Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo opens up on fight for unprecedented $20 million remuneration

FP Staff

January 18, 2018 17:56:16 IST

It's been a long road for Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo as she became TV's highest-paid actress in a drama. And it has not been easy.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she talks about how the change did not take place overnight as she once asked and failed to get $5,000 more than her former co-star Patrick Dempsey. Dempsey's exit from the show in the 11th season, however, turned out to be a turning point for Pompeo.

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey in a promo. Image via Twitter

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey in a promo. Image via Twitter

"They could always use him as leverage against me 'We don't need you; we have Patrick' which they did for years. I don't know if they also did that to him, because he and I never discussed our deals. There were many times where I reached out about joining together to negotiate, but he was never interested in that. At one point, I asked for $5,000 more than him just on principle, because the show is Grey's Anatomy and I'm Meredith Grey," Pompeo told The Hollywood Reporter. "They wouldn't give it to me," she added.

Pompeo also credits the show's creator, Shonda Rhimes, for playing a crucial role in empowering her to demand more in her career.

The actor said she thought about walking out but she did not as she thought it was her show and Meredith Grey a great part. Now Pompeo has a new deal, which extends her presence in front of the camera on Grey's Anatomy for at least two more years through season 16 though ABC is yet to renew the series. She is also getting a producer's role on the long-running medical drama and its spinoff.

The new contract, which includes backend equity points on the show, will net Pompeo $20 million a year.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jan 18, 2018 18:03 PM