Eric Dane joined the cast this season as Dr. Mark Sloane, the cocky plastic surgeon dubbed "McSteamy." He was Derek's best friend until getting caught in bed with Addison. Since joining Seattle Grace's staff, Mark's also had a tryst with Dr. Torres and has tried to seduce Meredith.
Eric says since becoming such a ladies' man on television, his wife, actress Rebecca Gayheart, loves to make fun of him. "I never thought of myself that way," he says. "When I get out of the shower, she's constantly wondering where the guy was that she saw on TV."
Although millions of people watch him on television every week, Eric doesn't count himself among them. "For me, the experience to have is actually making it," he says. "And, you know, you start watching it and then eventually you're going to start looking at things you don't need to be looking at."
Justin Chambers plays surgical intern Dr. Alex Karev, another character who's had quite a few ladies but continues to pine for Dr. Stevens.
In real life, Justin has been married for 12 years and has five kids, ages 5–12. "Having five kids, it's really nice to have a job, a successful show," he says.
Justin says he's amazed at how fans have embraced the show. "It's awesome, you know? I mean, when we shot the show we had no idea of an air date or how it would turn out," Justin says. "It's nice walking down the street and see[ing] people smile—and they really watch week to week and they really enjoy the show."
Reports of an on-set scuffle between Isaiah Washington and Patrick Dempsey made headlines across the country. So what really happened?
"I lost my cool but it wasn't coming out of a place of animus for Patrick or T.R. or anyone. It was coming out of a place of trying to stay focused about the work," Isaiah says. "I've been working with these beautiful men for three years now and we had an argument as brothers. It came about at a time and a place that was overwhelming for both of us."
Despite what reports said, Isaiah says the argument was just that. "What it was not, was a brawl," he says. Isaiah says his reaction was below his personal standards and has apologized to the cast and crew.
When the argument broke out, James called a meeting to clear the air, as any good chief would. "We're a family. ... With families you have a beef. It was a beef, no more, no less," James says. "We got a chance to go ahead and air some stuff. It was done, and we went back to work."
Patrick says he thinks a lot of good came out of the argument. "I think what happens is we needed to just be open and be able to communicate and not let things build up," Patrick says. "I think we've come to that point where it's much freer to communicate with each other, and we're more relaxed because of it. I think the whole company's tighter."
Shonda Rhimes, the creative genius behind Grey's Anatomy, says she has the future of the show already mapped out in her mind.
"I do spend a lot of time thinking about where it's going and where I would like it to end up," Shonda says. "At the time when I really thought I knew how it was going to end, I think we thought we were going to be on for a lot less episodes. It's been great to sort of have success, but I have to stretch out where I think it's going to end."
With a staff of 10 writers, Shonda has plenty of help keeping things going, and the actors themselves sometimes incorporate their own ideas into the script.
Scripts are kept tightly under wraps, but Oprah can't keep herself from asking about rumors of a wedding. "Hmm," Shonda says. "Weddings are nice."
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