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Shonda Rhimes Reveals ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Wouldn’t Go on Without Ellen Pompeo

The show must go on — but only if Ellen Pompeo is on it! Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes revealed in a new interview that the hit medical drama wouldn’t continue if Meredith Grey was no longer a character.

“Ellen and I have a pact that I’m going to do the show as long as she’s going to do the show,” she told E! News. “So the show will exist as long as both of us want to do it. If she wants to stop, we’re stopping. So I don’t know if we’ll see 600, but I want to keep it feeling fresh. As long as there are fresh stories to tell and as long as we’re both excited about the stories being told, we’re in. So, we’ll see where that takes us.”

And some of the cast members couldn’t agree more! Sarah Drew (April Kepner) said, “Oh, we can’t do the show without Ellen. It’s not Grey’s Anatomy.” Caterina Scorsone (Amelia Shepherd) added, “She’s incredible. She’s been the lifeblood of this show, her and Shonda, from the very, very beginning. They’ve watched the culture change together. So, I don’t know man… I feel like no matter what, even if she was there or wasn’t there, she’s always going to be there.”

In a previous interview, Ellen revealed the surprising reason why she hasn’t left Grey’s after 12 years on the hit show. “My decision to stay on Grey’s was based solely on age,” the 47-year-old actress told People. “At 33, I was wise enough to know my clock was already ticking in Hollywood.”

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(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Ellen added her “super late start” in showbiz — she landed her first major roles while in her 20s — has resulted in her sticking with her starring Grey’s role as Meredith Grey for 14 seasons. “[If I’d started earlier], I probably would have done my time, then gone out to search for other things. [But I] was definitely aware of how challenging it would be to find other roles in my late 30s and early 40s,” she said. Here’s hoping Ellen stays on the series for another 300 episodes!

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Click through the gallery below to see the Grey’s Anatomy cast then and now!