Kelsey McNeal/ABC Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on Grey’s Anatomy
Dr. Meredith Grey might just be Ellen Pompeo’s last acting role!
The Golden Globe nominee, 51, recently admitted that she’d be fine hanging up her acting hat when Grey’s Anatomy takes its final bow. “I’m not saying I’ll never act again, I very well may, but I’m not super excited about continuing my acting career,” she said last week on the Ladies First with Laura Brown podcast.
“The acting, even though I haven’t done a million different roles, I feel like I’ve done it,” Pompeo added. “Sitting around in trailers, traveling around, shooting this in Atlanta, shooting that in Vancouver. I have no desire to go sit in trailers at 11 o’clock at night and wait to shoot scenes and have ADs knock on my door and tell me when I can eat lunch. You know, it’s for the young at heart. It’s for the youth!”
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Pompeo’s starred as the titular doctor in Grey’s Anatomy for the entirety of its 17-season run, but has expressed uncertainty about her future with the show in recent years. “This year could be it,” she told Variety in October, ahead of the season 17 finale. The show was renewed for season 18 in May.
The actress previously told Entertainment Weekly in 2018 that she was “looking for a change” in her career. “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,” she said at the time.
After negotiating a $20 million salary in 2018, Pompeo later said she “made a decision to make money” by sticking with the show instead of pursuing other opportunities. “For me, personally, a healthy home life was more important than career,” she said last August.
“I didn’t grow up with a particularly happy childhood,” Pompeo added. “So the idea that I have this great husband and these three beautiful children [and] a happy home life was really something I needed to complete, to close the hole in my heart.”
The Old School actress shares daughters Stella Luna, 11½, Sienna May, 6½, and son Eli Christopher, 4½, with music producer husband Chris Ivery, 54.
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As for what’s next for Pompeo, she’s taken an interest in business, which she’s “excited” to pursue further. “I’m more entrepreneurial at this stage,” she said on Ladies First. “I’m excited about investing in businesses, and starting business. That’s an area of growth that I’m excited about, using my brain in a different way.”
Pompeo also teased an upcoming podcast she’s hosting, entitled Tell Me. “[I thought], ‘Let me go out there and do something I’ve never done before and try something completely different for absolutely no other reason than to try something different because I haven’t for so long,'” she said. “If it fails, it fails, but at least I’m trying something new.”