This Major TV Star Says She's Trying to Leave Her Hit Show: "It Should End."
Ellen Pompeo thinks it's about time for Grey's Anatomy to come to a close.
For fans of one long-running show, the end may be near. Grey's Anatomy has been on TV since 2005, and after 16 years, star Ellen Pompeo is looking forward to throwing in the towel. Pompeo has spoken out numerous times over the years about how and why she might want Grey's Anatomy to end and why she has continued with the show for so long already. In a new interview with Insider, the actor explained that, right now, she's the one trying to convince other people involved that the show should come to a close. Read on to see what Pompeo has had to say about leaving Grey's.
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She feels ready for Grey's Anatomy to be no more.
In an interview with Insider in December, Pompeo said, "I've been trying to focus on convincing everybody that it should end. I feel like I'm the super naive one who keeps saying, 'But what's the story going to be, what story are we going to tell?' And everyone's like, 'Who cares, Ellen? It makes a gazillion dollars.'"
Grey's Anatomy is current in its 18th season, which makes it one of America's longest-running scripted series ever.
She's been candid about how her salary has affected her choices.
Pompeo has made clear that a substantial paycheck is what has kept her on Grey's Anatomy for so long. She is the highest paid actress on a primetime drama, and in 2018, she wrote about negotiating for her salary in a piece for The Hollywood Reporter. "When your face and your voice have been part of something that's generated $3 billion for one of the biggest corporations in the world, you start to feel like, 'OK, maybe I do deserve a piece of this,'" she wrote.
As a guest on the podcast Jemele Hill Is Unbothered in 2020, Pompeo explained that she chose stability over having more varied roles. "I made choices to stay on the show," she said. "For me, personally, a healthy home life is more important than career. I didn't grow up with a particularly happy childhood, so to have a happy home life is really something I needed to complete to close the hole in my heart. So, I made the decision to make money and not chase creative acting roles."
She wants to leave at a high point.
Pompeo has said that she wants Grey's Anatomy to end while the show is still in a good place. "I think to dip out sooner rather than later at this point, having done what we've done, to leave while the show is still on top is definitely a goal," she said on the podcast Armchair Expert in 2020. "I'm not trying to stay on the show forever. No way."
But, she keeps finding new reasons to stay. "I've been trying to get away for years," Pompeo told Entertainment Tonight in September. "I have been trying. It's not because I haven't been trying. I have strong relationships at the network and they have been very, very good to me, and have incentivized me to stay. Miraculously, we keep coming up with ways to have a reason to stay and if there's a reason, that warrants it."
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The creator doesn't want to continue the show without Pompeo.
Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes has said that she will continue with the show as long as Pompeo is on board. "Ellen and I have a pact that I'm going to do the show as long as she's going to do the show. So the show will exist as long as both of us want to do it. If she wants to stop, we're stopping," Rhimes told E! News in 2017. Echoing this statement, Pompeo told Us Weekly in 2018 of the show's eventual ending, "We're getting there. Shonda and I will make that decision together."
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