For 12 seasons now, Ellen Pompeo has risen to fame as Dr. Meredith Grey on the ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. But in a new interview with Good Housekeeping, Pompeo revealed she originally didn’t want to do Grey’s Anatomy at all, saying she didn’t want to be “stuck” doing a television show.
Pompeo told the magazine that her agent convinced her to film the pilot and said that even if the pilot didn’t get picked up, she’d get the paycheck.
And now, 11 years and 12 seasons later, Pompeo is one of the highest paid actresses on TV and still enjoys playing the role that made her a household name.
Pompeo said she changed her mind about being on the show towards the end of season three, when she realized that she had the chance to tell a story for each of the episodes of the show, versus her being in movies, where she’d only be cast as someone’s wife or girlfriend – and that she’d be paid less than her male co-stars to do it.
As for her acting on the show? Pompeo admits that sometimes it’s not up to par, saying “Some seasons, I’ve been in a rut. It’s harder to give great performances 12 years in.”
That certainly wasn’t the case for season 12, which experienced a ratings renaissance and finished the past television season as ABC’s top drama, something fairly unheard of for a show in its 12th season.
As for show creator Shonda Rhimes, Pompeo had nothing but praise for her, saying “We have a respect for each other that we’ve both survived this long.”
However, Pompeo does admit that there’s been some storylines that she’s hated but said she’s “always trusted her (Shonda) vision” for the show and for Pompeo’s character.
As for Pompeo’s dream guest stars? She told People that her list of dream guest stars involves Taylor Swift, Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Channing Tatum, with Swift and Dewan-Tatum dressed up as cats. “I love Jenna Dewan-Tatum. I tweeted one time to Shonda that I thought Jenna and Taylor Swift should dress up as cats and get stuck in a tree and Channing should show up in a firefighter uniform and come save them. Like why not? Like why can’t we?”
Unfortunately for viewers and Pompeo, Rhimes seems to have shot down that idea.
As for the upcoming season of Grey’s Anatomy, Rhimes tweeted out the new poster for the show and also revealed that they started shooting episode number 270, with Rhimes remembering she didn’t think they’d get episode number 13.
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) August 1, 2016
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) August 3, 2016
Grey’s Anatomy returns for its 13th season on Thursday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m.