“Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo has had a long and rewarding career. However, getting to the top hasn’t been easy. It’s been a long time and she is now the highest paid TV actress in a drama. Ellen has been the lead role in ABC’s medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” for 15 years now. Under the new deal, the actress will be making about $575,000 per episode. This translates to roughly $20 million a year. There will also be backend points to top up the earnings, meaning that Ellen will get a percentage of any profits generated by the show.
Pompeo told Hollywood Reporter that it was indeed a great deal and she hoped that this will serve as inspiration to other actresses. Ellen said that she felt this was a deserved contract. The 48-year-old argued that being good as an actress is easy but staying good is always the hardest part. Ellen said that there are many actresses and even actors who would be perfect in a show for one or two seasons only to fade away later. But for her it’s been the same high standard for all the 14 years that she has been part of “Grey’s Anatomy.”
It’s taken years but Pompeo thinks that she has now finally reached a place in her career where she can demand what she deserves. Besides, “Grey’s Anatomy” has had its ups and downs. In 2015, one of the key cast members Patrick Dempsey left the show. As if this wasn’t enough, former ABC creator Shonda Rhimes also left and it appeared at the time that the TV show wouldn’t continue.
Ellen says that this was one of her biggest motivations to keep working harder. She added that she had developed a good relationship with Rhimes and her departure from ABC was a bitter pill to swallow. Nonetheless, she pushed on working hard to improve her skills even behind the camera. Pompeo worked with Rhimes as a producer in a few “Grey’s Anatomy” episodes, something she says helped her as a producer.
Ellen also commented on the wave of sexual harassment scandals that have rocked Hollywood over the last few months. She said that she was willing to do whatever it takes to combat sexual harassment in the industry, especially now that women are confident enough to come out and confront their harassers.
But she also took a swipe at acting saying that it’s perhaps the most boring and least powerful job on set. Ellen said that even though she is happy with the roles that she has played, it was unrealistic to pursue this line of work anymore at her age. The 48-year-old wants to be more and producing shows seems to be one of her main goals. Pompeo feels that sitting in the director’s chair is the best way to empower herself. She is looking to follow in the footsteps of Shonda Rhimes, and added that her daughter was a big inspiration towards this decision.