"He was really a trooper, I have to say," Pompeo said of her husband.

From its earliest days on ABC, just about everyone was shipping Ellen Pompeo's Meredith Grey and Patrick Dempsey's Derek Shepherd on Grey's Anatomy. Just not Pompeo's then-boyfriend-turned-husband, Chris Ivery.

"We met in 2002 ... It was about six months before I did the pilot to Grey's Anatomy. Poor guy, he had no idea what he was getting into," Pompeo said on the latest episode of InStyle's Ladies First podcast with Laura Brown.

"I remember in the beginning it was really hard for him," Pompeo continued. "He was like, 'Wha--? This is not what I signed up for. You're kissing a guy on... you go to work and like, make out with that... like, I like Patrick and everything, he's a good dude, but like, really? What? You actresses are nuts. Like I'm supposed to put up with this?"

"'And then there's all these guys hanging outside the house with cameras?'" she continued. "It was a lot for him at first. He was really a trooper, I have to say."

Chris Ivery and Ellen Pompeo attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers at Staples Center on January 14, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Chris Ivery and Ellen Pompeo
| Credit: Allen Berezovsky/Getty

Pompeo shared the reveal with Brown after the host asked her who her favorite person was. She obviously picked Ivery.

When asked about last season's coma/dream sequences with McDreamy (Dempsey) and McSteamy (Eric Dane), Pompeo said filming those scenes was fun, and remarked on the shared experiences she has with her early costars.

"I have the best relationship with pretty much all of the original cast. Not everybody, but I really stay in touch with a lot of them, and we just have the best time," she said. "I just love them. There's like a deep affection I have for that original cast because we went through something that only a few people can relate to."

GREY'S ANATOMY - "Staring at the Sun" - The O'Malley Family visits George at the hospital, Meredith is determined to have a more positive outlook on life, Derek and Addison strive for a civil relationship, and Richard endeavors to reunite with his wife, Adele, on "Grey's Anatomy,"
Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey on 'Grey's Anatomy'
| Credit: Karen Neal/Walt Disney Television via Getty

Pompeo also spoke about a doll used on set that was meant to serve as a likeness of the actress' character Meredith for safety precautions (the actress has asthma) when filming resumed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The actress said the experience of having the doll made was "claustrophobic," and "panic-inducing," noting she brought her daughter with her to stay calm.

Unfortunately, though, the Meredith doll didn't stay camera-ready.

"What's interesting about it is that the material sort of degrades, for whatever reason," Pompeo said. "Whatever that latex is or whatever that thing is it over time with the hot lights or something I'm not really sure, but it starts to deteriorate, so much so that at the end of the season, I had to lay on a bed and they had to shoot my face -- like take pictures of my face so they could sort of lay it on top of, you know, because the face had somehow changed, but I kept complaining about the hair. 'This wig is not going to do! you need to get my hair people.' I finally had to convince them to have my LA hair people come in and dye the wig and cut it, so that at least the hair can be somewhat of this century."

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