It has been 14years since Ellen Pompeo became Meredith Gray in Grey’s Anatomy, a hit drama series of ABC. While the popularity of the show has risen on one end, the vocal criticism of Pompeo on the lack of gender equality has also risen, on the other.
This, and much more is revealed in a new Interview which the Hollywood Reporter has carried out with the veteran actor. From her on-set drama to annual salary and ideas on the concept of gender equality in the Industry – and Harvey Weinstein, Pompeo has dished on everything in this interview.
To say that Pompeo was candid in the interview would be an understatement. For, she was ferociously blunt – willing to discuss anything and everything the interviewer asked her. Take, for instance, her reaction when Grey’s Anatomy became an instant hit: (I knew I was f**ked), or when she first read the script of the drama series (“Are you out of your f**king mind?”).
And when the topic of Harvey Weinstein came up, Pompeo had an interesting anecdote to share. “He didn’t try anything on me”, she said recalling the time she met the disgraced Producer. When the interviewer asked her what would she have done had Weinstein had shown his true colors, Pompeo was unequivocal in her stance: (I’d have picked up a vase and cracked him over the f**king head).
The best part of this interview lied in the great negotiating advice which Pompeo received from her mentor, Shonda Rhimes. Shonda told her to decide in her head what she think she was worth, before asking for exactly that. Pompeo was of the opinion that every woman should act upon this advice to carve up space for them.
This advice changed Pompeo’s life for the good, as she was able to land a $20million contract for Grey’s Anatomy – which roughly translates to around $600,000 per episode, in addition to getting a place for her Production House in the Disney Lot.
In a controversial claim, Pompeo noted that after the departure of Patrick Dempsey from Grey’s Anatomy in 2015, the show’s ratings, instead of going down as its makers feared, spiked. Pompeo said that she shared a nice chuckle afterward.
Finally, she finished the show with a discussion of gender equality in the Hollywood. Pompeo was of the opinion that to achieve gender equality in the Industry, “more of us women” should be in power, and not on the sets of Shonda Rhimes’ alone.