Rob Lowe Says Turning Down Playing McDreamy On ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Cost Him $70 Million
Rob Lowe revealed that he almost played McDreamy on Grey’s Anatomy – but he turned it down.
— E! News (@enews) March 27, 2019
When asked if he ever turned an acting project, the Park and Recreation star told listeners how he turned down the role of McDreamy on Grey’s Anatomy.
“Dude, I turned down Grey’s Anatomy. To play McDreamy. That’s probably cost me $70 million,” he told listeners of WTF with Marc Maron. “Eh, it’s just money.”
At the time, Lowe was choosing between doing Grey’s Anatomy or a show called Dr. Vegas, which lasted five episodes on CBS. Lowe had almost signed onto Dr. Vegas when he got the call for Greys.
“After a week of negotiating, my deal was done, although not yet signed. It was then that I got an urgent call from the producers of a potential new show for ABC called Grey’s Anatomy,” wrote Lowe in his memoir. “I agreed to meet with the people making Grey’s Anatomy. I had read it and loved it — the writing was crisp, real and very entertaining — and it’s always been a good idea to hear out talented people.”
Lowe was torn between the two roles, but ultimately chose Vegas due to CBS’s track record.
“Grey‘s was a much better script; in fact, there was no comparison,” he continued. “Year after year after year, all of ABC’s new dramas flopped. CBS was on a hot streak that continues to this day. Although Grey’s was a much better script, I chose Dr. Vegas. The odds were just too stacked.”
McDreamy was played by Patrick Dempsey until 2015, when his character was killed off in a tragic car accident. Grey’s Anatomy is still running, and now is the longest-running medical drama on television.
While Lowe ultimately turned down that role, he found success in other shows like Brothers & Sisters and Parks and Recreation.
Lowe has no regrets about his decision and realized it wasn’t for him when he eventually watched the show.
“At the end of the day it was like, I watched it when it came out. And when they started calling the handsome doctor ‘McDreamy,’ I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s not for me.'”