When Martin Henderson joined the cast of “Grey’s Anatomy” as Nathan Riggs, several fans pointed out that the Seattle newcomer had an eerie resemblance to the recently deceased Derek Shepard. From the voluminous brown hair to the light blue eyes, it seemed as though Shonda Rhimes, creator of the hit ABC drama, had replaced McDreamy with another chiseled hunk for Meredith.
But after Derek’s (Patrick Dempsey) tragic, Season 11 death, Henderson said it was “too early to even entertain [the] idea” of Meredith (Ellen Pomepo) shacking up with her dead husband’s lookalike. “There’s definitely a possibility,” he told Entertainment Weekly in November 2015, “but it’s way too early to tell.”
However, in Season 12, episode 23 of “Grey’s Anatomy,” Henderson’s prediction of the sexy surgeons locking lips came true when Riggs and Meredith wrestled their way into the back of a car for a steamy hookup.
But despite their undeniable chemistry, Pompeo dished to TVLine that in no way will Derek’s doppelgänger ever replace the resident who stole her character’s heart in the show’s pilot episode.
“There will only be one McDreamy ever,” she said. “You know, he’s not replaceable.”
In fact, Pompeo went to say that regardless of how sexy her new — and future — suitors may be, she believes that Derek will always be Meredith’s “one great love” — a theme Rhimes toyed with in the Season 12 finale. “Sure, you may have other relationships, and you may even marry again, but everybody has that one great love,” the actress dished, confirming that McDreamy would always be her character’s one and only.
“Grey’s Anatomy” was renewed for a Season 13 by ABC in March.