In a new interview with Buzzfeed, the 49-year-old actress reminisced about her first-ever scene on Grey's — and admitted "everyone hated" neonatal surgeon Addison from the get-go!
"I got more calls and attention from that 60-second scene than anything in my career before. Isn't that funny?" Kate said of her 2005 premiere on the series.
Kate as Addison on Greys in 2006. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
"Everyone hated me, but at that time there was no Twitter. There were chat rooms, but I never really went on them. I kind of liked being the Wicked Witch from the East. Or the wicked b-tch," she continued. "[Show creator Shonda Rhimes] is really gifted at flipping every character that's seemingly awful. It's a great lesson in how to have compassion for people that you initially hate."
Kate portrayed Addison — the ex-wife of Dr. Derek Shepherd, who became romantically involved with main character Dr. Meredith Grey at the show's start — on Grey's Anatomy for three years from Season 1 to Season 3.
The star then landed her own spin-off show, Private Practice, in 2007 and the series wrapped after six seasons in 2013. Kate also continued to guest-star on Grey's for many years until she left the drama for good in 2012.
During her sit-down with Buzzfeed, Kate additionally dished on filming the show's first episodes when the new cast's morale "was really low."
"With Grey's — I remember because I came in at Episode 8 — at that time the morale was really low. They kept changing the name of the show. It was Doctors and then Surgeons and then Complications and I was like, 'What a bullsh-t show title!' Grey's Anatomy is the perfect title," she said.
Kate with Grey's co-star Patrick Dempsey in 2005. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
"To keep our morale up, they started showing us episodes at Friday lunches that were already edited. And I was like, 'This is a really good show,' and I was so excited to be a part of it," Kate continued. "I was supposed to do a pilot for another sitcom on ABC, and it didn't end up getting picked up and then they called me to be a series regular on Grey's and the world changed. It was stunning, right? It was really phenomenal."
So does Kate ever watch Grey's Anatomy — which just wrapped its 13th season! — today? "I don't! Once in a while I'll see a gif somewhere online. It would be really interesting to go back and watch now — that would be really cool," she said.
Check out the gallery to see all the Grey's Anatomy characters we wish would return for Season 14!