Patrick Dempsey has shared his thoughts on the future of Grey's Anatomy! Dempsey reprised his character "Derek Shepherd" in the recent season premiere of the hit ABC show, and in an exclusive interview for People, he talked about how long he sees the show lasting— as well as the emotional impact of his return!
Dempsey shares real-life doctors have been inspired by Grey's
Grey's Anatomy has been on the air since 2005, and one of its stars— Ellen Pompeo, who plays "Meredith Grey"— recently said that the medical drama's current run of episodes could be its last! When it comes to Dempsey's thoughts on the matter, however, the actor doesn't see the end in sight quite yet. "I think it will reveal itself in its own time in the right way," he told People. "I think that's been the remarkable thing about Grey's Anatomy."
Dempsey also acknowledged that the show has coincided with a medical career path for some viewers! "No. 1, so many doctors now have hit their 17th year," he said. "So many people have gone through their education and now are coming out the other side who are doctors, so that's one of the greatest legacies I think with the show is there are so many young doctors now in the world that were inspired by the show."
Grey's Anatomy won't end "anytime soon," says Dempsey
Grey's Anatomy has been tackling COVID-19 head-on this season, with many of the show's current storylines showing the impact the pandemic has on the doctors and patients of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. In the winter finale, "Meredith"— who tested positive for coronavirus early on in season 17— found herself risking her own life to save another patient, her health rapidly declining by the episode's end.
"And to me, I'm very proud of that," Dempsey went on to say of the show's response to current events. "And I think for us getting together and honouring all the frontline responders and doctors and nurses I think is a good thing. I think it's going to end at the right time. We'll see when that is. But it doesn't seem like it's going to happen anytime soon, that's for sure."
Dempsey talks "Meredith" and "Derek's" relationship
Grey's Anatomy fans will be excited to know that they can also expect Dempsey's character "Derek" to be featured in the last half of the season! The show brought "Meredith's" deceased husband back as part of her coronavirus-induced hallucinations, and Dempsey opened up about why fans were so excited to see the couple share the screen once more.
"I think there's something so beloved in that relationship and so special," he said of the romance between "Meredith" and "Derek". "It's nice for both of us to be able to go back and give the fans something that they were asking for in a way that was positive messaging for the whole world I think in healing."
"And that's a great way to be able to use our platform and visibility of these characters in a way that's positive, so I'm very psyched about that," Dempsey continued, sharing that even the cast got emotional. "We were so moved by it, all of us coming together, and I think you can see that through the response to the show — and there's more coming in the next few months."