It’s been almost two decades since Patrick Dempsey graced the small screen as neurosurgeon Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd on ABC’s. Grey’s Anatomy (even a long time since he came to prominence as a beloved role in 1987 You Can’t Buy Me Love).
Her heartbreaking mood caused so much fanfare that she graced the magazine’s pages several times over the years. Now he takes the title of Sexiest Man Alive.
“I’m glad it’s happening at this time in my life,” the Maine native, 57, tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “It’s nice to be recognized, and of course it takes a little bit of my ego, but it gives me a platform to use it for something good.”
Close to his heart is the Dempsey Center, which he founded in honor of his late mother to support cancer patients and their loved ones.
Other ambitions include being married to wife Jillian, 57, a make-up artist and founder of her own clean beauty line, and their children Talula, 21, and 16-year-old twins Sullivan and Darby, and honing his singing. driving a race car.
So, what came to his mind when he first heard this news? “I was completely shocked, then I started laughing, as if this is a joke, right? I’ve always been a bridesmaid!” he said with a laugh.
“I completely forgot about it and I never thought about being in this position. So my ego is good.”
As for how her kids will respond, Dempsey insists they’ll “just make fun of me and pick on me and find all the reasons why I shouldn’t be,” she says. “Good thing, they kept me young.”
In December, he will show off his athletic skills in a biopic directed by Michael Mann Ferrari (who received a temporary contract from SAG-AFTRA amid the actors’ strike), playing Italian pilot Piero Taruffi. The film taught him a lesson in taking risks – but off the track.
“I’ve been following the movie for years, so I called Michael and said, ‘I want to talk about being a part of this,'” Dempsey said. you remember. “That taught me that if you really want something, you have to do it yourself.”
For more on 2023’s Sexiest Man Alive, pick up this week’s issue of Peoplein newsrooms on Friday.
Now this actor is learning that good things come to those who wait.
“I have big stickers, t-shirts, posters,” he joked about his new title. Does this mean you are superior? “I peaked many years ago,” he said with a laugh. “But I’m still here.”
Ferrari theater on Christmas Day. For more information about the Dempsey Center, visit dempseycenter.org.