10+ Facts About Ellen Pompeo Fans Didn't Know

When you think of Ellen Pompeo, Grey's Anatomy immediately comes to mind.

After all, she's played the brilliant doctor for 16 seasons now, with no signs of slowing down.

But there is a lot more to Ellen than just Meredith Grey. She's also a wife, mother, and an advocate for pay equity in Hollywood.

Come learn more with these 10+ facts.

1. She was discovered at a bar.

She was working at SoHo Bar & Grill when she encountered her future agent.

"I thought she was trying to pick me up, at first," she said in an ABC News interview. "I'm always very, very leery."

2. She met her husband in a grocery store.

She was shopping in Whole Foods in 2003 when she crossed paths with the music producer, Chris Ivery.

They ended up bonding over the fact that they were both from Boston.

After they ran into each other again two days later, she knew it was fate.

They got married in 2007 at New York's City Hall.

In a special twist, their two witnesses were then-mayor mayor Michael Bloomberg served as the officiant and First Deputy Mayor, Patti Harris.

3. She has three kids.

She and Chris share daughters Stella, and Sienna, and son Eli. When they had Sienna, the pair kept things quiet since they had her via surrogate.

"I felt an obligation to keep the surrogate's privacy," she explained on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

4. Ellen’s TV debut was on *Law & Order*.

After being discovered by her agent, he booked her commercial roles, which eventually led to larger parts on Law & Order and Strangers with Candy.

She even had a small role in Friends as the girl Ross and Chandler had a pact not to pursue.

5. She was in a Taylor Swift music video.

Since Taylor named one of her cats Meredith Grey, it wasn't at all surprising to see the actress in the "Bad Blood" video.

Pompeo's spy name was "Luna," which happens to be her eldest daughter's middle name.

6. She's the youngest of six siblings.

All of them are at least eight years older than her.

The kids were raised in Boston by Ellen's grandparents since Ellen's mother tragically died of an overdose when the actress was just five.

7. She never wanted to be a TV star.

Before Grey's Anatomy, she was a movie star on the rise, with her praised performance in Moonlight Mile.

So when her agent brought her the script for Grey's Anatomy, she rejected the notion right away.

"I was like, 'I'm not going to be stuck on a medical show for five years,'" she recalled telling him to The Hollywood Reporter.

"'Are you out of your [expletive] mind? I'm an actress.'"

In the end, he convinced her to audition as a way to at least pay the rent.

8. Jake Gyllenhaal once hit on her.

This happened in the parking lot before they started filming the 2002 film, Moonlight Mile.

“He wasn’t Jake Gyllenhaal then,” the actress told Playboy. “I didn’t know what to say, because he’d come over with these compliments and he’s much younger than I am."

9. She probably won't act after *Grey's Anatomy* is done.

Back in 2014, she said that she doesn't find acting "terribly empowering" during a panel with BuzzFeed Brews.

"For the place I am in my life ... I don't necessarily want to work for other people."

10. She did one of her own stunts on *Grey's Anatomy* after her stunt double was injured.

The stunt was in the 2006 episode "As We Know It" when a bomb explodes and sends Meredith flying across the room.

When the stunt double tried this, she got seriously injured.

"She got yanked, having landed on her back and getting her head snapped back. And boy, did it. You could hear it," producer Peter Horton told *Entertainment Weekly*.

After some coaxing, Ellen agreed to do it.

"We pulled her [Ellen] much slower than we pulled the stunt double."

11. She was the highest paid TV drama actress in 2018.

She made this happen by using her leverage as the show's star and staying firm at the negotiation table.

In the end, she walked away with $575,000 per episode, which comes out to $20 million per year.

She also got a seven-figure signing bonus and two full backend equity points worth $6 million to $7 million.

Ellen told The Hollywood Reporter that it was Shonda Rhimes' encouraging words who helped her.

12. She has become an outspoken advocate for pay equity in Hollywood.

She wants all Hollywood actresses to make what they deserve.

"I'm 48 now, so I've finally gotten to the place where I'm OK asking for what I deserve, which is something that comes only with age," she told The Hollywood Reporter.

13. Patrick Demsey once refused to help her negotiate her salary.

Since there was a huge discrepancy between their salary when he was on the show, she asked him to negotiate with her for equal pay.

But in the end, he refused.

14. *Grey's Anatomy* will go on for as long as Ellen wants it to.

The show's creator, Shonda Rhimes, said it herself: "The show will go on as long as Ellen wants to do it.

The two are tight, as Ellen sees Shonda as not only a boss, but also her mentor.