‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Creator Shonda Rhimes Talks Sara Ramirez’s Exit And The End Of Calzona — ‘I Had A Different Plan’

Sara Ramirez’s departure from Grey’s Anatomy wasn’t what Shonda Rhimes originally had in mind.

While fans witnessed the end of Calzona in the Grey’s Anatomy Season 12 finale, Rhimes told ET Online that she had something else planned for Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) and Callie.

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

The finale featured Arizona and Callie agreeing to a custody plan for their daughter. At the same time, Arizona bought Callie a ticket to visit her new girlfriend in New York.

Ramirez first announced her departure from the series in a heartfelt post to Twitter.

“I’m deeply grateful to have spent the last 10 years with my family at Grey’s Anatomy & ABC but for now, I’m taking some welcome time off,” Ramirez shared. “Shonda’s been so incredible to work for, & we will definitely continue our conversations!”

Ramirez went on to thank the cast and crew of Grey’s Anatomy for all their hard work on the show. She then hinted that she will return to the series at some point down the road.

Sara Ramirez & honoree Shonda Rhimes, at Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Gala, March 14, 2015. [Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Human Rights Campaign]

As far as Rhimes is concerned, the creator appeared more than happy with Ramirez’s performance on the show. As fans will recall, Ramirez’s Callie was introduced all the way back in the second season and has been a staple ever since.

“Dr. Callie Torres came into our lives dancing it out in her underwear almost a decade ago and I could not be happier or more proud of her journey,” Rhimes stated. “I will miss Callie tremendously, but am excited for what the future holds for Sara. She will always have a home at Shondaland.”

Although fans were sad to see Ramirez leave, the Hollywood Reporter revealed that Rhimes was happy with how things turned out.

We may never know what Rhimes had originally planned for Callie and Arizona, but Callie’s send-off to New York does offer her a way back.

“I felt really good that we had shot that ending and that she said she wanted to take this break and we were able to give it to her because I love the woman and I want to do everything for her,” Rhimes added. “It all worked out in that sense.”

While things appear just fine between Rhimes and Ramirez, Rhimes also addressed past controversies between her and other Grey’s Anatomy stars.

In particular, Rhimes addressed the backlash she faced following Patrick Dempsey’s shocking exit after Season 11.

Although many speculated that Dempsey and Rhimes’s on-set beef was the source of his departure, Rhimes revealed that nothing was amiss. Instead, Rhimes shared how sometimes actors just have to move on with their lives and work on other projects.

“You never want to see anybody go — you want them to be there forever,” Rhimes said in the interview. “I find it fascinating that people are shocked that people are exiting.”

Jessica Capshaw and Sara Ramirez on 'Grey's Anatomy.' [Image via ABC]

Meanwhile, Jessica Capshaw also took to Twitter to express her appreciation for working with Ramirez for 10 seasons.

“Congrats on 10 incredible years! I wish @SaraRamirez the very best & I celebrate what Callie has given to all of us,” Capshaw wrote.

It isn’t known when or if Callie will return to Grey Sloan Memorial. Thankfully, Rhimes created enough space for Ramirez to reprise her role at any point in the near future.

The 13th season of Grey’s Anatomy is expected to premiere this coming fall on ABC.

Are you going to miss Sara Ramirez’s Callie on Grey’s Anatomy next season? Let us know in the comments below.

[Image via ABC]