The 48-year-old actress talks to ET about the impending departures of the two longtime stars.
Ellen Pompeo is preparing to say goodbye to Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew.
The 48-year-old Grey's Anatomy star opened up about the departures of the two fan favorites and reflected on their last day of filming on the ABC medical drama just a few weeks ago, saying that it was difficult for everyone.
"I mean, because everything is the last, right? It's the last time they'll do this, it's the last time they'll do that. It's the last time they'll rehearse and it's really emotional," Pompeo told ET on Tuesday at the New York City launch of Young Living Essential Oils' Seedlings baby care line. "We're a family and they were both on the show [for] nine and 10 years. Grey's is such an iconic show. Everybody who's ever been on the show is meaningful to the show, right? Everybody's meaningful to the fans."
With just a handful of episodes left in the season, Pompeo assured Grey's fans that Capshaw's Dr. Arizona Robbins and Drew's Dr. April Kepner won't be meeting a horrific end. (Their exits were announced in March.)
"You only get killed off when your behavior is bad. If you're a nice actor, you die nice," Pompeo said matter-of-factly, comparing Capshaw and Drew's endings to that of former Grey's star Sandra Oh. "[She] left in the most amazing way. She gave everybody so much notice. She knew 10 seasons was all she wanted to do and they don't get much classier than Sandra Oh. But yeah, these endings aren't tragic."
Pompeo also shared her personal reaction when she learned that Capshaw and Drew would be leaving after the 14th season, seemingly reiterating that she wasn't part of the decision.
"My first reaction was, 'What? What do you mean? Why?' And then you go through levels and stages of grief. It's hard for them, it's hard for us, it's hard for the writer who had to make the choice, [who] had to make the creative decision," Pompeo said, adding, "You have to try to support the girls. It's just not easy for anyone, but I don't want to make it about me. It's about them and I just tried to be just as supportive as I could be to everyone involved."
As for what awaits in the May 17 season closer, Pompeo said it'll be a "classic Grey's finale."
"It's gonna be devastating. And then we're gonna pull you out of devastating and make you smile," she promised.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Reporting by Rande Iaboni.