All season, fans have wondered what will happen to Dr. Meredith Grey (second from left), an intern who's involved in a steamy love triangle with Dr. Derek Shepherd and his wife, Addison (third and fourth from left). To complicate things even further, Meredith gets romantically involved with her dog's vet, Finn.
Will Meredith Grey choose Dr. Shepherd, played by Patrick Dempsey, or Finn, played by Chris O'Donnell?
In the series' first episode, Ellen's character falls for Dr. Shepherd (nicknamed "McDreamy" by her fellow interns) and continues to have feelings for him...even after his estranged wife joins the hospital staff. Meredith's romance with the veterinarian develops after things with her true love seem hopeless.
If Ellen was in Meredith's scrubs and had to decide between the two doctors, what would she do? "Well, you have to follow your heart," she says.
Chris, Ellen's boyfriend, says he excuses himself from the room when the on-screen romance heats up. "I try not to watch too much," he says. "We were watching [the finale] in the hotel Sunday, and we had some friends over, and I kind of found something else to do."
"He's so nice and tolerant," Ellen says.
Then, at the last minute, show producers changed the name to Grey's Anatomy from Complications, which Ellen says didn't test well. Once producers worked out the kinks, the show aired and the audience was hooked. Ellen attributes the success of the series to on-set chemistry and great writing. "Despite the long hours and how hard it is, I think we all really get along," she says. "We have fun, and I think people feel that."
Ellen doesn't always agree with Meredith's decisions on the show. For example, in one scene this season Meredith professes her love for Dr. Shepherd and begs him to choose her over his wife, Addison.
"I certainly know how it feels to be in love like that," Ellen says. "But I would never beg a man. I would say all those things—how I love you—without the begging. Let him step up and do something."
Ellen says doing good work, making people happy, making herself happy and having a happy home life are the most important things in her life.
While Dr. Burke's hospitalization shocked fans, it also struck a personal chord with Isaiah. He says the finale reminded him of his own mother's real-life battle with sarcoidosis, a lung disease that took her life. "At one point, watching her make her 'transition' in a hospital—I swore that I would never walk into another hospital again," Isaiah says.
Luckily for viewers, Isaiah did step into a hospital again in what has been an empowering role for the actor. "I love Dr. Burke," he says. "Dr. Burke is my hero."
"I can't say," says Isaiah. "I know that I probably won't have a job if I say—I do know that much!"
Although Isaiah's lips are sealed about the fate of his character, he does divulge another secret. Isaiah says he originally auditioned for the role of Dr. Shepherd—but didn't get the part.
"I realized all the work I have done—30 films—this is the crème de la crème?" says Isaiah. "The metaphor of the imagery of being thrown off and representing hip-hop and all these things... And I just said, 'This is not the truth that I want to represent. And if this is the idea of success for me, then I need to step back and start reevaluating what I want to do.'"
Ambassador Andrew Young, a major force in the Civil Rights Movement, was present when Dr. King delivered that speech—and he also happens to be a fan of Grey's Anatomy. "What you all have done with this whole concept is to humanize where we are now—particularly in hospitals—that's where people are real," says Ambassador Young. "And you get real stories and you tell them well."