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Ellen Pompeo Will Continue ‘Touching Lives’ Through ‘Grey’s Anatomy’: ‘I’ve Got to Keep Doing It’

Ellen Pompeo The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Ellen Pompeo during a taping of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" at the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, California on October 22, 2018.Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Ellen Pompeo feels an obligation to continue portraying Dr. Meredith Grey on Grey’s Anatomy. The actress opened up to Ellen DeGeneres about the fate of the long-running ABC medical drama and how she feels a debt of gratitude to the fans.

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“Yes, of course,” the 48-year-old actress told DeGeneres, 60, on Tuesday, October 23, when asked if the show will go on to season 16. “Yes, yes!”

Pompeo noted that her “contract is ‘til season 16, and so I’m completely obligated to do season 16. [She then discussed how popular the show is, noting that there’s “no end in sight.”

The actress went on to speak about the positive impact fans reveal to her about the show. She then shared an emotional story of a young man whose life was changed by an episode of Grey’s Pompeo directed.

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Ellen Pompeo The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Ellen Pompeo during a taping of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on October 22, 2018. Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.


“A teenager was in the show and he was gay and he played a gay character on my show, and after we had filmed the whole entire episode, he said to me, ‘You know, my whole life I’ve watched with my parents and I sort of used the show as a way to tell my parents that I was gay,’” Pompeo explained with tears in her eyes. “‘And to show my parents that it’s OK, that I’m not different, there’s nothing wrong with me. And Grey’s really helped my parents to understand what having a gay son meant and that it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. And for my parents to now see me as an actor getting a part on this show has just been everything.’”

The Massachusetts-native gushed: “So I gotta keep doing it, man, because we’re touching lives and making a difference.”

Pompeo’s revelation about the medical drama comes just one month after she subtly hinted that the beloved series would be coming to an end.

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“I’m clearly not prepared right now to make any kind of formal announcement about what my future is on the show, but I am really feeling like we have told the majority of the stories we can tell,” she said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly in September, ahead of the season 15 premiere. “It’s about time that I mix it up. I’m definitely looking for a change.”

Grey’s Anatomy airs on ABC Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET.

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