Here's something depressing: At 46, Ellen Pompeo has admitted to People that the only reason she hasn't left Grey's Anatomy to pursue other projects is because she thinks she's too old to land something else worthwhile.

Pompeo, who was 33 when she began to film the long-running ABC hospital drama, explained that she got a "super late start" in Hollywood, landing her first roles in her mid-20s. And while the show has more or less been a revolving door of talent (original stars Katherine Heigl, Sandra Oh and T.R. Knight have all left, among others), it's offered her a sense of security.

"My decision to stay on Grey’s was based solely on age,” she said. "At 33, I was wise enough to know my clock was already ticking in Hollywood."

Pompeo added if she'd started in the business earlier, she'd have "done my time, then gone out to search for other things.” Still, as the years go on, the pressure of finding work elsewhere mounts.

"I thought, ‘Why would I leave something that is super successful and pays me great to search the landscape?’" she said. "I decided that I would stay on Grey’s and be grateful and try to ride it out for as long as I could. And I am very happy that I made the decision to stay. It’s only gotten better with time."

Her [somewhat unfortunately justifiable] Hollywood ageism fears aside, Pompeo explained she's slowly learning to appreciate getting older, even though she hates seeing it happen on screen.

"The older you get, the more you realize life isn’t about your looks," she said. "Everyone ages, and it’s okay."

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