Martin Henderson is ready to replace McDreamy with McKiwi

By Matthew Cole Weiss
Updated September 10, 2015 11:10 AM
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Credit: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

When Patrick Dempsey‘s character Dr. Derek Shepherd was killed off in Grey’s Anatomy back in April, the role of sexy doctor was suddenly up for grabs. Thankfully, the folks at Shondaland have brought in hunk Martin Henderson to fill the void, and the New Zealand-born actor already has his nickname picked out!

“McKiwi,” the actor joked to PEOPLE at the premiere of his new film Everest in Hollywood on Wednesday night. “How’s that sound?”

Yes, following in the footsteps of Dempsey’s McDreamy and Eric Dane‘s McSteamy, Henderson, 40, will be bringing his smoldering good looks to season 12 of Grey’s Anatomy, which he starts filming next week.

“I think a lot of hard work from what I hear,” Henderson said when asked what he anticipates about joining the cast. “I hear everyone works really hard there. In order to get that level every week, it’s got to be grueling hours. But it also sounds like a really good unit, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

But before he scrubs in on Grey’s, Henderson can be seen on the big screen in Everest, which tells the true story of a tragic hiking expedition on the famed mountain and also stars a very grizzly, bearded Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin.

“We rubbed our beards together all the time,” said Henderson, laughing. “Jason Clarke had the best beard before shooting. It got so gnarly that they had to tone it down. Jake had a pretty good one, too, but I had to opt out.”

So, did shooting a movie about Everest inspire him to attempt to conquer it himself?

“I reckon I’d give it a good shot,” Henderson said. “I’d definitely have to train for it though. If anything it’s more of a mental thing, but yeah, I would give it a go.”