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Patrick Dempsey is back in a devilish new role, as he goes from McDreamy to McSchemey

Five years after leaving Grey's Anatomy, the actor formerly known as McDreamy returns to our screens in a financial thriller, Devils. Here he talks about searching for Irish roots and filming during the pandemic


Patrick Dempsey

Patrick Dempsey

Patrick and Ellen Pompeo

Patrick and Ellen Pompeo


Patrick Dempsey

He is the heartthrob who has long been bestowed the alluring nickname of 'McDreamy' and now Patrick Dempsey's eager to discover whether the origins of his dashing good looks lie in Ireland.

The actor (55) who attained his nickname courtesy of his portrayal of Dr Derek Shepherd in Grey's Anatomy, and who went on to play a starring role in the latest Bridget Jones movie, is due to pay his first visit to Ireland shortly and is keen to dip into his heritage to discover if he has any Irish roots.

Speaking to Magazine+ at an event to promote his compelling new Sky drama Devils, Dempsey was in upbeat mood as he told us about his imminent trip to Ireland.

"I've never been to Ireland, but I'm hoping to be in your country pretty soon," he revealed.

"There is talk of us making the sequel to Enchanted and filming in Ireland and it would be great to visit your country for the first time and explore a little more of my connections.

"It's something I really want to dive into and getting an understanding of what my heritage is and what my background is. Hopefully I get a chance to do that if we can film in Ireland amid all the Covid restrictions."

Dempsey's latest big-budget show was filmed before the pandemic struck last year and he is hoping 2021 can be a boom year for film and television, even though he admits some facets of the art world may be stuck in neutral for a long time.

"Filming has been going on in some productions and they have proved that things can be done in a safe manner, but it is tough to film with many restrictions around the world," he continues.

"It feels like things are building up, especially where I am on the east coast of America. We will be making films and TV shows, but I fear we might have to wait a long time to get back into theatre productions with Covid.

"That is the real concern for the art world moving forward. How can we make it safe to go to theatres again?

"When we do get back to something like normal, the appetite for entertainment and content will be bigger than ever before. We are all desperate to get back to doing what we want to do in our lives. We are locked up, we need entertainment.

"We need sporting events, we need distractions from the world and also entertainment that makes our lives a little easier in these challenging times. Anything we can do to heal the world has to be helpful.

"We have seen in the last year how important it is for us all to come together and we need to try and do that. It remains to be seen if that can happen, but that's the challenge for humanity and society now."

Dempsey admits he has been shocked by speed of change around the world in the last year, with his concerns for what comes next evident in these comments.

"There is no doubt that we are living through very strange times. There's so much distrust in the world, and democracies are really fragile," he says.

"I also think disinformation on social media has gone out of control. There have to be checks and balances. We're seeing in the States how dangerous and how challenging that can be.


Patrick Dempsey as Dominic Morgan and Alessandro Borghi as Massimo Ruggero in Devils.

Patrick Dempsey as Dominic Morgan and Alessandro Borghi as Massimo Ruggero in Devils.

Patrick Dempsey as Dominic Morgan and Alessandro Borghi as Massimo Ruggero in Devils.

"I didn't realise how fragile democracy was until the US election. And look at what's going on in England, the division that's happening with Brexit.

"I definitely think we're in a period of agitation. We're looking at really scary environmental issues and if we don't take care of that, that's going to mean mass migration, which will put a lot of pressure on certain countries who are already seeing that.

"Because of the financial devastation of Covid-19, we're seeing a lot of people are going hungry. So a lot is in front of us and it's going to be hard."

Sky look certain to have a huge hit on their hands as Devils is hitting our screens at a time when sparkling new drama is hard to come by due to the Covid shutdown, with this glossy production delving into the murky world of stock market traders.

Based on Guido Maria Brera's bestselling novel of the same name, Devils is the story of high stakes success and failure, with scandal always just around the corner.

Dempsey plays the charismatic Dominic Morgan, whose withdraw of support for rising stockbroker star Massimo Ruggeri (played by Alessandro Borghi) leads to huge ramifications in a production filmed in both Rome and London.

"It was fascinating to film this in Italy and England because you could really see the difference in mentality in the two countries," he adds.

"Everyone needed to be sensitive to how each country worked and that was one of the wonderful things that came out of this project for me.

"One day we would be shooting scenes in Rome and then we would be on a plane and the next day we would be shooting in London.

"It took a lot to adapt to that, the changes in the dynamics in the two cities. We also met a lot of bankers and they were all very charming, very well-dressed, well-educated.

"There was great diversity from around the world, of course, because they need to understand and represent the country's clients.

"It's easy to do this broad generalisation that all bankers are bad. I don't think that's true. I think it depends on the culture of whatever that company is, which certainly comes from leadership.

"A lot of people in their 40s and 50s achieve success and reach their goals then they go into a different profession. It's a very lucrative lifestyle but I think it comes at a cost to them personally. You can't stay in it for long because of the pressure."

⬤ Devils airs on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV on February 17.

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