Meredith Grey is the heart and soul of Grey’s Anatomy, as is her portrayer, Ellen Pompeo. The actress recently sat down for a podcast chat with Dax Shepard (Bless This Mess) to talk about her long-running stint on the ABC medical-themed drama, and to discuss why she has remained with the show.
Ellen Pompeo Talks About Grey’s Anatomy
In the latest Armchair Expert podcast, Shepard chatted with Pompeo about growing up in Everett, Massachusetts, and also how she began playing Doctor Meredith Grey when she was 33; a part which she is still playing now at the age of 50.
“You really see [the difference] because I’m in the same clothes [playing] the same character,” Pompeo said. “So the way I see myself aging — it’s a [expletive].”
How long would she want to stay on Grey’s Anatomy? “I do not want to be the grapes dying on the vine,” she said. “Certainly, to dip out sooner rather than later at this point… [and] leave while the show is still on top is definitely a goal. I’m not trying to stay on the show forever. No way. If I get too aggravated and am no longer grateful there, I should not be there.”
Currently, Grey’s Anatomy has been renewed past Season 17. (That’s when Pompeo’s current deal is set to end.) Still, ABC is planning for the show’s future by signing Pompeo’s castmates – Kevin McKidd (Dr. Owen Hunt), Kim Raver (Dr. Teddy Altman), and Camilla Luddington (Dr. Jo Wilson) – to deals that would keep them on through a hypothetical Season 19.
At the moment, Pompeo has nothing but praise for how well the show is treating her. She also says that her having children may be the best incentive to stay in Meredith’s scrubs for the foreseeable future.
“I’m so blessed that the executive producers of the show make my life so fantastic that I have a very set amount of hours,” she says. “I know exactly where I’m going to be. I know exactly what time I’m going to come home. I’m home for dinner with my kids every night.
“It’s all where you are in life,” she adds. “Kids have a huge part to play in that. Do I want to be in a trailer in Atlanta at midnight and be FaceTiming my kids good night? I don’t want to do that with them. My mother died when I was 4. I grew up without a mother. I want to be home with [my kids] every single night. Once I brought them into this world, it really became about them.” Grey’s Anatomy returns for Season 17 later this year. Check local listings for air times.