McSteamy Eric Dane Reveals “Grey’s Anatomy” Secrets


By Fred Topel Only minor spoilers follow, because they’re still vague.

Grey’s Anatomy’s Eric Dane was doing some press for his latest movie role. He plays an investor trying to buy the club from Cher in Burlesque. When the topic turned to his TV role as Dr. Mark Sloan, aka McSteamy, he offered a few hints about what’s going to happen this season on the show.

“It’s a lot more of the same, but that’s all been pretty interesting up until now,” Dane said. “I’m still rekindling the relationship and I think we’re going to stick with that one for a while and some interesting stuff develops with a friend.”

That’s pretty good. It sounds like Dane will still be challenged by new storylines.

“It is challenging me for a number of reasons.  It’s challenging to still sort of keep this stuff fresh.  When you make a film you have two hours, three acts, beginning, middle, and end.  You get a character which is hopefully well crafted and hopefully you can take that journey with the character and the actor gets to actually have something to do.  Grey’s Anatomy is for me there are 24 episodes so essentially if you were to break it down into this long movie it would be a 24-hour movie with sometimes the character are just kind of linear toward flat line.”

That means all the things Dane just anticipated for McSteamy will take many, many weeks and months to explore. “A lot of it is exposition, a lot of it is very technical, a lot of it is hitting your marks, saying the lines and servicing other story lines.  So it’s challenging to keep it fresh but we do have fantastic writers and they do keep the story lines pretty interesting, pretty even across the board for everyone. I think towards the end of the season my character’s going to have some really interesting stuff to do.”

That should be enough to entice the Grey’s fans and keep Dane safe with the network brass. “I would love to just say everything, but I don’t even know.  These guys kind of get nuts about people divulging things about the story line so I’ll leave it at that.”

Burlesque was a movie Dane filmed while he was working on Grey’s. “First of all it was a film that I could do because it worked out with my schedule, but that wasn’t the only criteria.  I loved the idea of working with Cher.  I loved the idea of working with, although I didn’t work with Stanley Tucci, I just think its cool being in a movie with Stanley Tucci.  The script was good.  The idea was good.  I didn’t have to sing or dance.”

That might actually disappoint Dane’s fans. Wouldn’t you want to see McSteamy cut a rug? “You’re going to have to develop a sense of humor after you’ve seen me dance. Honestly I just thought it was a pretty rudimentary set of sort of prerequisites for me and this was something that I can do.  I thought it was going to make a great film just based on the concept of the age-old story of a small town girl who leaves everything behind to go pursue her dream.”

Also, the combination of Cher, Christina Aguilera, Tucci, the studio Screen Gems and the timeless story seemed like a safe career bet. “I’ve been pretty fortunate in that marina and the films that I’ve done, not because of me, but they’ve all done really well. I just figure if I keep surrounding myself with people who are much better than me I’ll do okay.”

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC. Burlesque opens Nov. 24 in theaters.

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