“I am entering a very exciting phase of my life, if I do say so myself,” says Ellen Pompeo. The actor is referring to her recent decision to take a step back from Grey’s Anatomy, the phenomenally popular ABC series she’s starred in since 2005, appearing on just a handful of episodes this season. “I’m starting on a new show for Hulu in March, but right now I have a lot of free time,” she adds. Given that she’s spent almost 20 years at the same day job—Grey’s debuted the same year as YouTube, two years before Netflix streamed a single video—who could begrudge her?
Pompeo’s neighbors in Malibu, where she and her husband, Chris Ivery, an executive at sportswear company Sergio Tacchini, have a beach house, have surely noticed the actor hanging around a bit more these days, whether strolling the shore with her dogs or wetsuited and bobbing on a boogie board alongside her three kids, Stella Luna, 13, Sienna May, 8, and Eli Christopher, 6. The couple purchased the teak-sheathed modernist structure, designed by midcentury architects Conrad Buff and Donald Hensman, from Friends cocreator Marta Kauffman as a weekend getaway nearly a decade ago. “I like to say I manifested this house,” Pompeo jokes.