Ellen Pompeo Explains How She 'Manifested' Her Malibu Beach House, And There's A Friends Connection

Meredith Grey smiles on Grey's Anatomy.
(Image credit: ABC)

Ellen Pompeo has come a long way since the early days of Grey’s Anatomy. A relatively unknown actress back in 2005, she has stood as the heart of the ABC medical show for 19 seasons. When Pompeo officially exits Grey’s Anatomy in February 2023, she will be free to pursue other projects and theoretically spend more time with her husband and three children in their Malibu beach house. The house was a dream come true in itself for the actress, who said she “manifested” it years ago in the early days of Grey’s, and she recently explained how she came to purchase the home, revealing its connection to another iconic TV series: Friends.

The Grey’s Anatomy star, who is causing wild reactions from fans at her impending exit in the middle of Season 19, gave Architectural Digest a tour of her 3,000 square-foot home and said it was one she’d had her eye on years before she was making the kind of money she’d need to buy it. The house had gone on the market in the early days of Grey’s Anatomy, and she’d gone to check it out, admiring what she called “perfect proportions,” and its location at the top of a bluff. She told the magazine: 

I knew I couldn't afford it, but I didn't tell anyone that.

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with looking, right? The actress may not have been in the market to justify such a purchase at the time, but you know who was? Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman. When Ellen Pompeo was starting her decade-plus run as Meredith Grey on ABC in 2005, Kauffman was coming off of 10 seasons of NBC’s sitcom Friends

The Must-See TV sitcom was already an all-time classic when it wrapped production in 2004, and it’s a safe bet Marta Kauffman made a pretty penny off the show that paid its six leading actors $1 million apiece per episode in its final seasons. (To this day, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry collect “bountiful” checks from Friends, the Chandler actor recently revealed.)

Years later, however, in 2013, the house went back on the market, and it was Ellen Pompeo’s time to pounce. She was reportedly one of the highest-paid actors in television at the time, and she was able to secure the property, which was built in 1979 by Conrad Buff and Donald Hensman. It must have felt like it was meant to be, as the actress said:

I like to say I manifested this house.

It sounds like she’s getting the time to enjoy it, too. Her upcoming Hulu project starts production in March 2023, so for now she said she’s been spending time with her husband Chris Ivery and three kids, Stella Luna (13), Sienna May (8), and Eli Christopher (6). When Grey’s Anatomy returns from its winter hiatus in February, Ellen Pompeo’s character Meredith Grey will move her family to Boston, where daughter Zola will attend a school for gifted children, and Meredith will continue where she left off with her Parkinson’s research to try to cure Alzheimer’s. We can all agree now is the time for a Boston spinoff, right? 

Grey’s Anatomy will return to ABC on Thursday, February 23, and in the meantime, the first 18 seasons can be streamed with a Netflix subscription. Season 19 is available via Hulu subscription. All 10 seasons of Friends, meanwhile, are available for streaming with an HBO Max subscription

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.