Since making its debut in 2005, Grey's Anatomy has become one of the most popular shows in television history, attracting a host of dedicated fans who have stood by the Shonda Rhimes project through the good and the bad (because let's be clear, there has been a lot of bad). Even as the cast of Grey's has fluctuated over the years, one thing has remained constant: Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). Lucky for us, our lead has no plans of leaving the series any time soon.
As seasons went by, Grey's fans have been devastated by the departure of some of their favorite characters; many of us still aren't over the violent death of George O'Malley (T.R. Knight), and don't even get me started on Christina Yang (Sandra Oh) and Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey). But not everyone is making their exit from the TGIT staple. After 15 years of car accidents, bomb threats, plane crashes, and sudden divorces, our titular character remains steadfast.
Appearing on a new episode of the Jemele Hill Is Unbothered podcast, Pompeo shared her relatable very practical motivation for sticking with Grey's after all this time: the almighty dollar.
"I made a decision to make money, and not chase creative acting roles," Pompeo told Jemele Hill on the podcast. "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."
For Pompeo, creating a happy and stable home for her family was imperative, and the ABC medical drama allows her to do that. In her years of starring on the show, the actress has been able to become one of the highest paid women on television — raking in a whopping $20 million a year after her 2018 salary negotiation — as well as tack on a number of producer credits from several Shondaland spinoffs. When she's doing this well, why would Pompeo ever leave?
"I understand that completely, but at my age and where my life is, I just try to lean into it," Pompeo explained to Hill. "I'm not trying to run away from anything. It is who I am. I made my choices and I'm cool with it."
"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," she continued. "So Grey's has been a gift and I choose to see it that way."