ABC
Emily Baines
July 27, 2016 11:35 am

Grey’s Anatomy has been around since 2005. That’s almost 12 years, guys.

TWELVE YEARS!!!

That’s a long time to be on a show. And yet, while Grey’s Anatomy has seen its unfortunate share of cast departures, a core group of the original cast remain. And at the center of them all is Meredith Grey, played to perfection by Ellen Pompeo.

Well, in an exclusive interview with PeopleStyle, Ellen explains why she’s stayed at Grey’s Anatomy so long, and it’s not what you think:

We are so glad you stayed, too!

Even if the ageism hinted at by Ellen sucks, the silver lining in that cloud is that she remained on the show. What we don’t sometimes forget is that Ellen was cast on Grey’s Anatomy when she was thirty-three years old! In Hollywood, she’d be playing a grandmother in two years. (Don’t get us started on Hollywood’s gender/ageism problems.) Instead, Shonda Rhimes‘ wonderful writing has given Ellen a myriad of excellent opportunities to strengthen her acting chops. In many ways, her acting is getting better with age. Not that the 46-year-old actress can stand to look at herself:

And yet, Ellen continues to have an upbeat attitude about the aging process. She recently partnered with Philosophy as part of their #CoolAger campaign to help lessen the stigma around getting older. As she explains:

Now let’s all take a deep breath and repeat that: Everyone ages, and it’s okay.

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