Rob Lowe Says Patrick Dempsey Was More 'Interesting' in 'Grey's Anatomy' Than He Would've Been

Rob Lowe and Patrick Dempsey
Paul Archuleta/Getty Images / Randy Holmes/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Lowe turned down the role of Dr. Derek Shepherd, which ended up going to Dempsey.

Rob Lowe doesn't regret turning down the role of Dr. Derek Shepherd. In an interview with Variety, the 56-year-old actor reveals why he thinks Patrick Dempsey was better suited for the Grey's Anatomy role.

Dempsey, who recently reprised his Grey's role, starred on the medical drama from 2005 to 2015, after Lowe passed on the part in favor of one on the short-lived Dr. Vegas.

"Me in that part isn’t as interesting as Patrick in that part. If it’d been me [the fans] wouldn’t have called me 'McDreamy,' they would have called me Rob Lowe," Lowe quips of the character's fan-favorite nickname.

On top of thinking Dempsey was better suited for the part, Lowe is thankful he passed on the successful series because of the eventual trajectory of his career.

"Had I done Grey’s, I wouldn’t have been in Parks and Recreation," he says of the sitcom on which he starred as Chris Traeger from 2010 to 2015. "That alone for me is enough."

"This is what longevity, experience and recovery give you. There are no accidents," Lowe, who is sober, adds. "Whatever decision you come to, if you come to it from the right place, it’s never wrong."

Lowe spoke about passing on the Grey's role back during a 2019 appearance on WTF With Marc Maron. At the time, the 9-1-1: Lone Star actor joked that doing so "probably cost me $70 million," and added that he realized the part was "not for me" after watching an episode.

Watch the video below to see ET's latest interview with Lowe.