Ellen Pompeo has starred as Meredith Grey on Grey’s Anatomy for 14 years, and she is more determined than ever to make the medical series the best it can be. The actress recently talked to TV Insider and opened up about how her character has developed over the years and whether Meredith will find love again after the death of Derek Shepherd, aka Dr. McDreamy.
Meredith Is A Character With Strength
Pompeo says that Meredith’s journey has been one of strength because she has lost numerous people in her life, but she uses the pain to give her the strength to keep going. She added that the show tries to send the right message to those who might need encouragement.
The 48-year-old revealed that what drew her to the role of Meredith was the character had something to do from the beginning because she was a doctor and the story was about her. She wasn’t someone’s girlfriend or wife. Instead, she was front and center and taking care of things long before it was popular to do so. Pompeo credits creator Shonda Rhimes for being ahead of the curve on that.
Having A Man In Her Life Is Not Necessary
Pompeo says that they want to make it clear that Meredith doesn’t need a man in her life to complete her. Having it all doesn’t necessarily mean having a great career, a husband, and children. It means different things to different people.
“In truth, having it all is what you define as feeling fulfilled and happy. Certainly, a partner is a great to share your life with, but that can’t be Meredith’s whole purpose… to fill that spot that Derek Shepherd left. I think her goal more is to be as good or better a surgeon than her mother was—but also to be a better person,” Pompeo said.
Producers Want To See Meredith In Love Again
Pompeo revealed that producer Krista Vernoff is pushing for Meredith to have another love interest, but the actress thinks that they should find the right person and then write the story, instead of writing a script and rushing to find someone to fill the role.
She doesn’t think she will ever find someone that she has more chemistry with than Patrick Dempsey (who played Derek), and if what they do isn’t as good, then they shouldn’t do it. But, she adds, you can always be surprised.
Pompeo’s New Deal
Pompeo recently signed a deal that made her the highest-paid actress in prime-time television. The deal extended her contract through Season 16 and will pay her $575,000 per episode – which adds up to $20 million a year.
She will also get a seven-figure bonus and backend equity points that will net her another $6 to $7 million when the series ends. Plus, she will receive a producer fee and her Calamity Jane production company will receive pilot commitments and space on the Disney Burbank lot.
The married mother of three hopes that she has set an example for other women in Hollywood as they capitalize on a new moment of empowerment and opportunity.
Catch Ellen Pompeo when new episodes of Grey’s Anatomy air Thursday nights on ABC.