Did Ellen Pompeo just hint that she’s ready to leave “Grey’s Anatomy” when her contract is up in 2020?
In an interview for Entertainment Weekly‘s latest cover story, Pompeo said that while she’s “not prepared right now to make any formal announcement about my future on the show” — something she and creator Shonda Rhimes will do together on own time — she does feel that “the majority of the stories that we can tell” have been told.
For those less familiar with the show, the medical drama’s leading lady has escaped peril again and again — Dr. Meredith Grey has survived a bomb, almost drowning, a plane crash and an assault, not to mention the emotional ups and downs of a marriage, three kids and the death of McDreamy.
“I’m feeling like we’re coming to the end of the stories that we’ve told and that we can tell,” Pompeo continued. “I’m really excited to do some new things, it’s about time that I mix it up and I’m really excited about my producing career, and I’m definitely looking for a change. My children are getting older so I want to be more available to them now. I can’t be an absentee mom if they’re teenagers, I have to be around to whip their butts. So it’s definitely time for change in my life.”
The star, who made headlines earlier this year precisely because of her high-paying contract, also said that she’s excited to work with executive producer Krista Vernon “because we started the show together, so finishing out the show together feels really appropriate.”
“Shonda trusts Krista. So I always follow Shonda’s instincts and she’s always right,” she said.
Pompeo said she’s looking forward to a change. “I have definitely played this out for everything that I possibly could,” she said. “I’ve given it 200 percent of my energy and my love and my time and my commitment and my dedication. I still am fighting every day to make everything surrounding this show, the quality of the show, the storytelling, I’m still fighting for everything I can, for the quality to be good, for the actors to be happy, whether that’s well received or not. I still care very much about the show and I think that it takes a lot of energy. So at some point I have to wrap it up.”
Rhimes has previously said that the show will end when Pompeo is ready.
“Ellen and I have a pact that I’m going to do the show as long as she’s going to do the show,” Rhimes told E! News last November. “So the show will exist as long as both of us want to do it. If she wants to stop, we’re stopping.”
Don’t worry, “Grey’s” fans: nothing is official yet. A rep for ABC did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. And even if the show ended in 2020, that still means there are two more seasons to spend at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Season 15 premieres on ABC on Sept. 27.