Ellen Pompeo was worried about some of the things she said. (You probably know what things.)
The "Grey's Anatomy" star gave an interview last month to The Hollywood Reporter titled "Ellen Pompeo, TV's $20 Million Woman, Reveals Her Behind-the-Scenes Fight for 'What I Deserve.'" She detailed her career up till "Grey's Anatomy," and her massive new deal with the show. It's a lengthy candid interview sharing the nuts-and-bolts -- and warts -- of the business, with Pompeo ultimately understanding her worth.
Pompeo (Meredith Grey) also shared some stories about trying and failing to get "Grey's" costar Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd) to negotiate with her on pay. She also revealed her surprise at how quickly the network "felt like they had to get a penis in there" after Dempsey left, bringing in Martin Henderson as Nathan Riggs for that short-lived romantic storyline. Her behind-the-scenes stories were juicy, but never came across as gossipy or mean-spirited. And her request for more money came across as, well, overdue rather than arrogant.
Readers loved her candor, and how the inspiring result of her journey made her the highest-paid actress on a TV drama.
"I have quite a big mouth, and I'm honest to a fault, which in print can get you in trouble sometimes. .... I've gotten myself in trouble in the past, with things I've said. So I'm grateful it was taken in the right way."
Jimmy Kimmel asked if she had been nervous.
"I was," she quickly admitted. She called her publicists -- who weren't in the room when she gave the THR interview -- to make sure the things she said were OK.
She was glad it was taken as an empowering story for women, and as a chance for her to be honest about her own faults and shortcomings.
"Because I think that there's a lot of blame, especially right now. People are blaming people. There's a lot of finger pointing, but there's less people owning up to their side of things. And I wanted to sort of do a truthful interview and talk about my road to my own empowerment and how I got there, but also mistakes I've made along the way."
Pompeo also wanted to encourage women to speak up instead of sitting back:
"As women, you know, it's not only about what's done to us or what's not given to us. It's what don't we ask for. You know, how much of it is [it] isn't given to us, or is it that we don't ask? I think that as much as we can point the finger at other people and [say], 'You don't give us or you don't treat us fairly,' We also have to point the finger at ourselves and say, 'Did we ask? Did we step up and have the uh, gumption, to ask for what a man would?' We have to own part of it. And sometimes we're too shy; we're too afraid to be seen as difficult to really speak our minds."
For me, Patrick [Dempsey] leaving the show [in 2015] was a defining moment, deal-wise. 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. They wouldn't give it to me. And I could have walked away, so why didn't I? It's my show; I'm the number one. I'm sure I felt what a lot of these other actresses feel: Why should I walk away from a great part because of a guy? You feel conflicted but then you figure, "I'm not going to let a guy drive me out of my own house."
So, what does it look like when he leaves the show? First, it looks like a ratings spike, and I had a nice chuckle about that. But the truth is, the ink wasn't even dry on his exit papers before they rushed in a new guy. I was on vacation in Sicily, decompressing — it was a long working relationship and it was a tumultuous end and I needed a moment to just chill with some rosé — and they're calling me, going, "What do you think of this guy?" "What do you think of this guy?" And they're sending pictures. I was like, "Are you people f*cking nuts? Why do you feel that you have to replace this person?" I couldn't believe how fast the studio and the network felt like they had to get a penis in there. We brought in Martin Henderson, but they didn't love the storyline, so that ended.
"Grey's Anatomy" Season 14 continues Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
[Via: Us Magazine]
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