Patrick Dempsey’s “Grey’s Anatomy” character, Dr. Derek Shepherd, might have flatlined during episode 21’s emotional installment, but fans of the handsome actor need not fear his acting career will do the same. According to reports, the 49-year-old star, who stole our hearts as McDreamy, will appear in a holiday movie called “Mission: S.O.P.”
The dramedy directed by Gabriel Schmidt, which is to be released in December 2016, is the story of a 10-year-old girl who plans a mission to save her family by Christmas Day, according to the synopsis. Dempsey will star as Hunter Baker, the father of young Paula (Priscilla Schmidt). Carlotta Montanari and retired professional basketball player Dennis Rodman are also in the cast.
“Mission: S.O.P” is Dempsey’s first known acting gig since his character was killed off in the Shonda Rhimes medical drama, a TV series where he starred for 10 years as the lead.
“I’m still processing it,” he explained to Entertainment Weekly of how he was handling Derek’s death. “It was like any other day -- just another work day. There was still too much going on. You’re in the midst of it, not really processing it.”
Meredith’s (Ellen Pompeo) husband was killed off from the long-running ABC series in a violent car crash, which ironically occurred after Derek had saved four victims from a previous automobile accident. Derek was rushed to the hospital but doctors were unable to save his life due to overlooking his head injuries. Ultimately he was pronounced brain-dead and taken off of life support.
“It just sort of evolved. It’s just kind of happened,” Dempsey continued of how his character’s death came about, despite his signing a two-year contract with "Grey's Anatomy" in 2014. “It really was something that was kind of surprising that unfolded, and it just naturally came to be. Which was pretty good. I like the way it has all played out.”
Dempsey, who learned that he would be written out of the drama in “February or March,” revealed that his character’s concluding story line came about “very quickly.” “It sort of just unfolded in a very organic way,” he said, adding that he wasn’t surprised that “How to Save a Life” would be his last episode. “It was just a natural progression with the way the story was unfolding. I was like, ‘Okay!’ This was obviously the right time.”
Does Dempsey have any comfort to offer fans who are in mourning for Derek? “Shepherd is a beloved character. People don’t want to lose him. He’s been in their lives for over 10 years. But it goes on, and it will evolve,” he promised. And hopefully Dempsey's acting career will evolve, too.
Were you surprised that Patrick Dempsey’s character Derek Shepherd was killed off in the Season 11 installment of “Grey’s Anatomy”? Sound off in the comments section below and don’t forget to tune in to the hit ABC series on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. EDT.