‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Ellen Pompeo Talks ‘Emotional’ Reunion With Kate Walsh in Season 18

Ahead of the Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 premiere, Kate Walsh announced her return to the medical drama. The actor is best known for playing Addison Montgomery in the series. In the previous season, fans witnessed the return of beloved characters, including Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd), T.R. Knight (George O’Malley), Eric Dane (Mark Sloan), and Chyler Leigh (Lexie Grey). Now, another fan-favorite will return to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. 

Kate Walsh returns for ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 18

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On Sept. 2, Kate Walsh posted a video of herself participating in a TikTok trend called “Questions I Frequently Get Asked.” The first question asked was if she would ever return to Grey’s Anatomy. Then, a clip cuts to her dressed in a white lab coat, answering “yes” to the question. “It’s really happening,” she wrote in the caption. “Dr. Addison Montgomery will see you shortly 🩺💅 #GreysAnatomy @GreysABC @Shondaland @EllenPompeo.” 

Walsh first appeared in the season one finale as Derek Shepherd’s wife. Despite his ongoing relationship with Meredith Grey, Addison wanted to repair their marriage, following an affair with Derek’s best friend, Mark Sloan. 

Toward the end of Grey’s Anatomy Season 3, Walsh left to show and joined the ensemble cast of Shonda Rhimes’ spinoff series, Private Practice. The spinoff aired for six seasons before coming to an end in 2013. Over the years, Walsh has made a few guest appearances on Grey’s Anatomy

Ellen Pompeo says reuniting with Kate Walsh was ‘very emotional’

Kate Walsh wearing a white lab coat in 'Grey's Anatomy.'
Kate Walsh | Scott Garfield/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

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Grey’s Anatomy fans are excited about Kate Walsh’s return to the medical drama – and so is Ellen Pompeo. In an exclusive interview with People, Pompeo opened up about reuniting with her former co-star in Grey’s Anatomy Season 18.

“Kate’s so fun!” she said. “She moved to Australia, so I really haven’t seen her or hung out with her. I have so much affection and love for the original cast. We all went through something that only we can understand. So it’s always just really fun and very emotional, to be honest. When any of the original cast members get together, we always start crying, and we’re like, ‘Why are we crying?’”

Although there has been negative controversy surrounding the show, Pompeo shares that working on Grey’s Anatomy has been a “meaningful journey.” She said, “It’s like, this show has been intense. It’s definitely been a very, very intense experience. I don’t think you’ll ever talk to one person who’s been on the show who has not had an intense experience, highs, and lows.”

Pompeo added, “I wouldn’t change any of it, to be honest, maybe a few things. But for the most part, it’s all made for a more meaningful journey. We created something so special together. That’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”

Who’s returning to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 18?

Alongside Walsh, Kate Burton will return to the new season of Grey’s Anatomy. The actor played Meredith’s mother, Ellis Grey, in the first three seasons of the show. Ellis later died from Alzheimer’s disease in season 3. Aside from Walsh and Burton, it’s unknown if more original cast members will return for Grey’s Anatomy Season 18. 

The only original cast members set to return are Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson (Miranda Bailey), and James Pickens Jr. (Richard Webber). 

Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 premieres on Sep. 30 at 9/8c on ABC.