Rob Lowe Jokes Turning Down Playing McDreamy on Grey's Anatomy 'Probably Cost Me $70 Million'

Rob Lowe once turned down Patrick Dempsey's iconic role in Grey's Anatomy

Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty; Karen Neal/ABC via Getty

Doctor Rob Lowe?

On WTF with Marc Maron, the actor, 55, discussed almost playing an iconic Grey’s Anatomy role.

In the podcast episode posted Monday, Lowe told host Marc Maron that he had once turned down the part of McDreamy. The now-famous character of Dr. Derek Shepherd eventually went to Patrick Dempsey.

When Maron asked if Lowe had ever turned down an acting project, Lowe responded, “Dude, I turned down Grey’s Anatomy. To play McDreamy.”

“That’s probably cost me $70 million,” Lowe said jokingly, before adding, “Eh, it’s just money.”

“Listen,” the actor continued. “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.'”

RELATED VIDEO: Grey’s Anatomy By The Numbers! The ABC Series Makes History as the Longest Primetime Medical Drama – Surpassing ER!

Dempsey played Derek from the the pilot episode of Grey’s Anatomy in 2005 until 2015, when the character was killed off in a tragic car accident. In the show, Shepherd was married to Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo).

Lowe had no trouble finding success on television, anyway — after turning down the role, he starred on Brothers & Sisters, Parks and Recreation and The Grinder.

On Feb. 28, Grey’s Anatomy made history as the longest-running medical drama on American television (with 332 episodes!) — surpassing ER, the groundbreaking NBC series that premiered in 1994 and signed off after 15 seasons.

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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