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Chambers Shaped By Unique Upbringing

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Chambers Shaped By Unique UpbringingJustin Chambers can take plenty of credit, if you'd call it that, for Grey's Anatomy being dubbed "ER on Viagra".

From the moment the show launched two years ago, Chambers' arrogant, wise-guy intern, Alex Karev, became a character that viewers either loved or loathed, Australia's Courier-Mail notes.

But Justin Chambers, the Calvin Klein model-turned-actor, couldn't be less like his skirt-chasing character.

His career in front of a camera began when a modelling agent noticed him on a Paris subway, and he has arguably the most settled private life of the entire Grey's Anatomy cast.

He has been married to wife Keisha for 14 years and is a father of five - Isabella, twins Maya and Kaila, Eva and Jackson.

The other surprising fact about Justin Chambers, 37, is that he travelled an unconventional path to a career in showbiz.

One of five children himself, Justin had a sometimes traumatic upbringing in small town Springfield, Ohio. As a result of his parents having jobs as sheriff's deputies, he grew accustomed to tales of murder and lawlessness.

Never was this darkness more apparent than when Chambers' high-school friend, a teenager named Rodney, met a grisly end.

A man from the neighborhood suspected Rodney and other boys were stealing from him. The man reacted by bursting into Rodney's home, shooting him, his baby brother and their siblings.

A second incident, where a woman and her son were butchered by her boyfriend, also left Justin Chambers rattled.

"It was kind of nasty, some of that stuff," Chambers says. "I did a movie about the Zodiac serial killer (in which he played a 1960s detective) and it (experiences from his teens and having cops as parents) played into that.

"You know, weird things happen in small towns," he says of Springfield. "The cities get the brunt of violence, but a lot of funky (twisted) things happen in small towns. There was, like, a year of murder after murder after murder.

"Three friends of mine were murdered. It's really awful."

No surprise, then, that Justin Chambers opted not to follow his parents into a career in law enforcement.

After being signed as a model by an agent while on holiday in Paris, he scored contracts to work across Europe, Japan and the U.S.

He had designs on an acting career, however, and moved to New York for four years of study at the renowned H.B. Studios.

Chambers faced a dilemma when he was signed for the biggest break of his career - the role of insecure Alex Karev in Grey's Anatomy.

He was based in Los Angeles during the first year of Grey's Anatomy filming while his wife and children stayed in New York. His family has since moved to L.A.

It is still difficult, he adds, combining duties as a dad with a schedule that can keep him on set for up to 16 hours a day.

"We're here a lot of hours, so it's either here or home. That's my life," he says. But we're very excited (about Grey's Anatomy's success).

"We're happy people have embraced the show, even though it's out of our control, whether people watch us or not. We've all had our highs and lows as actors.

"This is the pinnacle of our careers, but you don't take it too seriously because in a couple of years it might not exist. You just ride with it and try to relish it. It does feel nice though that there's a little more security in my life."

Chambers has lost none of his passion for playing Alex, who has shown glimpses of humanity that few knew existed.

"It's great that the show allows the audience to see how these people in the medical field actually are," says Chambers, pictured below with co-stars Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight.

"Yes, the show is soapy and about the relationships. When you (real-life medicos) work and are forced to be with people a lot of hours, there's a lot of sleeping around going on, stuff like that.

"But they (interns) are human, they are fallible, they can be immature. Sometimes we don't see that doctors are human and are flawed. This, I think, is a big aspect of the success of our show."

Justin Chambers, Katherine Heigl, T.R. Knight

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

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Interesting. I grew up in South Charleston, Ohio, a town of less than 2000 people near Springfield, where Justin also grew up and went to high school. I don't recall any murders - at least not of any schoolmates.

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Hahahaha. Mcdreamyer. That's a great word. And I agree with McSeriously, Justin is hot, but Patrick Demsey is THE McDreamy.

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NO WAY! Justin Chambers IS NOT the REAL McDreamy! Patrick Dempsey is! LOL!Yeah Justin is VERY attractive but Patrick is McDreamyer, And how do you think that T.R. Knight looks pretty good? He needs to shave...and whats up with the hair and outfit? He doesn't look like george in that picture! I LOVE GEORGE!

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i think T.R looks pretty good there actually. and so does Katherine. ps. justin chambers is the REAL mcdreamy

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What an interesting article about Justin Chambers. I like the way Alex is developing on the show. He is becoming less arrogant and more likeable. I'm still a little disappointed that Alex and Izzie didn't get back together. Even the brief scene in the kitchen the week that Izzie got drunk and slept with George, there were sparks between Izzie and Alex. It will be interesting to see where the whole Jane Doe thing leads.

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wow he is the total opposite of his character on t.v and with his friends being murdered like that wow he is one tough cookie..btw T.R. knight can you say creppy :)

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whoa he looks old in the picture.

Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Vulnerability isn't the opposite of strength. It's a necessary part. You have to force yourselves to open up, to expose ourselves, to offer everything we have and just pray that it's good enough. Otherwise, we'll never succeed.

Meredith

Our lives are built on our mistakes as much as our successes.

Ellis
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