Body Language Expert Tells Us The Grey's Anatomy 2024 Emmys Reunion Was All For Show

"Grey's Anatomy" is the longest-running primetime medical drama ever, and some of its original stars reunited on stage to present the award for Best Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards. 

Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey), Justin Chambers (Alex Karev), James Pickens, Jr. (Richard Webber), Katherine Heigl (Isobel "Izzie" Stevens), and Chandra Wilson (Miranda Bailey) all came on stage to present. Their reunion was particularly notable because the five of them hadn't been seen all together like that since Heigl left "Grey's Anatomy" in 2010. Chambers left the show ten years later.

The List asked Jess Ponce III, body language expert and author of "A.W.E.S.O.M.E.: Seven Keys to Unlocking the Speaker Within," what he thought about the "Grey's Anatomy" on-stage reunion, and it turns out that it was perhaps less a joyful collaboration between friends and more a work obligation. "In a highly anticipated moment, the cast reunion of 'Grey's Anatomy' presented a united front. Leading the charge with her friendly and warm body language was Katherine Heigl," Ponce shared. "Smiling, she affectionately held onto James Pickens [Jr.] and showed incredible warmth to Ellen Pompeo, with whom she had a rift in the past. Tonight's performance suggests that their past differences are now behind them... or so it seems."

All eyes were on Katherine Heigl

Katherine Heigl must have known the attention that would be on her, even though her exit from "Grey's Anatomy" was over 10 years ago. According to Jess Ponce III, she managed to be the star of the short reunion, citing her "inclusive and outgoing energy" with her former castmates. "While all five cast members appeared united, it was Katherine who stole the show, even while others were speaking," the body language expert explained to The List exclusively. "She was making a statement, and to be honest, it's not without reason, considering all eyes were on her given her notoriously dramatic exit from the show."

While Heigl stood out, all five of the actors were professionals, Ponce admitted. But for him, two of the stars stood out as lackluster: "The only two who seemed a bit awkward were Chandra Wilson and Justin Chambers," he shared. "Their straightforward delivery showed minimal impromptu energy. They were there for the cause, and so was everyone else."

Awkward moment between Ellen Pompeo and Justin Chambers

But the real awkwardness came towards the end of the "Grey's Anatomy" awards presentation. James Pickens, Jr. thanked the fans and commented on friendship. Afterward, Ellen Pompeo and Katherine Heigl grabbed each other's hands in a genuine and easy way that seemed to show they really are friends. But then Pompeo tried to do the same with Chambers. "Ellen, almost commandingly, asked Justin to hold her hand," Jess Ponce III noted. "Was this scripted? Probably not, given the pause." He finally does grab her hand as well as that of Chandra Wilson on his other side, but it was palpably awkward.

So all in all for Ponce III, it leaves him questioning the depth of the true friendship between all five of the "Grey's" actors on stage. "Are they truly connected?" Ponce wondered. "In terms of presenting themselves to others, yes ... Was it genuine? I believe it was for show. Maybe there will be more connectedness to come, but unlikely. They did what they needed to do for the show."

No matter how awkward it may have been at times, many "Grey's Anatomy" fans certainly loved seeing the cast back together. Some are even holding out hope for a reunion between them in the show. But given how this reunion went, we're not sure we see it happening.