Ellen Pompeo, never one to pull a verbal punch, has revealed the man who was perhaps her most A-list opponent ever: Denzel Washington.
Their nasty sparring match — in which she claims Washington “went ham on [her] ass” — occurred when the two-time Oscar winner checked into Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital to direct an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” way back in 2016, the actress-producer said during the new episode of her “Tell Me with Ellen Pompeo” podcast.
She told her special guest, former co-star Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey, how it all began when she decided a fellow actor wasn’t delivering a performance that was up to her specs.
“He made this choice to speak very softly — and I was pissed that I had to sit there and listen to this apology,” Pompeo, 51, recalled to Dempsey, 55, who fans will recall was also recently accused of “terrorizing” the “Grey’s Anatomy” set.
“And he wasn’t looking at me in the eye,” the show’s titular star continued regarding her underperforming scene partner. “Again, we love actors who make choices. And I yelled at him, I was like, ‘Look at me! When you apologize, look at me!’ And that wasn’t in the dialogue.”
Yeah, she apparently decided it was a solid move to snatch up the directorial reins from Washington, 66, with a little improv — and that didn’t sit well with “The Hurricane” superstar.
“Denzel went ham on my ass,” Pompeo said. “He was like, ‘I’m the director! Don’t you tell him what to do!’ I was like, ‘Listen, motherf–ker, this is my show! This is my set! Who are you telling? You barely even know where the bathroom is!’ “
The outspoken actress went on to proclaim her admiration and “utmost respect for him as an actor, as a director, as everything” — but also admitted that didn’t stop her from running to tattle to his wife, Pauletta Washington, 71.
“I told his wife, I was like, ‘Yeah, he yelled at me today. He let me have it today, and I’m not OK with him, and I’m not looking at him, and I’m not talking to him.’ “
Reps for Washington did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment about the alleged on-set incident — but trending Twitter, of course, has plenty to say.
“Ellen Pompeo really disrespected Denzel Washington and proudly told the world like we were gonna be on her side…,” sniped one pundit. And the social media discourse quickly “went ham” from there …
Meanwhile, Pompeo also revealed that showrunner/executive producer Debbie Allen recruited Washington to direct Season 12’s pivotal “The Sound of Silence” episode, in which her character Meredith Grey has her jaw broken by an epileptic patient, and struggles with forgiveness. It was intended as a “surprise” to keep TV’s $20 million dollar woman interested in the show after a dozen years — but “we didn’t get through it without a fight.”
However, in the end, working with the “Philadelphia” icon “was an amazing experience, it really was,” she said. “That’s what it takes to get the good s–t. We were fine after that. He’s just one of the best to ever do it.”