Grey's Anatomy

Martin Henderson on playing Meredith’s new love interest on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Martin Henderson is thrilled to play Meredith’s new love interest Nathan Riggs on “Grey’s Anatomy” but he wants to make one thing clear to the show’s loyal fans – he’ll never be McDreamy.

“I would definitely not ever want to try to fill those shoes, I don’t think anyone ever could … that relationship is built up over 11 years, so I have a level of respect for that,” says Henderson.

“But it will be interesting because Meredith may or may not be ready to move on and I think it will be interesting to just be a part of that conversation for her character … and what that means for him.”

Henderson says he’s glad the show didn’t rush a new love interest for Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) as both she and the fans needed to heal from the death of McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey), whose character died in Season 11 after suffering fatal injuries in a car accident. 

“I think it’s kind of like that in real life when you have a loss, not even just a death but even when a big relationship ends you’re not ready and I think in a way the audience is on Meredith’s ride so they’re sort of experiencing that same sort of reluctance. But then maybe now it’s time to be loved and love again,” says Henderson.

But Meredith isn’t the only one suffering from a loss. Riggs was dating Owen Hunt’s sister Megan while working as doctors together in Jordan when she died in a helicopter crash after having a fight with Riggs. Since Riggs had cheated on her and part of the reason she insisted on going with her patient in bad weather was to get away from Riggs, Owen blames him for her death.

Henderson is interested in seeing what show creator Shonda Rhimes has in store for these characters next. 

“(Meredith and Riggs) are both coming from a place of loss and I think that’s going to be interesting how they meet over their mutual loss and whether that’s ultimately something that bonds them through empathy for one another as an experience or whether they’re too damaged.”

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He’s also looking forward to learning more about his character through a potential relationship with Meredith.

“Is he a good guy? A bad guy? We don’t know a lot about him and that’s fun because I think it keeps him mysterious. The audience is trying to figure it out. I would certainly love to know but I think the lens of their relationship is probably going to be the way we learn a little more about it,” says Henderson.

But whether these will actually get a chance to purse a romantic relationship remains to be seen now that Maggie confided to Meredith in the Season 12 finale she also has feelings for him.  

“It’s like choose your own ending right now,” says Henderson with a laugh. “You’ve got Meredith (and then) Maggie … that was a shocker.” 

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