Grey's Dr McDreamy's life in fast lane

Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:28am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

HOCKENHEIM Germany (Reuters) - Patrick Dempsey, known to many millions worldwide as "Dr McDreamy" from U.S. network series Grey's Anatomy, is learning new lines.

But what he means by that depends on who he is talking to, and where.

The 48-year-old, ranked fifth on the list of highest paid actors on U.S. television last year with estimated earnings of $13 million, is preparing for an 11th season as Dr Derek Shepherd in the popular ABC network medical drama.

The first "table-read" of the script starts on the 22nd, next Tuesday, but first he has other lines to figure out - racing lines - and his own dreams to realize.

This weekend, the fictional white-coated surgeon from Seattle is getting up to speed around Germany's Hockenheim circuit where he competes in the Porsche Supercup series against professional drivers.

Motor racing, as he told Reuters in the German Grand Prix support paddock, is not just a hobby. It has become as much a part of who he is as acting.

"It’s all consuming in many ways," he said. "I couldn’t imagine not racing right now. It really keeps me motivated. It’s all I think about on a daily basis.

"I just truly love it. I love the sport, I love the people around the sport, I love the technical aspect of it, I love the mental exercise of it and the constant learning of how to perfect the setup of the car."   Continued...

U.S. actor Patrick Dempsey gestures during a parade on the eve of the 82th 24-hours Le Mans endurance race in Le Mans, June 13, 2014. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe