Patrick Dempsey

  1. Steven Weber, Jeffrey, 1995.    Few actors were even interested in trying for the lead of the Paul Rudnik comedy – a gay man giving up sex to avoid AIDS.
  2. Hugh Laurie, House MD,TV, 2004-2012.    Ignorance is bliss… The pilot’s director Bryan Singer thought Laurie was American and Laurie (testing on a tape made in his Namiba hotel bathroom while rebooting Flight of the Phoenix) figured the anti-social Dr House was a support role! 
  3. Jesse Spencer, House MD, TV, 2004-2012.   Patrick also tested for Dr Chase – and won Dr Shepherd on Grey’s Anatomy, 2005-2013.
  4. Paul Bettany, A Beautiful Mind,  2001.   Tested for the alter ego of the schizophrenic Noble Prize Winning mathematician John Forbes Nash – “I’m quite well balanced, I have a chip on both shoulders.”  Dempsey’s test was among 54 such tapes banned from auction in Beverly Hills by the actors’ union in April 2013 (Including those of Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly who won the roles of the Nashes).  “Auditions are not public performances… performers are entitled to expect them to remain private,” said the SAG-AFTRA.  
  5. Josh Lucas, A Beautiful Mind, 2000.     Before their TV fame, it was Dempsey v Lucas for the role of Martin Hensen. Dempsey became a TV favourite  as Dr McDreamy in Grey’s Anatomy, 2005-2013,  as did  Lucas as McDeere in The Firm,  2012. 
  6. Bruce Greenwood, Star Trek, 2008.     Seen by auteur JJ Abrams for Captain Christopher Pike in the TV reboot.
  7. Eric Dane, Burlesque, 2009.    Dr McDredamy of Grey’s Anatomy, TV, 2005-2010, lost Marcus to his series rival, Dr McStetamy. Alsoconsidered for by New York writer-director Steve Antin: Casey Affleck, Jamie Foxx, Sam Worthington.
  8. Josh Lucas, A Brilliant Mind, 2001 For  Ron Howard’s (six) Oscar-winning ffilm – written up as “pedestrian’ and “riveting”  – Dempsey and Lucas jousted  for the role of Martin Hensen.  Lucas won.
  9. Benedict Cumberbatch, Doctor Strange, 2015.  Discussed, planned, written, re-spun since 1986, always dropped despite scripts from Alex Cox, Wes Craven, Bob Gale, etc, until chosen as the portal into the supernatural side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.Mads Mikkelsen  was first choice. But that was in in 2013…Among those later flown up the flagpole were  TV doctor Dempsey, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jon Hamm, Tom Hardy, Ethan Hawke, Jack Huston, Oscar Isaac, Matthew McConaughey, Ewan McGregor, Vincent Price (in 1986!), Keanu Reeves (listed but never approached – how wise!), Justin Theroux. Oh and two Jokers: 2015’s Jared Leto and 2018’s Joachin Phoenix.  Finally, production wisely waited until after Cumberbatch’s  Hamlet stage triumph in London. If Iron Man is Mick Jagger, Strange is Jim Morrison…  and could be head of the MCU when Robert Downey pawned his ironmongery.



 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  9