Ellen Pompeo May Quit Acting When She’s Done Playing Meredith Grey on Grey’s Anatomy

Ellen Pompeo
Ellen Pompeo spoke about her future after Grey's Anatomy.  Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Ellen Pompeo's Grey's Anatomy character Meredith Grey has survived a ferry crash, a mass shooting, and even a plane crash, but she may not survive Pompeo's career plans. 

"I definitely don't have a strong desire to act after Grey's," Pompeo, 44, said on Wednesday, Sept. 10, while on a BuzzFeed-hosted panel with fellow Shonda Rhimes show stars Kerry Washington and Viola Davis

"I definitely feel myself transitioning," the actress continued. "I don't find acting terribly empowering. For the place I am in my life… I don't necessarily want to work for other people."

Pompeo struck out on her own in 2011, expanding her career with the launch of her Calamity Jane production company. 

Ellen Pompeo on Greys Anatomy
ABC/SCOTT GARFIELD

"I feel like the acting has been a wonderful opportunity, and I've just done so much of it over the past 11 years…" the Grey's Anatomy star, who has been on the show since its March 2005 premiere, continued. "Grey's is in 97 countries or something and we've had this blessing of all these wonderful fans who still love us 10 years later. I feel like I did it and I don't have anything left to prove, and I'd like to try to challenge myself."

Despite Grey's Anatomy's loyal following and long-running history, the show has received many nominations but few wins on the awards circuit. 

"Maybe part of my personality is I feel like I have something to prove sometimes," Pompeo added. "And with acting, I don't feel like I have anything to prove anymore — even though I have no awards!"

Pompeo won't be off the small screen anytime soon, however. She and her costar and on-screen husband Patrick Dempsey have already signed up for the upcoming 12th season, as well as a pre-planned 13th season. And for that matter, Pompeo went on to hedge her claims of quitting.

"I mean, never say never," Pompeo said of her future in acting. "I'm not going to come out and make one of those statements like, 'I'm retiring after' and then in February come back. I try to keep an open heart, an open mind, an open soul and spirit to whatever comes my way, and whatever is meant to be for me will be."

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