Ellen Pompeo Says She Decided to Stay on 'Grey's Anatomy' to 'Make Money'

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Ellen Pompeo
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Ellen Pompeo is opening up about the reasons behind her long-running tenure on Grey's Anatomy. On the Jemele Hill Is Unbothered podcast, the 50-year-old actress revealed that both financial stability and her family meant more to her than taking on varying acting gigs.

Pompeo is married to Chris Ivery and the pair share three kids, Stella, 10, Sienna, 5, and Eli, 3. Meanwhile, Grey's  concluded its 16th season earlier this year and has been renewed for a 17th season.

"I made choices to stay on the show. For me, personally, a healthy home life was more important than career," she said. "I didn't grow up with a particularly happy childhood. So to have a happy home life was really something I needed to complete to close the hole in my heart."

"And so I made a decision to make money, and not chase creative acting roles," Pompeo continued. "It didn't make a lot of sense for me to sort of walk away."

With her family life set and her finances stable, Pompeo didn't want to get into the "hustle" of Hollywood.

"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," she said. "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."

"I got in the game late. I didn't start Grey's until I was 33, and then I started having kids at 40," she continued. "I knew coming up on 40, it's like, I don't want to be out there chasing things, running after things, begging. I'd rather just see this as the blessing that it is."

While many actors try to get away from the role they're known for, Pompeo feels no need to escape Meredith Grey, whom she's played since 2005.

"It's pretty common for actors to try and run away from stuff... that's OK. I understand that. Completely understand that. But at my age and where my life is, I'm not trying to run away from anything," Pompeo said. "It is who I am. I made my choices and I'm cool with it... Grey's has been a gift."

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