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Eric Dane Talks 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'The Last Ship'—and Working Out

From Dr. McSteamy to family man to his third season on TNT’s hit Navy thriller 'The Last Ship,' Dane’s second act is in full swing.
Tony Duran

You must still get recognized as McSteamy all the time—are you cool with that? 

I love it—I never had a problem with that nickname or that show [Grey’s Anatomy]. I never felt I needed to do something so outside the box that it would break that stereotype. It’s not something you can manipulate—it either happens or it doesn’t. 

You got a lot of attention for your abs in Grey’s, and you obviously have to stay in shape The Last Ship. Has your routine changed? 

Now its a utilitarian thing rather than an aesthetic thing. I do a lot more cardio, but still no treadmills—you never get anywhere on treadmills. I like lifting weights. And there is a cardio element to lifting if you’re doing it the way I do it. If I can get to the gym 3-4 days a week, and spend 50 minutes to an hour and a half, irrespective of whether I lift something or not, I’m getting in shape. 

How is playing Captain Tom Chandler different from all that you’ve done up until now? 

My father served in Vietnam—the respect I have for the Navy is profound. And the men and the women I have come across while doing this show onboard ships, at the Pentagon—I
am thoroughly impressed. I find them to be unbelievably noble. 

It sounds like you got a lot of technical advice for the role?

I was trying to figure out what makes this guy a captain and a leader—what makes you the kind of person that people will follow? So I looked at guys who were exemplary leaders. As long as I can keep that character honest and sincere, like the captains I’ve met, I’ve done my job. 

Ever consider the military as a career? 

I don’t know if I’d ever want to be responsible for so many lives, so many people. I don’t know how well I would do under those circumstances. 

You have two daughters now—how do you juggle work and family? 

Any free time I have, the family comes first. But my kids love coming to set as much as they can tolerate me! 

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