TV
07/25/2013 04:08 pm ET Updated Jul 26, 2013

Patrick Dempsey Prefers Racing To 'Grey's Anatomy'

Don't get Patrick Dempsey wrong, he's grateful for "Grey's Anatomy," which is gearing up for its tenth season on ABC -- he'd just rather be racing cars.

During the Television Critics Association Summer 2013 press tour panel for Discovery Communication's Velocity channel, a reel aired with footage from Dempsey's upcoming miniseries, "Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans" and it included some not so savory statements about "Grey's," which he's been with from the start.

Dempsey clarified the statements that were creating a bit of buzz on Twitter during the panel. "These interviews [from the sizzle reel] took place over a year so my moods changed dramatically. It's a different kind of passion. I'm an actor so that's my profession, my job," he said. "Racing is a constant discovery. When you're in a long show, it's less discovery and more an endurance of having to be present and have to be turned on with something you know will be A, B and C ... I think I need both."

Dempsey and his fellow "Grey's" originals Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh, Justin Chambers, James Pickens, Jr. and Chandra Wilson took a while to renew their contracts for Seasons 9 and 10 in the spring of 2012. Dempsey had fans worried considering the not-so-promising comments he'd made about his future with the show.

"I have a family to support, and why not have a discussion about continuing?" Dempsey said in December 2011. "The question is will I do a full season, a half season or come back at all? ... There are so many other things than just the money."

At the Velocity panel, Dempsey praised the "Grey's" producers for letting him do what he loves. "The show does a remarkable job of getting me out. The producers are fantastic. The fact that they let me race is remarkable -- after they see this, I hope they still let me," he added with a laugh.

"I'm not necessarily bored with the show, I'm very grateful," Dempsey continued. "I'm not the creator, I'm not the writer ... When you've been on a show for 200 episodes, it's about surviving, and you find ways to turn yourself on with what you're given. It's like being a band -- you're given one specific note that you play ... I'm grateful I have the gig, but it's not the same as being in a race car."

"Grey's Anatomy" two-hour Season 10 premiere airs Thursday, September 26 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC and "Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans" premieres Wed., August 28 at 10 p.m. ET on Velocity by Discovery.

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