After 13 years playing Meredith Grey on Grey’s Anatomy, actress Ellen Pompeo may finally be ready to step away from the role that made her household name. In a candid new interview, Ellen, 48, hinted she might be leaving the long-running medical drama after 2019’s Season 16.
“I’m clearly not prepared right now to make any formal announcement about what my future is on the show, but I am really feeling like we have told the majority of the stories that we can tell. It’s about time that I mix it up. I’m definitely looking for a change,” the star recently told Entertainment Weekly.
Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes also admited that she’s already written the show’s finale lots of times. “I have written the end of the show at least six times. But we just don’t end. Every time, I thought, ‘This is how the show should end,’ we’ve gone past those moments, so I’ve stopped trying. I have no idea now,” she told EW.
Interestingly, Shonda previously revealed that Grey’s Anatomy definitely won’t go on once its star, Ellen, decides to leave. “Ellen and I have a pact that I’m going to do the show as long as she’s going to do the show. 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 [episodes], 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,” she told E! News last year.
Ellen’s new comments about Grey’s Anatomy‘s end isn’t the first time the mom-of-three has hinted at the ABC series’ finale episode. In May, Ellen ominously said, “there is an end and it’s nearing,” while speaking to Us Weekly.
She continued, “We’re getting there. Shonda and I will make that decision together. I think that one of the biggest lessons that this show has taught me and being on this show for so long has taught me, is that relationships do change. And they do grow. They take work. Like any marriage, friendship. You gotta put in the work. You have to accept other people’s flaws, and accept your own flaws and try to change and be a better person. But I think everything is worth the time and effort. And things get better.”
But as long as Ellen is on board, ABC President Channing Dungey said Grey’s will go on for lots more episodes in the future. When recently asked if she’d love to beat out rival series ER — which previously ran for 15 seasons — Dungey told Entertainment Weekly, “That’d be lovely. I’ll take even more! Honestly, I think that the show is going to continue as long as [Shonda] and the gang have a creative passion for telling those stories. At the moment, it feels like we’re full steam ahead.”
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