The actress, who played Dr. April Kepner for nine seasons on the long-running ABC series, said it would be too “painful” to watch the medical drama after she was written off the show this past spring.
“I haven’t been watching,” she told reporters at the 2018 Rape Foundation annual brunch in Beverly Hills on Sunday. “You know, it‘s a little painful to kind of go and watch your family move on without you.”
And while Drew, 37, has previously admitted she cried after hearing the news that her time on the show was coming to an end, she harbors no ill will towards her former costars.
“I wish everybody the best and I know they’re having a wonderful time,” she said.
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Uproar on social media followed, with many speculating that cuts were made to compensate for series lead Ellen Pompeo‘s $20 million salary. Pompeo, 48, vigorously denied that, and series creator Shonda Rhimes and executive producer/showrunner Krista Vernoff both stressed that the actresses’ exits were strictly creative decisions.
“I was told that the show had too many characters and that they needed to downsize because they couldn’t service all of the characters effectively,” Drew told the Hollywood Reporter in August. “They didn’t want any of us to be left in the background and not getting much of a story. Because there were so many series regulars, they needed to downsize and to find some characters that they felt like they could tie up their stories well.”
In fact, Drew said leaving Grey’s the way she did was the right thing in the long run.
“[Being let go] was painful when it happened, but, in retrospect, I think it would have been hard for me to walk away from that job,” she said. “I was on it for nine years. It feels right and it feels like a good time to move on to something else with all the great love in my heart that I have for everybody and respect and gratitude for what that experience was. Playing a character for nine years is a long haul.”
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.