By Raisa Bruner
January 17, 2018

After fourteen seasons as the star of Grey’s Anatomy, Ellen Pompeo is discussing defining her value.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Pompeo shared that she’s signed a contract to make an impressive $20 million a year for the next two seasons of the medical serial, which continues to draw nearly 12 million viewers and is a multi-billion-dollar franchise. Thanks to her relationship with showrunner Shonda Rhimes, Pompeo said, she gained the confidence over the years to negotiate for what she’s worth. The most important thing: ask for what you want.

“I’m 48 now, so I’ve finally gotten to the place where I’m OK asking for what I deserve, which is something that comes only with age,” she told the Reporter. “Now, maybe it’s my Irish Catholic upbringing, but you never want to [be perceived as] too greedy. Or maybe it’s just that as women, that’s our problem; a guy wouldn’t have any problem asking for $600,000 an episode. And as women, we’re like, ‘Oh, can I ask for that? Is that OK?’ I’d call Shonda and say, ‘Am I being greedy?’ But ultimately, Pompeo said she felt she deserved a piece of the pie, noting that the change Hollywood is seeking will come from women having financial power.

“[Shonda Rhimes] got to a place where she was so empowered that she was generous with her power,” Pompeo explained about the now-infamous TV creator. “Now, what did that look like? It looked like her letting me be the highest-paid woman on television, letting me be a producer on this show, letting me be a co-executive producer on the spinoff and signing off on the deal that the studio gave me, which is unprecedented.”

Pompeo’s story has won her support on social media, too.

Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com.

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