"Sometimes I think, God, would Derek Shepard do this?" the actor tells Redbook

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated May 10, 2007 05:45 PM

Patrick Dempsey’s Grey’s Anatomy character, Derek “Dr. McDreamy” Shepherd, makes the all the ladies swoon – but for Dempsey, he’s only concerned about one: Jillian, his wife of eight years.

“I hope I still make her swoon!” the actor, 41, tells Redbook in its June issue. “Sometimes I think, God, would Derek Shepard do this? because I am certainly not a perfect male at this moment. Just trying to provide and communicate and let her know how beautiful and important she is to me – I think those things make her swoon.”

And what about her makes him swoon? “I think thoughtfulness always gets someone,” says Dempsey, who stars in the new romantic comedy Made of Honor.

“Like, ‘Oh, wow, that’s pretty special that you remembered that.’ She’s unbelievably patient and supportive and smart. I listen to her. I listen to her instincts. She makes me a much better person just by association. To have her love me gives me strength and hope and has allowed me to grow into this whole thing.”

He and Jillian, a former cosmetics entrepreneur who now works as the global colorist for Avon, have three kids: daughter Talula, 5, and twin sons Darby and Sullivan, whom they welcomed in February.

The boys, he tells Redbook, are different – quieter than Talula was as an infant. But he says there was one thing he learned with his daughter that’s been helpful with his new sons: “I’ve learned that bonding comes in waves; it’s incremental.

“I think most men are freaked out by that because they’re expecting it to be immediate. With a mother, it’s almost immediate. But it’s okay to take the time bond with your child. It’s going to take 12 months before you start to get into this relationship.”