Ellen Pompeo is loved for her portrayal of Dr. Meredith Grey on ABC drama "Grey's Anatomy." She has played the titular role for sixteen seasons and fifteen years and her journey has not been as glorious as it seems. The actress has finally opened up about her decision to stay on the series and her struggle with it.

Ellen Pompeo appeared in the latest episode of Dax Shepherd's Armchair Expert podcast. Speaking to Shepherd, the 50-year-old actress talked about growing up, relationships, career, and pros and cons of being on "Grey's Anatomy," the series that is about to enter its 17th season.

Pompeo may not be very fond of seeing herself going from 33 to 50 on screen. She said it's "not so fun," as quoted by TV Line.

"You really see [the difference] because I'm in the same clothes [playing] the same character. So the way I see myself aging — it's a motherf–er," she added.

Meanwhile, she talked about the important moment in her life when she had to renegotiate season 12 after Patrick Damsey, who played the role of her husband Dr. Derek Shepherd, exited the show. She said that her decision to stay on the show originated from her belief that she had "something to prove."

"When Patrick left, I had something to prove," the "Catch Me If You Can" star said quotes Daily Mail. "He left season 11, and then I was renegotiating season 12, so I could have left, because the man left, which is not the story I want to tell."

Fans will remember that Derek was enormously popular on the show. The character sometimes received more attention and love than Pompeo's titular role.

"They had put that in my head for so long, that I was no good without him," she said. "I had to rewrite the ending of that story and, say, well, "Who's right? Am I actually good without him?"

During her interview, she also referred to her interview whereby she openly talked about contract negotiations and stirred up an important conversation about actress' pay in the industry. In addition, she talked about her future on the series.

She revealed that she is definitely not going to be there "forever." Her goal is to "leave while the show is still on top." "I'm not trying to stay on the show forever. No way. If I get too aggravated and am no longer grateful there, I should not be there," Pompeo said.

Grey's Anatomy
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith in Grey's Anatomy ABC

"Grey's Anatomy" season 17 is yet to start filming. However, it is expected to go on air next year.