Want a Raise? Take The Advice From TV’s $20 Million Woman

Who needs McDreamy when you’re the highest paid actress on primetime drama? In March 2007, ABC debuted a medical drama titled Grey’s Anatomy by Shonda Rhimes that turned out to be an instant hit. Everybody, especially those involved, were over the moon.

Everybody, that is, except for the series’ star, Ellen Pompeo, who had all the intentions of becoming a movie star. She remembers telling CAA’s Rick Kurtzman, “I’m not going to be stuck on a medical show for five years.” But by 2004, her movie career had stalled and she decided to audition only to “pay the rent.”

It is now 2018 and Pompeo has been “stuck on a medical show” for fourteen years. After signing her new deal in late 2017, which not only made her dramatic televisions highest-earning actress but covers Grey’s current season and an additional two more seasons. Pompeo earns $575,000 per episode, along with a seven-figure signing bonus and other things that estimated to bring in another $6-7 million. WOW.

So, I know you’re wondering: how did a girl from a blue-collar, mob-ridden Boston suburb get to be this successful?

Well, not only does she have TV powerhouse and Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes to back her up, but also she learned one key to salary negotiation early on: ask for what you think you’re worth.

Pompeo told The Hollywood Reporter that men go into negotiations “hard and ask for the world." She also said, "Women must do the same, eschewing the perspective of not being deserving or not asking for fear of upsetting others. Rather than worry about being perceived as greedy, women must assess what they believe their worth to be, and ask for it. No one will give it to you if you don’t ask for it.”

From recently winning a Harper Avery Award for her hit show, Ellen Pompeo can clearly do it all from acting, to producing to being a pro negotiator.