Ellen Pompeo Explains Why She’s Leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ After 19 Years


Ellen Pompeo Explains Why She’s Leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ After 19 Years

Ellen Pompeo broke a lot of “Grey’s Anatomy” superfans’ hearts when she announced she was leaving the show after 19 years, but she insists she’s “super happy” with her decision.

The actress has played Dr. Meredith Grey since 2005, and Pompeo tells Drew Barrymore on her talk show, that airs on Global, on Tuesday that it’s time to do something different.

She shares, “I feel super happy, but listen the show has been incredible to me and I’ve loved a lot of the experience. Listen it’s just I gotta mix it up a little bit.

“I’m 53, my brain is like scrambled eggs… I gotta do something new or I’m literally gonna turn into like, you can’t do the New York Times crossword puzzle every single day. I mean 19 years, that’s more than people keep their kids in their house, like people keep their kids in their house until they’re 18 and then they send them off to college, so this is like me like going away to college.”

Ellen Pompeo on “The Drew Barrymore Show”. Credit: CBS

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Pompeo adds of what she has planned next, “I have a lot that I’m doing. I have three kids and so I take care of them, and it’s really important for me to be around for them and be more present for them. I’m gonna do a limited series for Hulu in the spring which is a very cool kind of crazy true story.”

Barrymore also talks about Pompeo sticking up for women and changing the industry after demanding equal pay on “Grey’s”.

Pompeo responds when asked how she found the bravery and strength to do such a thing: “Putting up with a lot of crap, and just being tired of it. It’s not like I was born this way, it’s not, well I mean I am from Boston so I do think I have a little bit of sauce. But I think that Hollywood, and a lot of workplaces, the culture is not necessarily to empower women or build us up or make us feel confident and secure or strong, so we don’t, and then by the grace of God you get maybe tired putting up with certain things.”

As Barrymore asks, “Do you get to a place where you have nothing to lose?” Pompeo replies, “I’m sure that’s definitely part of it. Great point.”

Pompeo’s comments come after she confirmed her “Grey’s” exit on Instagram last month, posting:

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