In terms of her very thin frame, Ellen has described herself as a "natural waif." She does have a trainer three days a week to work on building muscle and endurance, and she eats very carefully during the week. However, she claims that she "pigs out" on the weekends, and her favorite splurges include pizza, lasagna, salami, and red wine.
When Ellen was a waitress, she would make sure the cigarette machine wouldn't work so that customers had to buy them from her. As the night got longer, and the customers got drunker, Ellen would charge them more and more.
Ellen and Brooke Smith (Dr. Hahn, Grey's Anatomy) starred in an episode of Law & Order together in 1996. Ellen played the teenage daughter of Smith's characters client.
Ellen was nominated in 2008 for a SAG Award along with her Grey's Anatomy castmates for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
Ellen lives in L.A. with her husband, Chris Ivery, and their two dogs.
Ellen's first word as a baby was pepperoni.
Ellen did the voice over for a commercial for Propel Fitness Water.
Ellen's fiance, Chris Ivery, has a drug-dealing past and has served three jail sentences. On this matter, Ellen insists Ivery's past is no surprise to her and has vowed to stand by her man.
Ellen's beauty secrets include water, sleep, and just being happy.
Ellen once stated in Self magazine that she was (contrary to rumors) not suffering from an eating disorder. She also stated that she has a very fast metabolism, and must eat 3000 calories a day to maintain her weight, otherwise she could be hospitalized.
In 2005, Ellen was nominated for a Teen Choice Award - Choice TV Breakout
Performance - for her role as Meredith Grey on Grey's Anatomy.
Ellen played a supporting role in the 1995 New York Film Academy silent short film Do You Have the Time? by director Pete Sprankle.
Ellen did the voice over for a PeoplePC commercial.
Shortly after her and her, now, fiance started dating, they found out they only grew up 10 miles away from each other in Boston.
Ellen had a small scene in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004, yet this scene was cut from the final version.
Ellen was introduced to her fiance, Chris Ivery, at a Whole Foods Market store in Los Angeles.
As of March 2007 Ellen earns around $200,000 per episode of Grey's Anatomy.
Ellen sometimes tries to distract her fiance, Chris Ivery, when romantic scenes, between her and another character, are played.
Ellen has been 'punk'd' (on the show of the same name). Even her boyfriend knew about it, and played along.
Ellen has no preference between acting in TV and movies.
When Ellen was younger, she was self-conscious about telling people she had an interest in acting. This was because she hated the way some people reacted when she told them.
She hates when people want to take pictures of her on their camera phones, especially after a long day at work.
Although Ellen has been on Law & Order twice, she has played two completely different characters.
Although she absolutely adores Patrick Dempsey, Ellen's advice to her Grey's Anatomy character, Meredith, would be to move on from Derek, Dempsey's character.
Ellen loves clothes and fashion. She describes it as her own little fun hobby.
Ellen wanted to be an archaeologist when she was young.
Although Ellen has a long list of TV credits, she doesn't watch much television.
Ellen admits that she learns a lot from all the medical terminology she has to learn on Grey's Anatomy.
Ellen feels the biggest challenge for an actor is to be challenged every single day with new plots and storylines that she isn't very experienced in.
Ellen was upset at the Grey's Anatomy producers because she believes she should have input into the decisions made to affect certain aspects of the show.
Ellen's Movie Roles
2005 Life of the Party .... Phoebe Elgin
2004 Art Heist .... Sandra Walker
2004 Nobody's Perfect .... Veronica
2003 Undermind .... Flynn
2003 Old School .... Nicole
2003 Daredevil .... Karen Page
2002 Catch Me If You Can .... Marci
2002 Moonlight Mile .... Bertie Knox
2000 In the Weeds ... Martha
2000 Eventual Wife .... Beth
Ellen shared in the 2007 SAG Award given to the Grey's Anatomy cast for 'Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series'.
Before Grey's Anatomy, Ellen auditioned for a television pilot called Secret Service. That show was not picked up by any television network.
She is the youngest of 6 - she has 5 siblings who are all at least 8 years older than her.
Ellen was nominated for a Golden Globe in December of 2006 in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series (Drama), for her role in Grey's Anatomy.
Ellen is on the cover of the December 2006 issue of Allure.
Ellen's boyfriend of three years, Chris Ivery proposed to her Friday, November 10, 2006. It was on her 37th birthday. They were married on November 9, 2007 at a ceremonial office at City Hall in New York.
Ellen was approached by an agent about acting in commercials while she was a bartender at the SoHo Bar & Grill, in 1996.
Ellen's mother died when she was four years old.
Ellen suffers from asthma.
Ellen, along with Patrick Dempsey, presented the Emmy to Megan Mullaly for best supporting actress in a comedy series at the 2006 Emmy Awards.
Ellen lives right next door to Patrick Dempsey.
Ellen was on the cover of the November 7-13 issue of TV Guide along with her Grey's Anatomy co-star Patrick Dempsey.
Ellen was 26 before she began in the entertainment business.
Ellen plays herself in a filmography titled Moonlight Mile: A Journey to Screen.
Ellen is 5'7" (1.70 meters) tall.
Some of Ellen's nicknames are The Pencil and Straciatella which means little rags or strings.
Ellen Pompeo: When I'm doing a big crying scene, I go to a really dark place inside me. I almost torture myself by drawing on the emotions of my past.
Ellen Pompeo: (about filming "Grey's Anatomy") It's gross. We use real brains. I think they're lamb or cow or something. Intestines smell. Brains don't really smell, but what's amazing about the brain is that it's almost like scrambled eggs or soft tofu, almost like a gel. The brain controls so much of what we do, but you could put your finger right through it.
Ellen Pompeo: (about fame) The trap is when you start to pay attention to that stuff and care, because in six months, they're going to be looking at someone else. You know how fickle everyone is. They love it, then they hate it, then they love it. So I'm going to enjoy it because it could be over at any minute.
Ellen Pompeo: (about the perks of her job) Several members of my family have been admitted to the hospital since the show started, and when they feel like the treatment isn't good enough, they say, "Do you know who my niece is?" And suddenly they're in the VIP area, getting pedicures in bed!
Ellen Pompeo: It's pretty remarkable how many people the show touches... I think we are very lucky in that way so, I love when the fans come up to us because they usually have really interesting stories. We are very grateful to the fans, we would have no show without them, you know? You could have the best writing in the world, and you could have the best acting in the world, but if the fans don't tune in every week, there's no show. So, I think we have them to be the most thankful for.
Ellen Pompeo: (About CPR being done on her for Grey's Anatomy) To make it look believable they really have to pump on your chest. And after a while, of course your heart does respond. So my heart, I had, kept having this, like, palpitations. It's making me feel really strange to have people do CPR on me for hours and hours at the time. I don't think it's that great for you. So after the first day, I told Rob, who is directing the episodes, I said "You have to get me some sort of, you know, chest plate". So they got this plastic chest plates. I think they used the ones from, that the girls used for Charlie's Angels. They had 3 sort of busts and I think I got Demi's, and I wore that, under all the blankets so when they were doing CPR on me I didn't really have to feel the impact. So that made things a lot better for me.
Ellen Pompeo: (On doing her own stunts)You never know, sort of, when they explain the stunt you say "Oh, that sounds really simple and I can do that, it's no problem. I sort of figured that I was just going to fall back on a mat, you know and that it will look fine. But you feet have to disappear. And you know the guys who come and do the stunts, they know so much about it and they make you feel so safe. So it's just fun, and you get to be on location and do something different.
Ellen Pompeo: (About working with Kate Burton) My mother storyline you know, it's so rich. And I have Kate Burton who's extraordinary, and I couldn't ask for a better partner...I already miss my scenes with her. Maybe I'll go to heaven again and see her or something, you never know!
Ellen Pompeo: (On working in a series) The thing about series television is that is very difficult the aspect of never knowing where your character is going or where she'll end up. You know, we have no idea where the end of this is. Or what the end of each season is, for that matter. I guess it's made me a more adaptable actor, you know you sort of have to be more creative.
Ellen Pompeo: (About the engagement ring Chris Ivery gave her) He got it in Beverly Hills and spent his entire life savings, which I could kill him for. I was very mad about it. Some days I really love it, and some days I just want to sell it and give the money to charity.
Ellen Pompeo: (About Meredith's near death experience) One episode I could be completely happy and the next episode I'm trying to commit suicide. Of course it was a surprise and then I just had to figure out how Meredith got to that place and hope the audience would stay with me. I think what was frustrating was after that near-death experience when she had this revelation that Derek was a great guy and she wanted to live for him, then she comes back and everything goes back to normal. It didn't seem to have taken me anywhere significantly, which is why I think the whole three-part ferry episode was just a distraction from what was going on with Isaiah and everything behind the scenes on our show at the time.
Ellen Pompeo: I just worry about the girls who look up to me -- I don't want them to think I starve myself or don't eat, and that to be like me that's what they have to do.
Ellen Pompeo: (On her more "steamy" scenes with Patrick) It's awkward with Patrick because he's like my brother. As soon as the camera is off, I'm like, "Is your hand on my butt?" But there are millions of girls who have been waiting for this, so I feel an obligation to the fans.
Ellen Pompeo: I don't find acting to be a particularly noble way to make a living. I'm not saving anybody's life, I'm not a teacher, I'm not working for UNICEF. I don't think I'm some big deal.
Ellen Pompeo: (On tabloids attacking her for looking anorexic) Growing up, I was horribly self-conscious about how skinny I was. You think it's never going to be as horrible as sixth, seventh, eighth grade when all the other girls are getting boobs. Now, all of a sudden, it's back to people saying things to me again.
Ellen Pompeo: (On her days as a cocktail waitress) I wouldn't say I was a good drink maker, but I was a very good hustler. I'd abuse the customers, yell and scream at them and make them wait. If they put money down on the bar and it wasn't enough, I'd go wait on someone else who was giving me enough money. If they put another five down and I made them wait longer, pretty soon there would be $20 on the bar. Then I'd come over and give them a drink.
Ellen Pompeo: (On her wedding) I'm not gonna have a big wedding. It's not even gonna be necessarily a big event or anything like that. Very private. Just something between Chris and I. We want to have one thing for ourselves. You know. We want to have fun. We have a goal of trying to keep our marriage a secret for 24 hours. We're gonna try to keep that. That's our goal.
Ellen Pompeo: I was raised by drag queens, practically... My mother died when I was four-years-old, so I was effectively raised by a bunch of different people. A lot of those people were friends of my sister, Kathleen, who had all these gay friends. She would baby-sit me everyday, and she would take me over to her friend's houses with all kinds of things going on: tucking, and eyebrow drawing, waxing, all sorts of things. I was literally raised by gay men.
Ellen Pompeo: (Talking about Meredith and Derek in the Season 3 finale) I don't think you need sadness to have drama. My boyfriend and I are very happy and we still manage to be dramatic every day.
Ellen Pompeo: (On her first boyfriend) I didn't have any confidence as a young girl, because all the other girls had breasts and hips. I was always thin, always called the stick or the pencil. I didn't have a boyfriend until I was 16, and he was eight years older. My father was furious about this 24-year-old, and I had to hide the relationship.
Ellen Pompeo: (Talking about how Grey's Anatomy is different from other medical shows) This is about having sex in closets with other doctors and having free time.
Ellen Pompeo: (Talking about Grey's Anatomy) Everyone keeps asking me if I'm nervous, I'm really not, you know I don't really think about what's going to happen with the show. I'm getting to act everyday and that's really what I love and I'm so happy to be doing that, I'll worry about what happens when it happens.
Ellen Pompeo: (when asked what the similarities between her and Meredith have in common) She wasn't much of a student, and that certainly was me. The fact that I'm convincing is a huge triumph for me because I'm not that [kind of] book person. I adore books but on my time and not in a classroom. I was very restless. I'm a gypsy at heart. As soon as I turned 18, I started traveling.
Ellen Pompeo: (On her character Meredith Grey) She's smart enough to make her way through medical school but she can't figure out that she can't sleep with strangers all the time.
Ellen Pompeo: (joking about Patrick Dempsey) They force me to work with him. They offered me more money to put up with him, so I agreed.
Ellen Pompeo: (on Grey's Anatomy) I would say the surgery scenes are kind of gross. It smells. It is unpleasant. There are usually animal parts.
Ellen Pompeo: (about distracting her fiancé when she has a steamy scene air on Grey's Anatomy) I thought I was being really clever in distracting him right at nine o'clock and I asked him if he could help me with the laundry so that he wouldn't see that portion of the show. Then, 20 minutes later, he realized, 'The show's on and we're not watching it.' I said, 'That's OK, we can get to it.' He said, 'Oh well, I have it TiVo'd so we're OK.'
Ellen Pompeo: (talking about when she was complimented by actor Jake Gyllenhaal shortly after arriving in Hollywood. Just three weeks later, she was working with him on Moonlight Mile) It was the best thing that happened to me all week - to say the very least...I was so flattered. I thanked him and told him how much I hoped we would have a chance to work together one day.
Ellen Pompeo: (About the cast of Grey's Anatomy) The chemistry between the cast is very important. We're a family and have respect for each other. And we have fun, which comes across.
Ellen Pompeo: (about Patrick Dempsey) I haven't publicly said this before, but I do have a crush on him.
Ellen Pompeo: I don't need dinner in a room with candles to feel romantic. I feel romantic waking up in the morning and looking at my boyfriend.
Ellen Pompeo: (about Patrick Dempsey) Patrick is very adorable, but very married in real life. I'm very good friends with his wife.
Ellen Pompeo: I wasn't allowed to wear makeup until I was 15, so I would put it on at school.