin Chambers as Alex K

Unlike Heigl and Dempsey, Chambers left the series on good terms.

He concluded early last year:

"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.”

Justin Chambers on ABC

Grey's Anatomy will kick off a brand new season on Thursday, September 30.

On the red carpet of the Emmy Awards this past Sunday night, Pompeo sounded strongly like someone ready to be done with the show herself as well.

"I've been trying to get away for years. I have been trying," the actress even told Entertainment Tonight.

"I have strong relationships at the network and they have been very, very good to me, and have incentivized me to stay."

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith on Grey's Anatomy

So... wait.

Will this really be the final season of Grey's Anatomy?

"I'm not really supposed to say anything about it," the popular star concluded of when the series may at last go off the air next spring.

"I don't want to be disrespectful to people I've promised things to."

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