“Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo says: “timing is everything” with a 20 million dollar contract.
Ellen Pompeo says her new “Grey’s Anatomy” deal was all about the timing.
The actress revealed in January that they had signed on for two more seasons of the ABC medical drama, with a deal that made her the highest paid actress on television. Pompeo is set to earn more than $20 million per year in “Grey’s” coming from the 15th and 16th seasons — $575,000 per episode, along with a seven-figure signing bonus, and two full backend equity points for the series, estimated to bring in another $6 million to $7 million.
She opened up about the contract on Tuesday on a panel at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, saying that “timing is everything” when it came to signing her deal, referring to the recent push in Hollywood for the pay of the equality between the sexes, a cause that has risen next to the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.
Pompeo also said that she was “lucky” to have hard facts on her side when it was time to negotiate, with the help of the data that helped her quantify her value to the network powers that be. She was also the last man, in a way, as the longest-tenured original cast member and a producer of the show.
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on “Grey’s Anatomy.”
RELATED: Ellen Pompeo: ‘say Goodbye’ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw Was ‘Very Difficult’
“The studio does not have two important players as leverage against me,” she noted. “They no longer had Patrick Dempsey or Shonda [Rhimes]. She had no one left to hang the franchise hat on.”
Pompeo opened up about going public with her huge deal earlier this year, admitting that she “caught a little flack” for sharing the details of her financial boon.
WATCH: Ellen Pompeo Says She ‘Start’ to Think About How the End of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (Exclusive)
“That was a tricky situation, because you normally don’t want to talk about money and talk about your salary” the 48-year-old actress told ET at the New York City launch of Young Living essential Oils’ Seedlings baby care line in May. “It is admired and celebrated when a male athlete does it, and I think that’s exactly the reason why I decided to do it.”
PHOTOS: Ellen Pompeo Shares Rare family photos Of the Italian Holiday
“The thing that is more meaningful for the women who found it inspiring and helpful,” Pompeo added. “I can’t tell you the amount of women that have approached me and just wants to hug me and thank me for the courage to be bold, and maybe even a little inappropriate, but authentic and explain my journey and my shortcomings, as well as my successes – is it all worth it.”