No need to begin searching for a replacement for Ellen Pompeo (as if you could replace Meredith Grey). The actor and star of Grey’s Anatomy (Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV) is thankfully backtracking on earlier comments that she was ready to leave the long-running medical drama, with Pompeo now saying that she’s not planning on making an exit anytime soon. Even in real life, Grey’s Anatomy leaves us with cliffhangers.
Pompeo initially told EW in September 2018 that she was looking for a change, saying, “I’m clearly not prepared right now to make any formal announcement about what my future is on the show, but I am really feeling like we have told the majority of the stories that we can tell. It’s about time that I mix it up. I’m definitely looking for a change.”
The actor, who is contractually obligated to remain on the show until Season 16, later appeared on Ellen and told the daytime talk show host that her desire to continue playing Meredith Grey comes largely from fan reactions. “Everywhere I go, whether it’s Italy, whether it’s France, London, whether it’s Kansas, the people that come up to me with tears in their eyes and tell me how meaningful the show is to them,” said Pompeo.
Now Pompeo is once again confirming that she’s not ready to hang up her scrubs. Speaking with TV Line this week, Pompeo said her decision to continue working on Grey’s Anatomy is influenced by a number of factors, including work-life balance. “It’s a pretty nice place to work,” said Pompeo. “I like my situation here. As much as the idea of something new appeals to me… the truth is I have three kids. I don’t really want to travel and leave [them]. I don’t want to be a circus traveler and live in hotels. And the network and studio continue to incentivize me and just make me offers that I can’t refuse.”
The actor, whose character the show is named after, knows that her departure would also likely mean the end of the show, leaving hundreds of cast and crew unemployed. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about how many people have stable jobs [at Grey’s],” said Pompeo. “In this town you don’t get a lot of 24-episodes-a-season shows. So the fact that this crew gets to film 24 episodes – that’s 10 months of work – and they get to stay in LA [is remarkable].” Gotta love a person who doesn’t just think about themselves.
Plus, she’s now the highest paid actress in TV, with a two-year, $20 million deal. We’re not saying that influenced her decision at all, but it has to help a bit, right?
The new interview arrived just in time for the winter return of Grey’s Anatomy, which kicked off on Wednesday night.
Watch Grey’s Anatomy every Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. MT on CTV.