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.


Don't give up on Mer/Der yet! We have got to hang in there until we see there is no need to hang on any longer, you know? I think Shonda is really pushing our buttons this time, I really didn't think she would have Derek KISS her! Meredith will be furious over this and like I said before, maybe that is what she needs to move her along. I just don't understand why Shonda is having Derek move forward so fast, you know? Because we all know he loves Meredith and doesn't want to get involved with anyone else so.. WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE SHONDA??
Maybe its all a dream Derek is having and nothing really happens with him and Rose...that sounds good , don't you think? I 'm grapsing at anything at this point!
I so hope Shonda doesn't end our love story with Mer/Der.....If she does, GA will never be the same, or not for me anyway!


hey well hafsa you know how you said she will not die with out him,ya dont know baceause if he didnt save her when she was drowning then she would of died......


so derek will kiss rose? why am i so upset even though i knew there was a possibility something like that will happen?
To me derek kissing rose will destroy the magic that is merder. Shonda will have to do a hell of a job to try and bring that special something back, if at all they will end up together.
You will not believe how upset i am right now. I cant believe i am saying this but, i dont think derek is worth the pain anymore. Mer should just move on and start afresh, its not like she will die or anything without him.


OMG!! I will read aything with Patrick Dempsey!


ok, yu kow how positive I have tried to stay about Mer/Der..but Gloria - you may be right! I didn't want to think Derek would get involved with Rose!!!!!!!! Here are some spoilers from Kristen I read today. (maybe its all a dream)..still trying to be optimistic where Mer/Der are concerned! I need some support here guys!! Surely, Shonda would not do the unthinkable???? Someone asked if Rose would be keeping their paws off of Patrick Dempsey and she replies: Hey now! I'm not saying I like Rose and McDreamy together (jury's still out, if you ask me), but I have to tell you that Lauren Stamile, who plays Thorny, is quite a lovely personâ€"inside and outâ€"so let's not go crazy with the hate, 'kay? That said, you'll have plenty of reason to put a fist through your TV in the next couple of episodes if you are not a fan of the McThorny pairing, 'cause, well, there's a little lip-on-lip action on the way! Yep, you heard me. McDreamy is puckering up to Miss Prickly. Good thing or bad? Comment below! Harrison in Rhode Island: The last episode of Grey's was fantastic! So many lives hanging in the balance. Any word on who'll survive? I know Nurse Rose "saves the day" when it comes to McDreamy's computer-gremlin-riddled surgery, so I'd bet good money on that patient surviving...and on the experience making Derek swoon.


I had already read the article and I thought it was great! Always nice to get updates on Patrick and his life and how he feels about things especially GA. He also looks so good in all of his pictures in the magazine! He is definately a very handsome man. Gosh, his wife is one lucky woman!


Great article. And as an editor, I was especially pleased to see that he used the correct verbiage "compared with" versus "compared to" - the verbiage that many people use incorrectly.


I've read the whole article...
He looks hot (as always) in the pics!!


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)

Burke was- He took something from me. He took little pieces of me, little pieces over time, so small I didn't even notice, you know? He wanted me to be something I wasn't, and I made myself into what he wanted. One day I was me Cristina Yang, and then suddenly I was lying for him, and jeopardizing my career, and agreeing to be married and wearing a ring, and being a bride. Until I was standing there in a wedding dress with no eyebrows, and I wasn't Cristina Yang anymore. And even then, I would've married him. I would have. I lost myself for a long time. And now that I'm finally me again, I can't. I love you. I love you more than I loved Burke. I love you. And that scares the crap out of me because when you asked me to ignore Teddy's page, you took a piece of me, and I let you. And that will never happen again.