‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Star Ellen Pompeo Shares How the Pandemic Prompted Her New Podcast

Ellen Pompeo is best known for her leading role on Grey’s Anatomy, but the actor recently kicked off a new project: the Tell Me podcast. Her new creative feat launched around the same time as Grey’s Anatomy Season 18, and it’s given Pompeo the chance to chat with celebrities about a number of real-world issues. But how did the woman behind Meredith Grey come to launch her own podcast in the first place? According to Pompeo, it was partially prompted by the pandemic.

Ellen Pompeo launched her podcast in September 2021

'Grey's Anatomy' star Ellen Pompeo, who just started her own podcast. Her blonde hair is curled and she's wearing a black top.
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star Ellen Pompeo | Mike Rosenthal/ABC via Getty Images

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The Fall 2021 season proved an exciting time for Pompeo, kicking off the latest chapter of Grey’s Anatomy and her journey into podcasting. The actor launched the first episode of the Tell Me podcast on Sept. 16. She’s since interviewed a number of well-known personalities, including former Grey’s costar Patrick Dempsey.

Judging by the podcast’s description, Pompeo’s goal is to educate and inspire through her conversations:

“On her first-ever podcast, Ellen Pompeo sits down with a wide range of guests and celebrity friends who inspire her and who do extraordinary things. Through in-depth, candid conversations, Ellen shines a light on people and issues that are important to her and the world at large.”

That aspect of the project appears to have stemmed directly from the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw the actor engaging in similar discussions on Zoom. In fact, Pompeo recently admitted that her conversations with healthcare workers changed her perspective on starting a podcast.

How the pandemic changed Ellen Pompeo’s mind about podcasting

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According to Pompeo, people have asked her about doing a podcast for years. However, before 2020, it wasn’t something she’d seriously considered. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Grey’s Anatomy star explained how the Zoom series she worked on during the pandemic changed her mind about the possibility:

“I’d certainly been approached for a very long time about doing them and I always said no. And then, over the pandemic, I started doing this series of Zooms with healthcare workers called Healing Healthcare. I do them with a friend of mine who’s a nurse out of Philly. I wanted to find a way to be productive during lockdown.”

Fans reacted positively to Pompeo’s videos, which highlighted healthcare workers during a time when many of them were struggling. That made her think about how else she could inspire her audience, even beyond quarantine.

“The next time I was approached about a podcast, I took it more seriously,” she added. “People have been so incredibly loyal to me and this show for 18 seasons, and I just want to find a way to give back and use my platform in a very positive way.”

Where to find the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star’s latest project

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Nine episodes into the Tell Me podcast, it seems Pompeo is leaving the mark she wanted. As of this writing, the podcast has 608 reviews — the majority of which are five stars. If nothing else, that shows listeners are enjoying Pompeo’s recent discussions. That’s good news because it seems like she’s just getting started.

As for where you can track down Pompeo’s podcast, the answer is simple: wherever podcasts are available. Fans can listen in on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Audible, Amazon Music, and more.

Fans can also catch Pompeo on new episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, which is in the midst of its newest season. The ABC medical drama is currently on a break, but it should be back soon — with even more important topics to bring to light.