Patrick Dempsey unleashes his inner swordsman


Patrick Dempsey realizes his fairy tale dream with “Disenchanted”.

The actor, forever known as McDreamy for his 11 seasons on ABC’s ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, lets out his inner hero even dreamier in the sequel to the 2007 Disney classic ‘Enchanted’ (airing Friday on Disney+) .

Her once-cynical New York divorce attorney, Robert Philip, wore smart suits in the original film. But in “Disenchanted,” Dempsey, 56, dons an Elizabethan leather jerkin, tweed cape and handmade leather boots, and packs a gold sword.

Even he was charmed by the first sight. “I have to say, on the final wardrobe fitting, when it all fell into place, it was like, ‘Oh, this is going to be fun!’ Dempsey says, “It was great to let loose and throw caution to the wind.”

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When animated fairy tale character Giselle (Amy Adams in her breakout role) got stuck in live-action New York in “Enchanted,” it was her stalwart fiancé Prince Edward (James Marsden), who lived high – attempting to kill a city bus with his sword and singing a song about true love’s kiss.

Even after Philip won the hand of the princess in the end, Dempsey couldn’t help but feel a little jealous.

“I’ve always watched James run around having a great time,” Dempsey says. “It’s really hard to be the straight man with all these larger than life characters.”

“Disenchanted” opens new doors when Giselle is frustrated that her suburban bliss isn’t working. She accidentally wishes real life became a fairy tale land, and even Philip, her traveling lawyer husband, is transformed.

Patrick Dempsey sings and dances heroically in Disney's live-action "Disillusioned."

Dempsey went full throttle, intoning lines like “Stop, wicked witch!” to emerging local villainess Malvina Monroe (Maya Rudolph), with sword drawn.

He checked with director Adam Shankman before uttering the words. “I was like, ‘Do we agree with this line? Is this going to work?’ And he’s like, ‘Don’t worry, there’s going to be so many special effects. We’ll be lucky to hear you.” But with a line like that, you really have to commit to it.”

It also engaged in heroic song-and-dance numbers, an energetic step up from the first film, which featured decidedly romantic waltz scenes. Dempsey joins Adams in a dynamic cooking number, “Fairytale Life (After The Spell)”.

“I was jumping into that territory,” says Dempsey, who used her COVID-19 lockdown to focus on her dance moves. “There was a lot of dead time for rehearsals.”

Dempsey even spun a vigorous song “No Time For a Hero” on tavern tables, Shankman says. While the scene had to be cut for story reasons, Shankman vows to release the song. “Patrick was so into the fairy tale life, singing and dancing,” Shankman said. “He dived like a champ.”

Dempsey was previously named a Disney Legend at September’s D23 fan expo, where he shocked fans with a new platinum blonde hairdo. The internet has gone crazy. Motorsports enthusiast Dempsey has dyed his hair to play Italian motor racing legend Piero Taruffi in director Michael Mann’s upcoming drama “Ferrari” (due in 2023).

“It was interesting to see how disruptive this color was to people,” Dempsey said. He drew attention to the film and the legend of the race well. “It was fun to get people talking about the great Piero Taruffi.”

Patrick Dempsey showed a fresh take on September's D23, along with his wife Jillian Dempsey.

The process of finding Taruffi’s exact shade was a lot less fun, which was “agonizing.” We would have been better off making a wig and matching the color,” says Dempsey, whose famous locks have recovered. “I dyed my hair back to its normal color. It’s actually a little less gray now. But it will pass. I already have gray roots.”

Dempsey is relaxed with the emerging Gray and “Grey’s Anatomy,” the show he left in 2015. He was surprised to see Ellen Pompeo star in a preview for the show’s next episode on Feb. 23, bidding farewell at Gray Sloan Memorial Hospital. Dempsey wishes his former on-screen love well as she scales back on her role.

“She’s had a really good long run on this show,” he says, dismissing any suggestion of his own returning for another guest star visit, as he did in a dream sequence. in 2020. (McDreamy was killed in a truck accident.) The filming of “Ferrari” fueled plans for a return to professional racing after his retirement in 2016. Dempsey vows to get back behind the wheel in 2023.

“The movie kind of got back to being behind the wheel again,” he says, adding that his wife of 23 years, Jillian, is fine. Their marriage has lasted and Dempsey isn’t worried about living happily ever after. “When you stop worrying about being happy forever, you’re much happier,” he says. “You don’t say it’s good or bad. You just deal with what’s presented and move on. Life is a lot easier to deal with.”

That doesn’t mean the budding screen swashbuckler doesn’t have new goals. “I’m hoping to be on a lunch box. I’ve never used one before. Nobody uses lunch boxes anymore. But that would still be cool.”


USA Today

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