Could you imagine ABC's Grey's Anatomy without its leading lady?
Ellen Pompeo has never shied away from speaking out about what it has been like to work on the popular medical drama.
Now, the actress has opened up about if she ever thought about walking away from the role of Meredith Grey.
Empire's Taraji P. Henson asked Pompeo the question in Variety's Actors on Actors series.
“There were many moments. It’s funny: I never wanted off the bus in the year that I could get off," the 49-year-old responded.
"The first 10 years we had serious culture issues, very bad behavior, really toxic work environment."
“But once I started having kids, it became no longer about me. I need to provide for my family.”
Pompeo has three children: daughters Sienna, 9, Stella, 4, and son, Eli, 2. She shares the kids with her husband, Chris Ivery.
The actress went on to say that the children became her priority, meaning that the behind the scenes issues on the series come second.
“At 40 years old, where am I ever going to get this kind of money? I need to take care of my kids," she said.
"But after Season 10, we had some big shifts in front of the camera, behind the camera,” she continued.
“It became my goal to have an experience there that I could be happy and proud about, because we had so much turmoil for 10 years."
"My mission became, this can’t be fantastic to the public and a disaster behind the scenes. Shonda Rhimes and I decided to rewrite the ending of this story. That’s what’s kept me.”
The actress also spoke candidly about the pay gap between her and Patrick Dempsey, who departed the series during Grey's Anatomy Season 11.
“He was being paid almost double what I was in the beginning. He had a television quote. I had never done TV,” she said, adding that the writers would say, “He’s done 13 pilots,” if she asked.
“Well, none of them have gone. I didn’t even realize until we were renegotiating season 3. No one was offering that up.”
What are your thoughts on this, Grey's Anatomy Fanatics?
Hit the comments below.
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Grey's Anatomy returns in the fall.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.