Ellen Pompeo is glad she took a business approach to her role in TV hit Grey’S Anatomy, because now she’s a wealthy mum.
The actress recently negotiated a $575,000 (GBP416,000)-per-episode salary, making her one of the wealthiest women on TV and she admits she always focused on money and power over awards and attention.
“I don’t chase relevancy or trophies,” she tells InStyle magazine. “A lot of girls would rather have the attention, and then they realise in their 40s that they have no money to feed their kids and they’re f**ked… I made the choice to be OK with no awards and no attention and make it just about going to work and punching the clock, which I think is healthier for the ego down the line.”
And talking about her salary hike, Ellen admits she knew she was in the right place to make big pay demands when she was willing to walk away from the TV drama if she didn’t get what she wanted.
“In all negotiations they don’t immediately give in, and this is also quite a big cast, so they have everybody to deal with, but eventually we got what we wanted,” she adds. “I would say the only time you ever have a good negotiating position is if you’re completely willing to walk away. That’s the only real strength you have.
“I never really was there until this last round. I asked for everything on Grey’s because I saw a piece of paper that told me it had generated $3 billion for Disney. That information changed the game for me: knowing my numbers and having information as to what my actual worth was. Over the years lots of characters have come and gone, lots of writers have come and gone. The one thing that’s remained on the show is me, so that’s how I arrived at my confidence.”
On sticking to what she knows: “…I’ve been on Grey’s Anatomy forever, and I”