Here are some highlights from his "exit interview" from Seattle Grace.
"Things happened very quickly. We were like, 'Oh, this is where it's going to go,'" Dempsey said "with a blank stare." The decision took place sometime in the last couple months: "It just sort of unfolded in a very organic way. ... It happened very quickly."
He wasn't surprised to find out his character was dying.
"There wasn't a lot of discussion" about Derek's demise, saying he was "not really" surprised by it. "It was just a natural progression (for the show)," he continued. "And the way everything was unfolding in a very organic way, it was like, okay! This was obviously the right time."
He choked up discussing his on-screen relationship with Meredith.
What made his relationship on screen with Ellen Pompeo so compelling was "beautiful chemistry," he said in a whisper. His eyes filled with tears as he said, "It's magic. We're like a married couple. It's 10 years, and it was magic from the beginning."
He's not sure he'd take on another Grey's.
"I would commit to a show that is 10 to 12 episodes, but 24 again," he said. "I don't know if I would do that [again]. It's a very hard life. It's financially rewarding, but there comes a point where, how much is enough, really?"
His focus is on his family now.
Though he recently divorced his real-life wife of 15 years, Dempsey says he wants to spend a lot more time with his kids now: "What I would like to do is focus on not being spread so thin. Those days are over." Shooting for a show like Grey's is "10 months, 15 hours a day," he said, and that means a lot less family time. "You never know your schedule, so your kid asks you, 'What are you doing on Monday?' and you go, 'I don't know,' because I don't know my schedule. Doing that for 11 years is challenging," he admitted.
Read the whole interview here.
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