Essay on 'Grey’s Anatomy': Character Analysis

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“I’m not happy and bubbly, I’m dark and cloudy” claims Dr. Meredith Grey from the hit drama TV show Grey’s Anatomy. Many people are obsessed with the show and the show's main character, Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo. Pompeo has had many interviews, but two online articles seem to surprise Pompeo’s fans: Sarah Grossbart's (online author for Enews’s ) article “Family Tragedy a Chaotic Childhood and Her Fight for Representation: Inside Ellen Pompeo’s Private World” and Virginia G’s (online author for ppcorn) article about Pompeo by the name of “Ellen Pompeo: 15 Things You Didn’t know (Part 2)”. So, what do fans of Pompeo really know about her? Most fans may not realize what actually went on in Pompeo’s life, even though she is very open about her past.

So, what do fans not know about one of the most favorite characters from the famous TV drama, Grey’s Anatomy? For starters, Pompeo grew up in a Roman Catholic home of Irish descent. Pompeo has said in many interviews that she enjoyed being Roman Catholic, still continues her religion, and wants to continue practicing being Roman Catholic for as long as she lives. Aside from religion, Pompeo had a terrible life event when she was only five years old. At such a young age, Pompeo’s mother passed away from a fatal overdose. Grossbart says, “One of Pompeo’s earliest memories is of her older siblings (she is the youngest of six) trying to revive their mom after she suffered a fatal overdose.” Pompeo claims that she has been stuck with this tragic memory from such a young age and has greatly struggled from trying to get the image of her siblings trying to revive her mother out of her head. Although Pompeo had such a terrible childhood Pompeo continues to thrive in her acting career.

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Most people say that actors/actresses do not just get picked up off of the street, but in Pompeo’s case, that is exactly what happened. Pompeo had always dreamed of being a famous actress. To pursue her dream, Pompeo picked up everything from her home in Massachusetts, bought a plane ticket, and moved to New York City all alone. Although she was struggling in Massachusetts, Pompeo was struggling even harder in New York City until Brad Silberling (director of Moonlight Mile) offered her to play Bertie Knox in her first movie Moonlight Mile. From there, Shonda Rhimes (creator/director/producer of Grey’s Anatomy) knew she had to have Pompeo play Meredith Grey. Shonda Rhimes was astounded by Pompeo’s acting skills, leading Shonda to choose Pompeo as the main character in the hit TV drama Grey’s Anatomy. As Pompeo starred as Meredith Grey in Grey’s Anatomy originally airing in 2005 to the current day, Pompeo has decided that she only enjoys being in drama-only genres. Pompeo is known for being a genuinely open person as many interviewers have figured out, but one thing that Pompeo has not been so open about is her personal income. As of 2018, Pompeo makes 20 million a year, making Pompeo the highest-paid female actress in America, at the time. Virginia G, says “Pompeo received $200 per episode aired. As of today, the actress makes more than $350,000 per episode on the same show” As far as starting from the bottom, Pompeo has made her way up to the top.

Pompeo is known for being nominated for many awards as well as winning many awards. As Pompeo worked her way up her acting career, Pompeo won three People’s Choice Awards as Favorite Dramatic TV Actress in 2013, 2015, and 2016. Just shortly before Pompeo’s third winning of Favorite Dramatic TV Actress in 2016, Pompeo also won the Taormina Film Fest - Taormina Arte Award in 2015. From being at rock bottom, having limited money, financially struggling, and having to work to support herself Pompeo has come a long way working harder every day to let her audience be happy with her performance. Once Pompeo finally saved enough money to buy her one-way plane ticket to New York City, Pompeo worked at SoHo Bar and Grill. Pompeo has expressed that leaving her 5 siblings in Massachusetts has been very hard emotionally on her, but Pompeo is thriving. As previously stated, Pompeo only enjoys being in drama genres, leading to Pompeo stating in one of her interviews that she may not want to continue her acting career once Grey’s Anatomy comes to an end. Pompeo states that she has become very attached to her co-workers and her character Meredith Grey, making it hard for Pompeo to just go onto another gig. Pompeo’s past as a teenager/early adult was fairly rough, but as of today, Pompeo would not want to change anything about her daily life or what got her to her current life today.

Pompeo has had her fair share of a bad past but still continues to pursue her dream. As Pompeo has made her way up the chain, her picture-perfect life on screen is not her real-life reality. Pompeo has suffered through a rough childhood tragedy, moved away from her five older siblings alone, and financially struggled her whole life, but now she is one of America’s favorite dramatic actresses. Along the way, Pompeo has grown into a strong woman with three children and her husband Chris Ivery. In conclusion, as Pompeo struggled from the beginning of her life, she is now fulfilling her dream of being an actress.

Works Cited

  1. G., Virginia. 'Ellen Pompeo: 15 Things You Didn't Know (Part 2).', Critic, Accessed 8 Oct. 2019.
  2. Grossbart, Sarah. 'Family Tragedy, a Chaotic Childhood and Her Fight for Representation: Inside Ellen Pompeo's Private World.', edited by E! Entertainment Television, LLC. A Division of NBC Universal, E! Entertainment Television, LLC. A Division of NBC Universal, 27 Sept. 2018, Accessed 8 Oct. 2019.
  3. Strataki, Rania. '20 Things You Didn't Know About Ellen Pompeo! (List).', hangover media, 28 Jan. 2016, Accessed 8 Oct. 2019.
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