With “Grey’s Anatomy” in its 15th hit season and its star TV’s highest-paid actress after negotiating a $20-million-per-year salary, Ellen Pompeo still recalls her early years as a struggling actress trying to make a name for herself in Hollywood.
Speaking with Variety at Monday night’s Elle Women in Hollywood event — where she presented “Grey’s” creator Shonda Rhimes with the L’Oréal Paris Luminary Award — Pompeo offered some blunt advice to young women starting out in Tinseltown.
“Be confident and don’t take any s**t,” said Pompeo, 48.
“Hopefully, we’re paving the way and educating young women and making that easier for them,” she added. “But I guess you have a to be a b**ch, right? Don’t be a afraid to be a b**ch.”
Discussing the downfalls of one-time industry powerhouses as Harvey Weinstein and Les Moonves, Pompeo agrees the #MeToo movement is creating positive change but admitted there’s still much to be done.
“I think we’re making incremental progress,” she said. “We still have a long way to go. Obviously, the appointment of [Brett] Kavanaugh was a huge punch in the gut, but women have never shied away from hard work before and I don’t think we intend to now.”
Without identifying anyone by name, Pompeo implied that Weinstein and Moonves aren’t exactly anomalies in the Hollywood establishment.
“We still have a few that have to be knocked down,” she continued. “Hopefully we’ll see that day sooner than later.”