Months after Dr. Derek Sheperd met his unfortunate end during car crash on ABC’s ‘Grey Anatomy,’ actor Patrick Dempsey has opened up about the time he spent on the award-winning series and how it had taken a toll on his personal life.
In an interview with People magazine, Dempsey recalled how he exited from the show, sharing how he had considered saying goodbye to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ but stayed longer than he initially thought.
The 50-year-old actor explained that he had already wanted to get out of the show for some time but was forced to remain “a bit longer” than he had planned. He felt that his character, Dr. Sheperd, had already been included in the storyline long enough and that the right time has come to move forward to other projects.
Dempsey also admitted that he had grown tired of having to follow and work with others’ schedule.
"I'm very grateful for Grey's Anatomy," the Maine native explained. "It's given me the opportunity to do everything. But at the same time, there was a cost."
The busy schedule and full-time commitment to filming reportedly brought on a great challenge to the actor, obliging him to spend time away from wife Jillian and their three children, 14-year-old Talula and 8-year-old twin boys Darby and Sullivan.
Still, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ creator Shonda Rhimes had been accepting of his feelings enough to allow him to move on.
“I think after a certain period of time, no matter how much money you make, you want control out of your own schedule,” he said. “It was clear we [he and Rhimes] were both ready.”
Meanwhile, amidst Dempsey’s exit and former co-star Sara Ramirez’s departure, the longtime-running show moves towards a new direction.
ABC recently unveiled a number of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ season 13 photos, including images from the season premiere titled ‘Undo.’ The series seemingly picks off from where it ended last season- DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) remains in the hospital while Dr. Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) and the rest of the staff at Grey Sloane Memorial try their best to overcome personal and workplace obstacles.
Ellen Pompeo’s character, Dr. Meredith Grey, is depicted having a confrontation with Dr. Webber (James Pickens, Jr.) and Dr. Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary).
According to Rhimes, Dr. Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) and Dr. April Kepner (Sarah Drew) will be considering more than a few options in the next season. During the Season 12 finale, viewers watched April as she gave birth to Jackson's baby.
“[April and Jackson will explore] in a much lighter way, what it means to be uncoupled, to be divorced and to have a kid, and how you do that?” the series creator explained. “They’re going to really try to do this in a healthy way, and is that healthy way going to feel so healthy when they still have feelings for each other?”
Since he exited the show, Dempsey already landed a huge role in ‘Bridget Jones Baby,’ co-starring with the movie series’ stars Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth.
The ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ season 13 premiere is set at 8p.m. EDT on Sept. 22, Thursday.