Patrick Dempsey: The Best Life Interview

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This Patrick Dempsey article appears in the new issue of Best Life Magazine. This is the beginning of the article. Follow the link to continue reading ...


Patrick Dempsey cut me off on La Cienega Boulevard.

His 3-series BMW convertible was in my rearview mirror long enough for me to recognize the actor's face from his just-released film Coupe de Ville.

At the intersection of La Cienega and San Vicente â€" a tangle of competing traffic lanes well known to Los Angeles body shops â€" he hit the gas and nipped in ahead of my bumper, forcing me to tap the brakes and watch his taillights speed north.

Now, 17 years after the fact, Patrick Dempsey sits under the cold fluorescent lights in the cafeteria of the Petersen Automotive Museum, about half a mile from the scene of the infraction, pleading guilty with an explanation.

Patrick Dempsey: Stylish

Patrick Dempsey always feels the need for speed.

"Oh, that's funny," he says sheepishly. "I did have a BMW convertible." He then gives a slow spin to his cup of coffee and looks up.

"Well," he says, "if I drive aggressively, I try to signal, so people know. It's irritating when people drive aggressively and they don't signal."

Patrick Dempsey is no stranger to aggression.

As a teenager growing up in Maine, Patrick was a state champion downhill skier who once trained for a place on the Olympic team.

Today, his favorite method of relaxation, when he's not watching the Speed Channel, is driving pumped-up Mustangs and Mazdas up to 160 miles an hour.

On the streets of L.A., he can be seen riding his Specialized Tarmac road bike, putting in 100 miles in a good week, he says â€" and then hitting the gym. And of course, on the TV series Grey's Anatomy, which has given him financial freedom and more fame than he's comfortable with, he plays Dr. Derek Shepherd, the most aggressive of specialists in the medical profession: a brain surgeon.

Dempsey has agreed to meet at Petersen's â€" better known in certain quarters as the scene of Notorious B.I.G.'s last earthly party than for its collection of classic automobiles â€" because he loves fast cars and racing history.

When I arrive, he is already here, unaccompanied, at the Ferrari exhibit, studiously looking at a car called the Dino. Dempsey explains how the model was named by father Enzo for his son Alfredino, who'd helped him design the V6 engine.

When his son died of muscular dystrophy at age 24, the elder Ferrari made this car a tribute to his son. "Enzo wanted them badged only as Dinos," says Dempsey. "Technically, it's a Fiat, but a very special car."

Dempsey rattles off the specs and story behind each of the 10 or so cars in the exhibit, knowledge he conveys unpretentiously and sotto voce as we stroll. Before we sit down to talk, he tosses in the histories of a couple of low-slung Fords.

For a guy who struggled with dyslexia and never finished high school, Patrick Dempsey has ­managed to become a walking encyclopedia of model numbers, horsepower, and torque. He turned pro in 2005, becoming part owner and driver for a sports-car endurance-racing team.

This is a passion that he has been better able to indulge since his celebrated comeback from obscure '80s actor to Dr. ­McDreamy. So, it's impossible not to ask a gearhead whose weekly paycheck recently went up to $200,000: What's in your garage?

"I recently bought a 1954 XK 120 SE, which is sort of, I think, the defining postwar Jag," he says. "Really an old-school elegance to it."

Dempsey talks that way, really, imparting a natural sophistication to even a tech-heavy conversation. He sounds a bit like a courtly millionaire about to be handcuffed for killing his mistress on Law & Order.

But Patrick Dempsey, with his black-Irish good looks and laid-back â€" if alert â€" personality, is not that sort of lady-killer.

Those who have worked closely with him, from race-car drivers to directors, tell me he is simply an old-school gentleman. He endures the publicity process attached to fame with a certain mellowness.

Or maybe he's just a touch bleary from a combination of 14-hour shooting days on Grey's Anatomy mixed with film acting jobs. He's starring in a fresh take on the Disney movie tradition, Enchanted, in theaters now, and he spent the summer in England filming Made of Honor, in which he has a leading role.

On weekends, he flies all over the United States, keeping his auto-racing team in active competition. Most important, however, he has the duties and pleasures of helping his wife, Jillian, raise their twin boys â€" Darby and Sullivan, born in February 2007 â€" and their daughter, Talula, now 5.

Continue reading this Patrick Dempsey article in Best Life Magazine ...

Patrick Dempsey is Driven

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


i am upset too, watching derek asking rose for a date:-( grrr. please don't end GA with meredith and derek not together.


Debs- I didn't know that he suffered from depression a little bit while filming Enchanted. I just thought that the reason why he was speaking so negatively about his charcater on Grey's was because he just had high expectations for his character. Also, I just read the article on saturday and he didn't sound ungreatful to me at all, he just sounded like someone who has high expectations but he also sounds like someone who knows that all this fame, money and attention could all be taken away from him again so he's taking it one day at a time and he seems humble to me. Very much a family man that's for sure.


Carol i´ve read on Patrick Dempsey news the reason why Patrick is speaking so negiettivly it´s because when he wwas filmilng Enchanted he sufferd a nbout of depreession. It makes a lot of to why he´s been so negetive lately.


Wanted to comment on Kathy's remark "why Shonda is having Derek move forward so fast?" Are you kidding me? Seriously have you not noticed how fast the characters move from relationship to relationship? I am amazed at the stamina and the endurance these interns exhibit since they put in over 80 hours a week at the hospital. In the past year: Meredith went from Derek, to lots of guys, to George, to Finn, and then back to Derek--and she even had time to squeeze in taking care of her mother, appendicitis, dying, and coming back while trying to figure out her abandonment issues. Izzie went from the hockey player to Alex, then to Denny, and now she's with George--hopefully she won't have the time to put any other patient's life on the line or jeopardize other interns' careers with her impulsivity and immaturity that being in love justifies it all. George went from Olivia to Meredith, married Callie and now he's madly in love with Izzieâ€"he had the time on top of all this to move out, become friends with Burke (how ironic), romance Callie, watch his father die, plan a life with Callie, and realize during one drunken night that it was really Izzie he loves all along. Thank God, it is only a TV series!! It seems like the writers move fast in TV Land not only to keep us interested, but also to get out the stories before the series ends.


I liked the article about Patrick as well as the photos. The article showed me a side of Patrick and I was stunned about what he said about being tired of the auditioning process and being rejected. I know I will get slammed here, but I gotta be truthful....Patrick, as much as I like you and admire your acting, truth is, five years ago, you weren't a 'name' actor. You were a B, or even a C-list actor. Now, you are the co-star of a hit ABC series and you whine about the demands of your job. Unreal. Sorry, I don't have sympathy for ya, guy. In fact, I think you're lucky. You're a millionaire, married to a beautiful lady who is also a millionaire in her own right, due to her business. You have the ability to do things people only dream about, but you bitch about being an actor. Your job is SUCH a tough gig, huh? Would you rather be handicapped and living on disability? I am. If you don't like acting so much, then retire! Or, become a director. You could direct TV shows or direct movies, like Ron Howard and Clint Eastwood do. When was the last time Ron Howard acted? Back when he did the movie 'Grand Theft Auto'? That was what? Late 70's? He has been extremely successful in his directing career. You could do that if you wanted to. Remember Patrick, no one put a gun to your head and made you become an wanted to do this. You wanted the money and the fame, admit it. As with everything else in life, you have to take the bad with the good. This article showed you are a gentleman as far as with your family, but you whine a lot and it makes you look spoiled. Too bad.


You know this is not the first or second time patrick hinted about him and rose. Surely he cant just be joking about it? i dont think so. I think what is best will be for everyone to sit back and see how far this will go. If he really has started having a thing for rose then i truly wish him all the best. Its what he wants afterall, the whole backage and it seems rose is willing to give him that.
As for mer, well she still has christina and her other friends, like i said its not going to be the end of the world if derek left her for someone else.
Sorry guys, i know many dont want to see comments like this, but i realiaze you cant just keep stressing yourself for 4 good years and then finally get hit on the face with a so called der/rose r/ship.


We are so used to Merideth running away from Derek and now Derek is actually moving on this is why it makes it hard for all of merder fans. They will definantly have to do some serious work to bring back the magic that is merder. I just hope this Rose situation goes no further than a kiss and not even that!


oh ! i feel upset everytime i read or heard that derek and rose will be paired together in the next 2 episodes..whats going to happen to meredith?


ok, now I'm really upset. I saw Patrick Dempsey today on Martha Stewart Fine Living and she asked him if there was anything he could say about the future of GA. He said there was a nurse that has come in the picture and it looks like that relationship will develop!!!!! He says the last episode which is 11 is a cliffhanger. He said he didn't know what would happen after that.
Again, maybe this is all part of the big plan to get Mer/Der back together, I don't know and if it is, I don't like it. Who wants to see Der with Rose and seeing them happy together and Meredith sad
Do you think Patrick just said that just to throw everybody off or what? I really thought it would be just a flirtation between Der and Rose, nothing else. Now we have to wait until they start back filming and who knows when that will be?
I get so upset hearing and reading this little comments....not enough to really tell you anything but enough to really upset you!


He is just so good looking! I am a grown and married woman and I just LOVE Meredith and Derek. I've been watching for 4 years only to have him with Rose? I just can't believe it! I don't even like her character! After everything Meredith and Mcdreamy have been through (Addie showing up- Derek picking Addison, Ellis dying and flashbacks of a not-so-happy childhood, alcoholic father, step-mother dying, Meredith dying, Derek saving her, pursuing her etc)- they aren't going to be together? It's just ridiculous. I thought he was waiting? She's the love of his life. Come on...its just too much... Rose is just too plain.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

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)

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.