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The Reason Ellen Pompeo Stayed on 'Grey's Anatomy' is So Sad

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Everyone in the industry always talks about how difficult it is for aging women to find work in Hollywood. But Ellen Pompeo (aka Meredith Grey from Grey's Anatomy) just made clear exactly how hard it is. 

It turns out Pompeo decided to stay on Grey's because she was worried about maintaining her career as she got older. "My decision to stay on Grey’s was based solely on age,” she says in an interview with People. “At 33, I was wise enough to know my clock was already ticking in Hollywood.” 

Although she landed her first role in her mid-20s, the actress says that is a "super late start" for a woman pursuing an acting career. She further explains that she "was definitely aware of how challenging it would be to find other roles in my late 30s and early 40s.”

She ultimately decided to settle in for the long haul with her Grey's role, a decision that she has not regretted. "Why would I leave something that is super successful and pays me great to search the landscape? I decided that I would stay on Grey’s and be grateful and try to ride it out for as long as I could. And I am very happy that I made the decision to stay. It’s only gotten better with time.”

While we love Meredith in all her twisty glory, we find it sad that her portrayer must face the negative effects of aging in Hollywood. We love that Pompeo is portraying a strong (and yes, slightly older than your average 20-something) female character on one of our favorite shows. We can only hope that representation like this will continue to spur the conversation forward.


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