Meredith and Nathan

Grey's Anatomy's Martin Henderson on Those McDreamy Comparisons and 'Possible' Romance With Meredith

New Grey’s Anatomy doc Martin Henderson wants to make one thing crystal clear to the show’s fans: His character, Nathan Riggs, is not — and will never be — McDreamy.

“What Patrick Dempsey did on the show, and what his character represented, is something that can never be replaced,” the actor tells TVLine. “The idea of me replacing McDreamy — or being the new McDreamy — is unrealistic, and not something that I would want to do as an actor. I’m my own person and my own actor and what I do is my thing. And what Patrick does is his thing; and he did it brilliantly.

“It would be disrespectful to the audience to suggest that my character would be a replacement,” he adds. “I see myself more as an addition to an existing show.”

That said, Henderson was hardly surprised by the “McDreamy” chatter given that his casting was announced just six weeks after Derek drew his last breath. “Because of the timing of [my arrival], it was inevitable that people were going to make those comparisons,” he admits. “It would be naive of me to assume that there wouldn’t be that designation from the audience.”

The McDreamy 2.0 buzz will likely intensify if series creator Shonda Rhimes pairs Henderson’s presumably single MD with Derek’s widow Meredith, as many have speculated. “Obviously it’s a possibility,” he concedes of a potential Nathan-Mer love story, before noting that, this being Grey’s Anatomy, “It’s just as viable that I end up with anyone on the show.

“At the end of the day, my job is to serve the audience, and I do that by serving Shonda,” Henderson continues. “If [a Nathan-Meredith romance] happens, I know there would be some strong feelings, positive and negative.”

What does he say to viewers (this one included) who glimpsed some subtle sparks flying during Meredith and Nathan’s brief elevator ride in last week’s episode? “It’s certainly fun working with Ellen [Pompeo], maybe you picked up on that,” Henderson responds with a laugh. “It’s interesting. I didn’t know how Ellen was going to play the [elevator] scene until we did the coverage, and I was like, ‘Wow — is she flirting with me? Or is she just screwing with me?’ And that’s the kind of stuff that Shonda really likes to write to. And if she feels there’s something to be mined there she will. And if there’s not then she won’t.”

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17 Comments
  1. KM says:

    I will be happy if Meredith ends up with him, i dont want her to be alone forever, you can´t have just 1 true love, life does not always work like that

  2. grey grey grey says:

    How Ellen Pompeo has not won an Emmy or let alone been nominated for one is beyond me.

  3. Al says:

    I think his character is great addition to the show!

    Greys is better when bringing in more mature doctors (Herman, Maggie, Riggs). Ditch bringing in interns (though the new ones aren’t as bad as the last ones)

  4. Mandy says:

    I like him (actor and character so far). I’m interested in his story no matter who he ends up paired with.

  5. Sara says:

    Ellen is amazing, and I am sure is a blast to work with her. Even her tweets and posts on her Instagram are always so fun, imagine being on set with her hehe.
    I shipped MerDer but I hate to think about Meredith alone forever. Plus this is Grey’s Anatomy.. the talk will always be more about the romance.

  6. EM says:

    I like him and I think he’ll be good for the show. Must be a little rough being the new guy on a show that’s been on for so long and having fans judge you against another actor before you even show up. I think they will tread lightly regarding Meredith’s love interest whoever that ends up being.

  7. Liz says:

    Well, I want to see Mer in love again… Though it’ll always be MerDer, just like it will always be Owen/Cristina, but if that’s not possible, I hope it will be him. I saw the sparks fly, and he IS gorgeous… but a blue eyed brown haired man… Mer has a type! ;)

  8. Lorna says:

    I like him. First addition to the cast I’ve liked in ages, minus Jo and Baileys hubby.

  9. tahina says:

    There’s definitely chemistry between those two. So no surprise if they pair Mer and hot, with a funny accent guy, Riggs. Meriggs?

  10. Priyam says:

    Its so cool to see majority of the comments on Mer open to dating again! Love that Grey’s fans have an open mind!! Even if she dates Nathan or someone else. Now only if Cristina got back…

  11. Huh says:

    I don’t care if the new guy is the best person ever. I don’t want Mer to get sidetracked again. She made great strides so far and I hate for that to be for naught.

  12. Giuseppe says:

    I’m the biggest Mer/Der fan but I have to say I see lots of chemistry between these two. I’m on board!

  13. Leah says:

    No one deserve to be alone for the rest of her life. I want to see my girl Mer happy again in time.

  14. Whatevah says:

    Even if they are the next “Big Love Story” It won’t last.

  15. Alyse says:

    First I absolutely love Meredith and Derek, they are not only my fav Greys couple, but one of my all time favorite tv couples. That said, I definitely see the chemistry between her and Riggs. I would like for him to be her love interest and for them to end up together, Mer deserves to be happy and find love again.

  16. Rachel says:

    I loved Mer and Derek but he is off the show and Mer is allowed to move on and she clearly has chemistry with this new doctor and he is brought around the edges which Mer needs.