Ellen Pompeo On Why Age Played A Role In Staying On 'Grey's Anatomy'

"All you have in your youth is your looks."

When she scooped up the titular role in ABC’s hit series “Grey’s Anatomy,” actress Ellen Pompeo wasn’t naive to the realities of finding work in Hollywood as an older actress.

The 46-year-old actress spoke candidly to “Nightline” Friday about the challenges of growing older in Hollywood, saying she decided she would stay on the show for the long haul, right off the bat. 

“I have to go out into the landscape and try to get jobs and deal with, you know, ‘Am I good enough? Am I pretty enough? Am I smart enough? Am I talented enough?’” the actress said. “Am I young enough?” 

These were all questions the then 30-something Pompeo said she’d rather not have to ask herself, realizing the lack of roles for older women. “I was wise enough to know my clock was already ticking in Hollywood,” Pompeo told People in July. 

But in the decade since the show shot her to stardom, she says she’s accepting the aging process.

“You know, to see your skin doesn’t look the same… I think as an actor flaws are a necessity. Nobody is perfect, and I’m not and I’m OK with that,” she said. 

Instead of agonizing over the physical changes, Pompeo says she chooses to focus on what’s “glorious” about aging, namely the wisdom. 

“Really, all you have in your youth is your looks,” she said.

The actress also told People that she chooses not to get Botox, adding that growing older is a “privilege.” “If my physical beauty is the only thing that leaves me and my health and my family stay, then that is what’s really important to me.”

Well said. 



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