Patrick Dempsey Looks to the Future, Envisions Life After Grey's Anatomy

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He is, without a doubt, at the peak of his career as the leading man of Grey's Anatomy, but TV heart-throb Patrick Dempsey is not immune from pondering his life beyond Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd.

Patrick Dempsey Photo
In a mid-morning interview on the Los Angeles set of Grey's Anatomy, a relaxed Dempsey imagines the future, when he will have had enough of the demands of the medical drama and can live quietly with his wife and kids.

His feelings have been shaped in large part by his wife, Jillian, giving birth in February to twin boys, Sullivan and Darby. He also has a five-year-old daughter, Talula.

"It's (the arrival of twins) daunting and overwhelming. I think it's going to be really fun," Dempsey says. "Eventually, at the end of this run of Grey's, it will be nice to retreat to the country and raise them in an environment that is much better than Los Angeles."

"I love family. I think it's the one thing that keeps me sane in all the craziness of what's going on with this show."

Patrick Dempsey, who works up to 16 hours a day on Grey's Anatomy, says it's nearly impossible to find an escape from the hype generated by the global success of the show.

Though he credits Grey's Anatomy with resurrecting his career, he has found it a challenge dealing with intense media scrutiny, particularly about cast unrest on the show.

Patrick Dempsey and co-star Isaiah Washington had a well-documented spat that ultimately led to Washington not being retained by the series.

"It (scrutiny) doesn't end," Dempsey says. "It's demanding and the exposure is unbelievable. I mean, it's worldwide, more so than any movie you'll ever do, I think.

"Coming at this point in my career, I have better tools to cope, but it's not always easy. I think everybody on the show is adjusting to the amount of attention and pressure and responsibility.

"We have our growing pains. I think we're coming together as a company in a really good way... supporting each other on our good days and bad days.

"Sadly, it (media scrutiny) is a sign of your success if they're coming after you and blowing things out of proportion."

Eager to bring some levity to the interview, Dempsey starts talking about the fun he's having with castmates, including Eric Dane, who, as Mark "McSteamy" Sloan has challenged Dempsey's heart-throb status.

Eric Dane's arrival, Dempsey says with a laugh, has prompted him to go on a diet and hit the gym.

Given one of Dane's first scenes featured him draped in a towel, Dempsey jokes it's only a matter of time before his friend appears in a Bed, Bath & Beyond calendar.

"He's ripped, certainly," Dempsey says. "I've been fasting since he's entered the show."

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


I know, but he doesn't say he is actually leaving, so he's not. But what he did say, was that when GREY's ends, that's when.


He sounds tired! Obviously the man prefers a less harrassed lifestyle. I hope he saves enough so he can be where his heart leads him. Just make a few movies now and then. Reading between the lines, he confirms that the working environment is definitely toxic. But that's TV. It's a ruthless and merciless master.


The interview says nothing about him leaving, and yeah several of you are right, he has said this before. It only goes to show that he can look to the future, that he has plans. And there's nothing wrong with that. The words he says, makes me think that he means when the SHOW comes to an end. Read it again and you'll see. I doubt that he'll leave before the show is over. I have not seen him saying THAT in any interview, and he didn't say that in this one either. He just said what he's thinking when Grey's ending. And we don't know when that is.


Patrick is 41, NOT 42. And I don't like to think about Grey's Anatomy ending, but it's a long way to go before that happens, thank God. But it's great to know he does have a good time with his cast-mates. :) And he's my favourite actor. Always will be.


seriosuly. if he leaves i will just idk be done with greys. its my life but burke addison and derek?? i dont think i could handle that.


ok, wow. I sure hope this doesn't mean he will be leaving the show. The show won't be the same without him. He's Meredith's (Elen Pompeo) love. If he leaves then there will be no romance in the show. I'm with Kathy! I think he will stick around until the end. If he really loves what he does, he will. And I think he loves it. He's an excellent actor and he is the sexiest thing on earth!


Patrick has said this before and I guess its good that he knows what he looks forward to for his future with his family. Thats his goal! I think he has a good head on his shoulders. Patrick acts so appreciative for his opportunities and especially GA, which was a BIG surprise to the entire cast that it took off like it did! THey had NO idea going into this that it was going to turn out the way it did and would be on the air for several years. U think they are all under a 6 year contract at this point and actually, I would n't be surprised if it doesn't go longer than that, like 8 maybe or even 10. Who knows. But the success of this show makes me think it will be around for a few more years to come! and I think PD will stick around till the end!
Don't you guys??


I hate the idea of grey's coming to an end either. the show and the characters as well have become a hugh part of my life. Also, what will patrick be doing at the counrty side? (i know its peaceful and quite) but he cant race cars for ever.


He has said this before. He looking to the future because he knows GA won't last forever. I know I can't even think about there being no more GA but we have to be realistic it won't go on forever. He will continue to act but I don't think he wants to do 16 hr. days forever. It does take alot away from his family which is most important to him. He also has other interest like racing so now he has so many options. He's a great guy who has his feet firmly on the ground.


I wonder what those comments mean too? Will that be it for him after Grey's? I can't imagine him throwing end the towel within the next few years. But he has always said he wanted to retire early! We need some clarification on some of those comments Patrick! We don't want you to go anywhere!


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.


Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)