Grey’s Anatomy Actor Scott Speedman Talks ‘Measuring Up’ To McDreamy In The Eyes Of The Fans

Scott Speedman as Nick Marsh on Grey's Anatomy.
(Image credit: ABC)

It’s been over seven years since Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd was killed off of Grey’s Anatomy, meeting his demise by way of car crash and incompetent doctors at the end of Season 11. So it goes to show how strong his relationship with Meredith Grey was that going into Season 19, they are still considered by many to be the series’ flagship couple. That’s a burden that Scott Speedman has to bear, as he talked about what it's like to play Meredith's new beau, Nick Marsh, for an audience that is so passionately invested in Meredith's love life.

Scott Speedman will be back when Grey’s Anatomy Season 19 premieres on October 6, but his role this season has been reduced to recurring, as Ellen Pompeo announced we’ll also be seeing far less of Meredith Grey. It seems like Nick has earned a stamp of approval from the fandom, and the actor told InStyle he knows that’s not something to take for granted. Speedman said: 

I don’t really know how [Dr. Marsh] measures up to her past romantic partners. But viewers, especially with her, they’re very protective of that character and whoever she’s linked with. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything with this much fandom. Or maybe, over the years, I just haven’t been doing shows where there’s such a link between the show and their fans and how fierce they are on social media and all that kind of stuff. So, it’s been interesting and fun.

With a loyal fandom that still wishes MerDer were a real-life couple, perhaps filling Patrick Dempsey’s shoes was a more daunting task than Scott Speedman was ready for. (He did compare fans’ reactions to The Shining, after all.) Meredith dated other men after Derek’s death, with Nathan Riggs and Andrew DeLuca likely being the most serious, but Nick might just be Meredith’s endgame, since Ellen Pompeo said she will not return to Grey’s full time

Whether or not Nick and Meredith ride off into the Minnesota sunset together remains to be seen, but that did seem like the plan Ellen Pompeo’s character hoped for at the end of Season 18. At least it was before Miranda Bailey quit her job and left Meredith as the chief of surgery, and Meredith sent Nick back to the Land of 10,000 Lakes alone. A preview for the new season shows Miranda and Nick both returning after six months, and I can’t wait to get caught up on what’s been going on. Check out the trailer for yourself: 

Meredith had chosen at the end of last season to accept a full-time position at The Grey Center in Minnesota — a decision that was not met with support from her colleagues. Her rant to Nick about being the only one not allowed to leave to pursue other opportunities felt a little too real, after a year-plus of headlines that centered around Pompeo wanting the show to end.

It seems Ellen Pompeo has found an eventual way out, and by proxy, Meredith as well, as Season 19 goes back to the beginning, with a new group of five interns. The drama starts at 9 p.m. ET Thursday, October 6, on ABC. In the meantime, check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what other premieres are coming up, and you can rewatch any of Grey’s Anatomy’s first 21 seasons with a Netflix subscription

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.