August 4, 2020 11:55PM EDT

Ellen Pompeo admitted why she ‘made choices’ to stay on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ for the long term and explained how the show, which she considers ‘a blessing’. has affected her family life, in a new podcast interview.

Ellen Pompeo, 50, has been playing the role of Meredith Grey on Grey’s Anatomy since its premiere in 2005 and part of the reason she’s decided to stay has to do with her age and financial factors. The actress shared details about how the show has affected her and her family over time in a new interview on the Jemele Hill is Unbothered podcast and admitted that starting the role at the age of 33 is what led her to staying on the same path all these years.

“I got in the game late. I didn’t start Grey’s until I was 33, and then I started having kids at 40,” she said in the interview. “If I started the show when I was younger, [like] 25, I probably would have dipped out when I was 31, 32, [when] my six-year contract was up, but my age had a lot to do with it.”

Ellen PompeoEllen Pompeo on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. (ABC)

She further explained that since she was no longer in her 20s, she felt like she’d have to “chase” other roles if she quit the popular ABC show and she wanted to make sure she had financial security and “make money” instead of having to “chase creative roles.” “I knew coming up on 40, it’s like, I don’t want to be out there chasing things, running after things, begging” she said. “I’d rather just see this as the blessing that it is.”

“At my age and where my life is, I just try to lean into it,” she continued. “I’m not trying to run away from anything. It is who I am. I made my choices and I’m cool with it. And I actually have a real passion, which is to sort of start to talk about and break down systemic racism in the healthcare industry. This is something that has plagued us forever. And I think the show has given me a real window into that.”

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