Ellen Pompeo Says Her Age Kept Her On Grey's Anatomy

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She's certainly not too old to be in Taylor Swift's squad, but Ellen Pompeo felt like she was too old to embark on a film career in her 30s. And that, friends, is why Meredith Grey is just about the only character on Grey's Anatomy who hasn't bit the dust in a plane crash or been hit by a bus.

The 46-year-old actress told People that staying on the ABC medical drama seemed like a smart career move given her (cough) advanced age. Here's the part where you scream when you find out she was only 33 at the time.

“My decision to stay on Grey’s was based solely on age,” she shared. “At 33, I was wise enough to know my clock was already ticking in Hollywood.”

The mother of two, who appeared in films such as Moonlight Mile and Old School before Shondaland came calling, explained that she "was definitely aware of how challenging it would be to find other roles in my late 30s and early 40s" if she left the show.

"I thought, ‘Why would I leave something that is super-successful and pays me great to search the landscape?'" she said. "I decided that I would stay on Grey’s and be grateful and try to ride it out for as long as I could. And I am very happy that I made the decision to stay. It’s only gotten better with time.”

The actress did add, however, that watching herself age on the small screen is "miserable."

So yeah, that's all pretty depressing. On the bright side, we've still got our Mer — so long as she doesn't board any planes, of course.