Richard Flood, who portrayed Dr. Cormac Hayes on ABC’s "Grey’s Anatomy," has left the show and is opening up about his decision.
In the episode that premiered on March 3rd, 2022, Dr. Cormac Hayes, Head of Pediatric Surgery, bids goodbye to Grey Sloan Memorial. In an interview with Deadline, Richard Flood shared that playing the character of Cormac Hayes for three years seemed apt to him, and according to the storyline of the show right now, his character’s arc was coming to an end naturally. Richard added that everyone had kind of the same feeling and felt happy with his decision.
Dr. Cormac Hayes decides to quit his residency and is shown telling Dr. Miranda Bailey that he wants to move back to his hometown, Ireland, as his kids are not happy in Seattle and are finding it hard to adjust. Richard Flood shared with the publication that the writers of the show ultimately decided how Cormac would leave.
Richard explained that he had no idea how the writers decided on an exit for his character until they began filming. He mentioned, however, that there had been some talks here and there about how the story of this season would lead the show and where it would take the characters on the show, along with his character’s ultimate exit. Richard expressed his gratitude towards the makers for the amount of time he spent as Dr. Cormac Hayes on the show and is ready for his new adventure in life.
Richard shared with Deadline that he is always eager to see what else he can do, what is out there for him, and how much he can get out of his comfort zone and be a part of something extraordinary. The actress expressed that he is open to working on different types of TV and movies, and he ultimately added that three years on Grey’s Anatomy was a great experience for him, but it had to end eventually.
On asking if he’d ever make a probable return just like characters do, Richard Flood mentioned that when he leaves, he leaves completely, and it’s done and dusted for him. The actor stated that he does not enjoy revisiting his old characters and prefers to use the experience they provided him with for his new character.
As a result of the pandemic, Cormac and Meredith's romance shifted from the storyline of the show, which kind of saddened a lot of fans. There was a probable love triangle between Mer, Cormac, and Mer’s current love interest, Nick, played by Scott Speedman, but Richard Flood decided to leave. As Cormac decides to leave and bids goodbye to everyone, he tries to avoid saying goodbye to Meredith, which implies that feelings are still there somewhere.
The showrunner, Krista Vernoff, said about Richard that he is a terrific talent and the entire Grey’s Anatomy team is grateful for his nuanced and poignant character. She added that he’ll be missed on sets. Richard Flood was asked about Cormac’s moral dilemma of either ratting his friend out or himself as an accomplice, but Cormac chooses to resign.
At the same time, Richard said that he understands whether he agrees or disagrees with what Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) is doing and that it is coming from a place of goodwill. He explained that Hayes is a very honest, direct, and straightforward human being, and he could only see the option to leave rather than survive, work, and live in a place where he felt dishonest.
The fans were not happy with the writers writing Cormac out of the show because a lot of them expressed that there was so much more to the character that they could have explored but now it seems clear that the actor wanted to leave. The show has been renewed for the 19 season.