Kate Walsh is reflecting on being a part of Grey’s Anatomy and how it’s still chugging along after nearly two decades.

The actress was a guest on Wednesday’s episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show and she shared her feelings about stepping back into Addison Montgomery’s shoes after spending several years away from the franchise.

“It’s incredible to be back. But the younger set of actors who are the new set of interns, they grew up watching the show. You’re like, ‘Oh, hi!'” Walsh shared. “It’s funny to be the elder statesman of the show. They’re so beautiful, all of them are such great actors. And the writers, I mean, Krista Vernoff, Meg Marinis, all of them, Jamie Denbo… Krista is Shonda’s right-hand woman, and they’ve been there since the beginning — a lot of these writers. They’re just incredible and it’s iconic writing.”

The 55-year-old actress reprised her Grey’s character in season 18 before expanding continuing to appear in multiple episodes of the current 19th season, which will say farewell to Ellen Pompeo as a series regular when it returns on Feb. 23.

“You know, what Shonda sort of established was addressing — obviously all framed in the housing of a hospital — but she deals with social issues. She’s always dealt with it,” Walsh credited. “Krista, Meg, they’re writing this great women’s health storyline this year that’s so inclusive and looking at everything from all aspects. And it’s just been incredible to play.”

Earlier in the day, ET confirmed longtime Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 executive producer Krista Vernoff would be leaving both shows as showrunner after the end of their respective seasons.

“It has been the privilege of a lifetime to be entrusted to run Grey’s Anatomy for the past six years and Station 19 for the last four. The passion of the dedicated fandoms and the impact that these shows have on hearts and minds cannot be overstated. The amount of talent in these two extraordinary casts and these two brilliant writers’ rooms is beyond measure — and these crews work magic week after week,” Vernoff said in a statement. “I will be forever grateful to Shonda Rhimes for her trust and to Disney and ABC for their support.”

“The last time I left Grey’s Anatomy, I was gone for seven seasons and the show was still going when Shonda called me to run it. So I’m not saying goodbye because that would be too bittersweet. I’m saying ‘See you in seven seasons,'” she concluded.

Rhimes, for her part, thanked Vernoff for keeping both shows running on all cylinders.

“Krista’s creativity, vision and dedicated leadership have allowed Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 to continue to flourish,” she said in a statement. “I am incredibly grateful to her for all her hard work. She will always remain part of the Shondaland family.”

Grey’s Anatomy returns Thursday, Feb. 23 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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