‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Ellen Pompeo Gets Really Honest About Why She Didn’t Leave the Show After the First Six Years

by Jeremy Spirogis
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on

Everyone may be leaving or dying on Grey’s Anatomy, however not Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). The Shondaland character has been round since 2005, and he or she continues to be a powerhouse because the present enters its 17th season. But why did Pompeo stick round as Meredith for all these years? Recently, the Grey’s Anatomy actor revealed why she hasn’t determined to go away the hit medical drama after over 350 episodes.

Ellen Pompeo reveals why she selected to remain on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on 'Grey's Anatomy' Season 16 laughing
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Gilles Mingasson/ABC through Getty Images

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In the Aug. three episode of the Jemele Hill Is Unbothered podcast, Pompeo opened up about her determination to remain on Grey’s Anatomy for 17 seasons. Ultimately, the actor didn’t depart for different tasks as a result of she needed to offer her household with monetary safety. Though Pompeo’s determination paid off. In 2018, she turned the highest-paid actor in a TV drama, making $20 million yearly.

“I made choices to stay on the show,” Pompeo stated. “For me, personally, a healthy home life was more important than a career. I didn’t grow up with a particularly happy childhood. So to have a happy home life was really something I needed to complete, to close the hole in my heart. And so I made a decision to make money, and not chase creative acting roles.”

She continued, “I don’t like chasing anything, ever. Acting, in my experience, was a lot of chasing. You’ve got to chase roles, you’ve got to beg for roles, you’ve got to convince people. And although I produce and it’s the same kind of thing … I’m never that thirsty because I’m financially set.”

Pompeo additionally famous she understood the worth of her present. 

“It didn’t make a lot of sense for me to walk away,” she stated. “I knew it was such a downloadable show, I knew the numbers — the streaming numbers. So it just made sense, I want a piece of this pie, too. I’m not just gonna have one bite and walk away and let everybody else keep profiting for years.”

Why Ellen Pompeo says she may’ve left ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ after the primary six years

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Still talking on the Jemele Hill Is Unbothered podcast, Pompeo identified that her age additionally influenced her determination to stay on Grey’s Anatomy.

“I got in the game late, Jemele,” Pompeo stated. “I didn’t begin Grey’s till I used to be 33. Then I began having children at 40 … If I began the present after I was youthful — 25 — I most likely would have dipped out after I was 31, 32 when my six-year contract was up. But my age had quite a bit to do with it.”

She added, “I knew coming up on 40, I don’t want to be out there chasing things, running after things, begging. I’d rather just see this as the blessing that it is.”

What will Ellen Pompeo do after she leaves ‘Grey’s Anatomy’?

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For now, Grey’s Anatomy will go on so long as Pompeo and creator Shonda Rhimes need to proceed. 

“Ellen and I have a pact that I’m going to do the show as long as she’s going to do the show,” Rhimes advised E! News again in 2017. “So the show will exist as long as both of us want to do it. If she wants to stop, we’re stopping.”

She continued, “As long as there are fresh stories to tell and as long as we’re both excited about the stories being told, we’re in. So we’ll see where that takes us.”

Meanwhile, showrunner Krista Vernoff hinted the pact remains to be intact throughout an interview with Deadline revealed in April 2020. 

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“I cannot begin planning the tip of Grey’s Anatomy till Shonda and Ellen and ABC all sit down collectively, inform me that this actually the tip this time,” she stated. 

But every time Grey’s Anatomy involves an finish, Pompeo is aware of her journey’s not over but. Pompeo advised Hill:

I’m form of open to no matter. There’s a challenge proper now that I’m truly speaking to some individuals about that appears actually enjoyable, that I’d actually love to do if it comes collectively … Whatever’s meant to be for me, I feel my mother’s up in heaven and he or she pulls all of the strings. All I do is get up within the morning with an open thoughts and an open coronary heart, and I simply see the place the day leads me. Whatever’s meant to be for me, shall be. I really imagine that. I’m at peace.

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