‘The Drew Barrymore Show’: Ellen Pompeo Can’t Contain How Excited She Is to Leave ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (Video)

“I mean 19 years — that’s more than people keep their kids in their house,” the actress said

“Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo couldn’t contain her excitement about moving on to other projects after officially bidding goodbye to her residency as Meredith Grey on the long-running ABC medical procedural. In an appearance on “The Drew Barrymore Show,” the actress said she felt “super happy” and was looking forward to exploring other ventures, like her forthcoming Hulu series.

“The show has been incredible to me and I’ve loved a lot of the experience,” she said. “Listen, it’s just I gotta mix it up a little bit. I’m 53, my brain is like scrambled eggs … I gotta do something new or I’m literally gonna turn into like, you can’t do the New York Times crossword puzzle every single day. I mean 19 years — that’s more than people keep their kids in their house, like people keep their kids in their house until they’re 18 and then they send them off to college, so this is like me like going away to college.”

The actress also opened up about fighting for equal pay on set, having previously spoken about how her co-star Patrick Dempsey was paid almost double her salary.

“I think that Hollywood, and a lot of workplaces, the culture is not necessarily to empower women or build us up or make us feel confident and secure or strong, so we don’t, and then by the grace of God you get maybe tired putting up with certain things,” Pompeo said.

While many were happy that Pompeo stood up for herself and her worth, the star said the reaction was not as favorable from some individuals at work:

“So, so many people not in my inner circle reached out to me and said, ‘This is amazing,’ I mean icons. The people directly around me, it was quiet as a mouse on set that day. Quiet, you could’ve heard a pin drop. So when your life does change, when you are courageous, and fearless, and speak out, don’t expect everybody to stand up and cheer for you. Because they don’t. I thought that was really interesting and a life lesson and I’ve never forgot it.”

Watch Pompeo’s interview with Barrymore in the video above.