Patrick Dempsey is officially 2023’s “Sexiest Man Alive,” according to People magazine — a divisive choice that has earned both praise and critique from fans of the annual good-looks competition.
The outlet crowned Dempsey, 57, with the esteemed honour late Tuesday. The Grey’s Anatomy “McDreamy” actor first revealed himself on a special segment of Jimmy Kimmel Live after a 20 questions-style guessing game.
Dempsey also sat down for an interview with Kimmel to discuss the coveted magazine cover spot. When he was asked why it took People so long to declare him Sexiest Man Alive, Dempsey said he didn’t know but was “grateful” anyway.
Kimmel echoed the opinion of many of Dempsey’s fans and joked that waiting until 2023, almost 20 years after Dempsey made hearts flutter as Dr. Derek Shepherd, was like “uncorking a bottle of fine wine.”
During his cover shoot for the magazine, Dempsey also played into the fact that he’s been waiting for the title and said he’s “finally” People magazine’s Sexiest Man. He quipped that he ought to be the last-ever Sexiest Man — or should at least hold the title for the next 10 years, given the delay in his highly anticipated win.
“I’m glad it’s happening at this point in my life,” Dempsey told People. “It’s nice to have the recognition, and certainly my ego takes a little bump, but it gives me the platform to use it for something positive.”
His cause of choice is The Dempsey Center, a foundation offering free-of-charge support and comprehensive care to cancer patients. Dempsey founded the centre in 2008 after his mother’s ovarian cancer diagnosis.
The husband and father of three said he was “shocked” to be told he was chosen for the 2023 title.
“I started laughing, like, ‘You’re kidding me. This is a joke, right?’” he teased. “I’ve always been the bridesmaid!”
Dempsey said he’s been a runner-up for Sexiest Man Alive 10 times. This year, he’s grabbing front and centre while other Hollywood hunks take a backseat, including Pedro Pascal, Timothée Chalamet, Usher, Jamie Foxx, Lenny Kravitz and Jason Kelce, who will also be featured in the issue.
As is usually the case with Sexiest Man Alive, Dempsey’s crowning has evoked a strong reaction from those both for and against the selection. Many of his longtime Grey’s Anatomy fans have said, like Dempsey, the honour is long overdue. Others felt it was too late.
Dempsey’s career has evolved since Grey’s Anatomy. The actor, who is a real-life racing fan, will play Italian driver Piero Taruffi in the upcoming and highly anticipated biopic Ferrari. The film, which is set to be released on Christmas Day, struck an interim agreement with SAG-AFTRA amid the actors’ strike.
Before Dempsey, a long line of entertainment hotties have been recognized as Sexiest Man Alive, beginning with then-29-year-old Mel Gibson in 1985. Last year, everyone’s favourite cable knit-wearing cutie Chris Evans took home the honour.
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