Patrick Dempsey was a huge part of Grey’s Anatomy for over a decade, starring in 252 episodes as Dr. Derek Shepherd. Dempsey’s time on the hit medical drama came to an end, however, in Season 11 when his character was shockingly killed off in a dramatic car crash. Fast forward two years later and Dempsey has finally broken his silence about why he walked away from the show — and it wasn’t because he was fired.
Dempsey was a part of Grey’s Anatomy for 10 solid years. While fans theorized that Shonda Rhimes gave him the boot, Dempsey claims that he quit the series because he got bored with his character.
Patrick Dempsey is opening up about why he left “Grey’s Anatomy” after 10 yearshttps://t.co/3BCYiZm99L
— ET Canada (@ETCanada) September 7, 2018
The actor explained how it is difficult staying intrigued with a show after 10 years and that he needed a new challenge.
“So for me, it was time to go… it’s nice to move on and have new challenges,” he shared.
Shonda Rhimes has also spoken out about Dempsey’s departure and the challenges they faced writing off his character. The Grey’s Anatomy creator explained how they didn’t want Derek to simply leave Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and start a new life because that would nullify their romance. The only thing left was to kill off Derek, which would ultimately keep their love intact and end their story truthfully.
— NOW TV (@NOWTV) September 4, 2018
Even though Derek clearly died at the end of Season 11, a lot of fans are holding out hope that he returns to Grey Sloan Memorial in the near future. For Dempsey, the idea of Derek coming back is silly, but it does show how much he is still adored by the show’s fanbase.
Patrick Dempsey also hopes that fans will support his new career choices, including his part in Bridget Jones’s Baby and his new show, The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair.
Season 15 of Grey’s Anatomy will premiere on September 27, 2018.