Ellen Pompeo is having a moment.
Ellen Pompeo has actually been having a whole bunch of moments over a whole bunch of years… and she’s here to remind you about them.
The veteran actress has given a very revealing interview to The Hollywood Reporter in which she delves into a number of issues, from sexism … to her future on Grey’s Anatomy… to her opinion of Patrick Dempsey.
And let’s just tease the final point with this:
Pompeo does not appear to think very highly of her former co-star.
For starters, Pompeo said Dempsey’s decision to leave the series in 2015 was a “defining” moment for her in terms of contract negotiations.
We’ll let her explain why:
“[ABC] could always use him as leverage against me – ‘We don’t need you; we have Patrick’ – which they did for years,” she explains, holding nothing back and adding:
“I don’t know if they also did that to him, because he and I never discussed our deals. There were many times where I reached out about joining together to negotiate, but he was never interested in that.
“At one point, I asked for $ 5,000 more than him just on principle, because the show is Grey’s Anatomy and I’m Meredith Grey.
“They wouldn’t give it to me. And I could have walked away, so why didn’t I? It’s my show; I’m the number one. I’m sure I felt what a lot of these other actresses feel:
“Why should I walk away from a great part because of a guy? You feel conflicted but then you figure, “I’m not going to let a guy drive me out of my own house.'”
Pretty interesting, huh?
It doesn’t sound like Dempsey was interesting in joining forces with his long-time colleague.
This is in opposition, let’s say, to back in the day when the entire cast of Friends refused to film unless they also received the same pay raise.
Dempsey’s Derek Shepherd was eventually written off the show… but it wasn’t long until Martin Henderson was added to the cast as a new love interest.
“So, what does it look like when he leaves the show?” Pompeo asks, elaborating as follows:
“First, it looks like a ratings spike, and I had a nice chuckle about that. But the truth is, the ink wasn’t even dry on his exit papers before they rushed in a new guy.
“I was on vacation in Sicily, decompressing – it was a long working relationship and it was a tumultuous end and I needed a moment to just chill with some rosé – and they’re calling me, going, “What do you think of this guy?” “What do you think of this guy?”
“And they’re sending pictures.
“I was like, “Are you people f-cking nuts? Why do you feel that you have to replace this person?”
“I couldn’t believe how fast the studio and the network felt like they had to get a penis in there. We brought in Martin Henderson, but they didn’t love the storyline, so that ended.”
Again: interesting stuff, huh?
Through all of the many cast changes on Grey’s Anatomy, Pomeo remains.
And she isn’t going anywhere any time soon:
The star just signed a new, two-year deal that will pay her approximately $ 20 million per year.
This pretty much guarantees Grey’s Anatomy will stay on the air at least through Season 16.
To conclude her cover story with The Hollywood Reporter, Pompeo turned her attention to the #MeToo movement and the ongoing shift in Hollywood.
She’s proud of everything going on at the moment and she hopes she can play a role in it.
“I don’t believe the only solution is more women in power, because power corrupts,” says Pompeo.
“It’s not necessarily a man or a woman thing. But there should be more of us women in power, and not just on Shonda Rhimes’ sets.
“Look, I only have a 12th-grade education and I wasn’t a great student, but I’ve gotten an education here at Shondaland.
“And now my 8-year-old daughter gets to come here and see fierce females in charge. She loves to sit in the director’s chair with the headphones on yelling “Action” and “Cut.”
“She’s growing up in an environment where she’s completely comfortable with power.
“I don’t know any other environment in Hollywood where I could provide that for her. Now I hope that changes … and soon.”