Ellen Pompeo Explains Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Leave ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Ellen Pompeo in 'Grey's Anatomy'
ABC/Liliane Lathan

Ellen Pompeo dropped by The Drew Barrymore Show on Tuesday to discuss her plans post Grey’s Anatomy.

Host Drew Barrymore asked Pompeo how she felt about leaving the show, to which she joyfully replied, “I feel super happy — but, listen, the show has been incredible to me. I’ve loved a lot of the experience, but I gotta mix it up a little bit. I’m 53, my brain is like scrambled eggs. I gotta do something new… you can’t do The New York Times crossword puzzle every single day.

“Nineteen years is longer than people keep their kids in their house… so this is like me going away to college, kinda,” she continued.

Barrymore asked what she is up to next.

“I have a lot that I’m doing — I have three kids, so I take care of them. It’s really important for me to be around for them and be more present for them,” she said, referring to her three daughters with her husband, Chris Ivery.

“I’m gonna do a limited series for Hulu in the spring, which is a very cool, like, kinda crazy true story,” Pompeo continued.

The as-yet-untitled series follows a midwestern couple as they adopt someone they believe to be an 8-year-old girl with dwarfism, according to Variety, but the family soon realizes they are being deceived. No word yet if McDreamy will play her partner in the series.

Barrymore also brought up how Pompeo’s demand for equal pay during her Grey’s years changed the industry for women.

“You risked it all…you changed the game for other women, you became more successful, more respected, and in a way, you made your publicist’s job easier because you won the battle. I want to thank you for showing all women that they can and should take that risk,” Barrymore noted.

Watch the clip below:

Grey’s Anatomy, Season 19, Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC