Shonda Rhimes Wishes Sara Ramirez The Best As Actress Exits ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Sara Ramirez exited Grey’s Anatomy after a 10-year run on the hit show as Dr. Calliope “Callie” Torres. Shonda Rhimes said Callie will always be a part of the Grey’s family.

After Thursday’s Season 12 finale, Shonda and the 40-year-old Sara announced that the actress was leaving. On Sunday, Rhimes talked about why “Callie” is departing and how the woman who created the character feels about it.

Rhimes said she only learned of Ramirez’ leaving just three days before the two announced the departure.

Shonda explained how she learned of the actress’ plans, noted Entertainment Weekly.

“This one was different because it wasn’t a big, planned thing. I had a different plan going, and when Sara came in and said, ‘I really need to take this break,’ I was lucky that we’d shot the end of the season with her going to New York.”

Despite the seeming spontaneity of the decision, Rhimes said there are no hard feelings.

“I feel really good about the fact that she said that she wanted to take this break… I love the woman and I want everything for her. It all worked out in that sense, but I don’t like to see anybody go, I find it fascinating that people are shocked that people are exiting. Most shows go for four seasons… we’re heading into season 13.”

Shonda is not the only one who had praise for Sara. Ellen Pompeo, who portrays Meredith Grey and helped put the Grey in Grey’s Anatomy, had nothing but kind words for her co-star, noted the New York Times.

It sounds as though the TV show producer and writer understands that the people who depict these roles sometimes long for a break, a change of scenery, or may want to breathe life into another character. Rhimes talked about how difficult it is for actors to shoot a series like Grey’s Anatomy, where 17 to 27 shows are filmed per season.

“Callie” stated her own reasons for wanting to leave the familiar operating rooms at Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital (once known as Seattle Grace Hospital), added Entertainment Weekly.

“I’m deeply grateful to have spent the last 10 years with my family at Grey’s Anatomy and ABC, but for now I’m taking some welcome time off. Shonda’s been so incredible to work for, and we will definitely continue our conversations! I send my love to Ellen [Pompeo, Grey’s star], the rest of the cast and crew, and I look forward to always being a part of the Shondaland family!”

The show has run since 2005, and Ramirez burst on the scene in Season 2 as a recurring character. She became a regular the following year and received what seemed like permanent fixture status. She, like all the actors, was cast in her role via Rhimes’ color-blind writing method. The writer had a vision of the character’s personality and depth, and the person who best portrayed those characteristics was chosen.

Shonda has her pulse on what the 18-to-49-year-old age group likes and displayed it when Grey’s began its maiden voyage in 2005. It doesn’t pull in as many ratings as it once did, but it’s still going strong, and a 13th season is in the works.

Shonda Rhimes created Private Practice, a spinoff of Grey’s, which ran from 2007 to 2013. In 2012, Scandal, another Shonda creation commenced, featuring Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope. How to Get Away with Murder, starring Viola Davis, is another show with high ratings and a loyal fan base, and it, too, is produced by Rhimes.

[Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty]