TF3: Dempsey Talks About His Character; Mercedes TF Has a Name?

{mosimage}Patrick Dempsey shares with the Herald News a bit about his character in Transformers 3, as well revealing his love for racing. Appropriately enough, his character is a race-car driver in the film, possibly explaining the presence of the trio of NASCAR cars/Wreckers.

Also, from Nelson Lauren's flickr gallery, he teases at the blue Mercedes' name, simply referring to it as "Q".

Read the article with Dempsey here and check out the Mercedes photo here!

The Herald News

Acting, racing — Dempsey's ideal mix

July 30, 2010

The shooting of the movie "Transformers 3" in downtown Chicago has stolen the mid-summer spotlight.

And, it provided actor Patrick Dempsey — whose character, appropriately enough, is a race-car driver — the perfect opportunity to get a firsthand look at a high-caliber road racing facility.

Life gets no better.

"This was a great opportunity to come out here and learn this track; it's my first time here," Dempsey said during Thursday's media day preceding this weekend's Harrah's Autobahn Grand Prix presented by Mazda at Autobahn Country Club.

"It's technical and fast. It's long. You feel like you're going somewhere here."

The 44-year-old Dempsey, who has played major roles in numerous movies and perhaps is best known as Dr. Derek Shepherd ("McDreamy") on the TV medical drama "Grey's Anatomy," races when he has time in the Grand Am series, GT class. Although seven divisions of races are on tap this weekend at Autobahn, his series is not among them so he will not be racing here.

But he could not pass up the opportunity to tour the facility.

"The location of this track is outstanding, 50 minutes outside Chicago," he said. "It's great. I wish we had something like this in L.A."

Racing has been in Dempsey's blood from his youth. "My dad was into racing," he explained. "As a kid I was always watching it. I watched way too much SPEED Channel."

A native of Maine, Dempsey was born in Lewiston and grew up in the small towns of Buckfield and Turner. He finished second in a national juggling competition and also was an accomplished skier. He won the Maine slalom championship while in high school.

"I really wanted to be a ski racer," he said. "Training for car racing is similar to training for that."

The late Paul Newman, of course, made famous the combination of acting and driving race cars. Dempsey said he had conversations with Newman about racing but has no thoughts about replicating what he accomplished.

"Paul worked his way up in racing," he said. "I kind of jumped into the deep end early on. He did an incredible job balancing his career. Nobody will be able to fill his shoes."

In addition to nearly four years in his current position with Mazda, Dempsey has driven the pace car in the Indianapolis 500. He has raced in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Baja 1000 off-road race. He is co-owner of the IndyCar Series team Vision Racing.

The Baja appears to be history, however. "I let my wife watch 'Dust To Glory,'" he said of the documentary on the Baja. "That's the mistake I made."

Regardless, Dempsey is racing whenever possible.

"The more seat time I can get the better," he said. "But that's difficult with the amount of time I need to dedicate to movies.

"Ideally, I'd like to make one movie a year and spend the rest of my time racing, but it doesn't work that way. You have to put your ego aside when you're racing. There are so many good, talented drivers. I have tremendous respect for them."

Dempsey got into acting when he was invited to audition for a role in the stage production of "Torch Song Trilogy." His first major feature film, at age 21, was with Beverly D'Angelo in the movie "In the Mood."

He feels the balance between acting and racing has provided a positive in his life.

"Being able to do both gives me a good perspective," he said. "I appreciate both. It's almost therapeutic in many ways to go from one to the other."

That is especially true when his movie roles mimic life behind the wheel.

"In 'Transformers 3,' my character is a race-car driver, which is perfect," Dempsey said. "It's cool to have all those toys in the movie."

Demspey has acquired rights to the novel "The Art of Racing in the Rain" and will produce and star in the screen version.

"Yeah, it's a racing movie," he said. "This is my first time producing a movie. I think we have a strong first draft on the movie."

Dempsey and his wife Jillian have three children. Daughter Talula Fyfe is 8 and twin sons Darby Galen and Sullivan Patrick are 3.

Were his kids to get interested in racing some day, Dempsey said he would encourage them.

"It is important to live out your dreams," he said. "I'd like to encourage that in my children. If racing cars is what they want to do, go for it.

"My daughter, though, is into jumping horses right now. If we had someone get into sail-boat racing, we would have all the expensive sports hobbies covered."

Dempsey said he will be in this area for another week, then will return to Los Angeles "to shoot the second episode of Grey's (Anatomy)."

That means a return to being McDreamy, not his choice for a handle, but what can he do?

"My wife knows who I really am," he said when McDreamy was mentioned. "Fortunately, being on the show allows me to spend some time with Mazda."

Some time with racing.

The smile on his face Thursday at Autobahn left no doubt — he felt right at home at the local road course.