An Interview With Eric Dane

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Eric Dane, who plays Dr. Mark Sloan, a.k.a. McSteamy, is the hottest new addition to the cast of ABC's award-winning drama Grey's Anatomy.

Trading in the scalpel for the keyboard, Dane plays a speechwriter about to marry the conservative governor's daughter in tonight's A&E movie Wedding Wars. The movie co-stars John Stamos, who plays his gay brother.

Below, Dane shares his thoughts on his career, cooking and other matters with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Eric Dane in Wedding Wars
PPG: You have a brother. If your brother were gay, how would you react?

ERIC DANE: I don't think I'd have any kind of reaction of any significance. You know, he's my brother no matter what. Certainly not (like) the character in the movie. However, I feel like the character in the movie's reaction was a little bit undecided. You know? I don't think at the core of him, he really had any bias toward his brother's sexual orientation.

PPG: In another interview, your wife (actress Rebecca Gayheart) said you are "sick of the McSteamy thing."

ERIC DANE: No, she didn't. There's no way she ever said that. I'm gonna put her on the phone with you right now.

PPG: Are you at all concerned about the "McSteamy" moniker sticking?

ERIC DANE: Ahhhhh, no. Thus far it never brought any sort of negative anything along with it. You know, we could go through and we could find a hundred parallels in other careers where they've transcended nicknames they've had in certain roles. Right now this is where I'm at, and I've been called a lot worse than "McSteamy." Trust me.

PPG: Being married to an actress, how would it change the dynamic of the marriage if her career eclipsed yours?

ERIC DANE: I don't think it would change the dynamic at all. I'm hoping her career will eclipse mine.

PPG: So you can retire?

ERIC DANE: Yeah, more time off.

PPG: Is it true you like to cook?

ERIC DANE: I do like to cook. But I only cook a few things, but those few things I do really well. I make a great omelet. I make really good chicken soup, sort of from scratch. I don't make my own stock. I just use a base like a chicken stock, but everything else, all the ingredients, I do on my own.

PPG: Who does the cooking for the holidays?

ERIC DANE: Well, we're going to her sister's house in Atlanta, and her family, who lives in Kentucky, is going to meet us in Atlanta. I'm sure that between her mother and her sister and, you know, myself and my brother-in-law, we're gonna have, there's gonna be like 12 of us under one roof, so I'm sure everybody will have a hand in something.

PPG: Do you have a working preference? Movies or television?

ERIC DANE: You know, television is a lot of fun. It's faster-paced. The schedule is really desirable, I guess. But as far as films go, and I've only done a couple, film is like a definitive beginning, middle and end. You know your character's arch. As an actor you can do more with it. In television it's unpredictable. On Grey's Anatomy or on any show, you are sort of at the mercy of the writers and where they decide to take your character. You have anywhere from one to 10 seasons of television to sort of explore and change, you know what I'm saying?

PPG: Yes, so is that easier or more challenging?

ERIC DANE: It can be both, but I think there's a pitfall there. The pitfall there is if you get into the easier aspect of it. Then you get stuck in, sort of, a pattern of playing the same note.

PPG: How important is confidence to good acting?

ERIC DANE: I think it's important. It depends on the actor. You know, some of the greatest actors on the planet are the most insecure people. Now I don't know if that insecurity necessarily equates to a lack of confidence. Some people are just very shy individuals. You give them a character to play and a script, and you put them in front of a camera or on a stage, and they just go.

PPG: Where do you fit in that equation?

ERIC DANE: Somewhere in the middle. Not shy, but not overly confident. I'm just as confident as I need to be and I'm just as insecure as I need to be.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

MEREDITH: "You don't get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was done! All the boys and all the bars and all the obvious daddy issues, who cares? I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I'm all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don't get to call me a whore."
DEREK: "This thing with us is finished. It's over."
MEREDITH: "Finally."
DEREK: "Yeah, it's done."
MEREDITH: "It is done."

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.