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Ellen Pompeo Says She Called Denzel Washington A "Motherf**ker" And Fought With Him On The Set Of "Grey's Anatomy"

"That's actors for you."

Fun fact: Denzel Washington once directed an episode of Grey's Anatomy — specifically, "The Sound of Silence," which aired during the show's 12th season. Watch a TV promo for it below.

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Not-so-fun fact: It doesn't sound like Grey's star Ellen Pompeo got along with him all the time on set.

Ellen Pompeo smiles to someone off-camera on Grey's Anatomy
Eric Mccandless / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

On a recent episode of her Tell Me With Ellen Pompeo podcast, she recounted to Dempsey how a scene in which she improvised lines and gave direction to another actor resulted in an argument between her and Washington.

Ellen Pompeo crosses her arms with her back to Patrick Dempsey in matching lab coats
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"I was like, ‘Look at me when you apologize. Look at me,'" she recalled. "And that wasn't in the dialogue. And Denzel went ham on my ass. He was like, ‘I'm the director. Don't you tell him what to do.'"

Pompeo holds her hands across her waist in a promo image
Mike Rosenthal / ABC via Getty Images

"I was like, ‘Listen, motherfucker, this is my show. This is my set. Who are you telling?'"

Pompeo touches her hair in the snow
Ron Batzdorff / ABC via Getty Images

"So, we didn't get through it without a fight, but that's actors for you," she continued while also stating that she had the "utmost respect for him as an actor and director": "Passionate and fiery and that's where you get the magic, and that's where you get the good stuff. So, it was an amazing experience; it really was."

Pompeo looks pensively in the distance
Richard Cartwright / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Uh, sounds like it! Listen to the entire episode here.