Ellen Pompeo Calls Early ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Years ‘Toxic,’ But Here’s Why She Didn’t Quit

Ellen Pompeo spoke to Taraji P. Henson in a conversation with Variety, and she revealed that there are moments she wanted to quit her hit show Grey’s Anatomy.

“There were many moments,” Ellen said about wanting to quit Grey’s Anatomy over the years. “It’s funny: I never wanted off the bus in the year that I could get off. The first 10 years we had serious culture issues, very bad behavior, really toxic work environment. But once I started having kids, it became no longer about me. I need to provide for my family.”

“At 40 years old, where am I ever going to get this kind of money? I need to take care of my kids. But after Season 10, we had some big shifts in front of the camera, behind the camera. It became my goal to have an experience there that I could be happy and proud about, because we had so much turmoil for 10 years,” Ellen added.

She continued, “My mission became, this can’t be fantastic to the public and a disaster behind the scenes. Shonda Rhimes and I decided to rewrite the ending of this story. That’s what’s kept me. Patrick Dempsey left the show in season 11, and the studio and network believed the show could not go on without the male lead. So I had a mission to prove that it could. I was on a double mission.”

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