Well…her exact words were, “My decision to stay was based solely on age. If I’d been younger, I probably would have…gone out to search for other things.” It was hella smart of her to stay on the show. She, Justin Chambers (Karev), Chandra Wilson (Bailey), and James Pickens Jr. (The Chief) are the only characters from the pilot episode still on the show.
Sure, many of the people who left are doing “okay” but they’re not really doing Grey’s Anatomy level okay (am I the only one who is shocked that Katherine Heigl can even still get work with all the people in Hollywood she’s pissed off?).
This is why it makes sense that Pompeo continued in her interview with People by saying, “Why would I leave something that is super successful and pays me great?…I am very happy that I made the decision to stay. It’s only gotten better with time.”
Better indeed, the show is onto its thirteenth season and despite killing off McDreamy himself, Patrick Dempsey (Shonda Rhimes really enjoys taking your heart, yanking it out of your chest, stomping on it, and then reforming it again before repeating the process), the show is going strong. Kudos to Ellen Pompeo for being smart enough to stick out being the title character in an epic drama people can’t stop watching.