Ellen Pompeo has led Grey’s Anatomy as the title character for 16 seasons, and she won’t be stopping anytime soon. And we know why, because she told us it’s all about the Benjamins, baby! Ellen is one of the highest-paid actresses on television, earning over $575,000 an episode and making $20 million a year. Not to mention her money from producing the Grey’s-spinoff, Station 19. So Ellen is RICH, bitch, and she’s going to keep it that way because she knows that being a 50-year-old actress who’s earning big bucks is rare.
People says that Ellen spoke with Jemele Hill on Jemele’s podcast, Unbothered. Ellen is married to Chris Ivery, who is Black and they have three children together. Ellen and Jemele talked a lot about Black culture and activism, as well as Ellen’s acting career. During the convo, Ellen let us all know that she wants that Grey’s Anatomy check to keep rolling in. She explained that she wants to provide for her family and Grey’s is a great way to do that and more.
“And so I made a decision to make money, and not chase creative acting roles. I don’t like chasing anything ever, and acting to me, 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 think I still do it from a place of, I’m never that thirsty because I’m financially set.”
Don’t worry though, she’s not pulling a Katherine Heigl and biting the hand that feeds her by suggesting Grey’s isn’t fulfilling in other ways as well. Ellen loves the way she can use it to promote issues she cares about, like the racial disparities of medical treatment for Black people. In fact, she embraces Meredith Grey fully.
“I understand that completely, but at my age and where my life is, I just try to lean into it. I’m not trying to run away from anything. It is who I am. I made my choices and I’m cool with it. And I actually have a real passion, which is to sort of start to talk about and break down systemic racism in the healthcare industry. This is something that has plagued us forever. And I think the show has given me a real window into that.
That’s a platform I’m very passionate about, and I’m going to continue down that path and try to do more work in that arena. So Grey’s has been a gift and I choose to see it that way.”
Ellen is 50 years old now and started doing Grey’s when she was in her 30s. She knew that once she hit 40 and her contract ended, she’d be much less employable in Hollywood.
“I got in the game late. I didn’t start Grey’s until I was 33, and then I started having kids at 40. If I started the show when I was younger, [like] 25, I probably would have dipped out when I was 31, 32, [when] my six-year contract was up, but my age had a lot to do with it… I knew coming up on 40, it’s like, 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.”
Ellen is playing it smart and is not going to give up a crazy high paycheck from a long-running hit show to try to make it in the movies. She’s going to play Meredith Grey until Meredith Grey is completely grey. David Caruso, she ain’t!