Patrick Dempsey is looking beyond "Grey's Anatomy" for his thrills these days.
Dempsey was on hand at the Television Critics Assn. Press Tour to discuss his upcoming TLC series "Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans," which centers on his quest to compete in the legendary 24-hour car race.
He admitted that, while he's "not necessarily bored with" the long-running ABC drama, after nine seasons, acting is a "job" — and "not a lot of homework" goes into his portrayal of Dr. Derek Shepherd.
"It's a different type of passion," Dempsey said of his dual pursuits of acting and racing. "I'm an actor, so that's my profession, that's my job. It's a trade."
By contrast, Dempsey said, "Racing is a constant discovery, and when you're on a long show there's less discovery and more of an endurance of having to be present and to do the job, and find ways to keep yourself turned on."
While his "Grey's" gig "doesn't change," Dempsey said, "In a race, it changes constantly, every lap, every corner, every moment of that day is change. And that to me is very exciting and it keeps me alive and then i can go back to work and enjoy it."
Asked by TheWrap if, specifically, he was bored with his medical drama, Dempsey replied, "I'm not necessarily bored with the show. I'm very grateful that I have a show that's been on for 10 years, but I'm not the creator, I'm not the writer. This I can create … it's a trade, quite honestly. And that's fine. When you're on a show [that's been on for 200 episodes] it's about surviving and finding ways to turn yourself on with the material that you're given."
Working on "Grey's Anatomy," Dempsey said, is "more about discovery in the moment. There's not a lot of homework that goes into it. you learn your lines, you try to be present."
"Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans" premieres Aug. 28 on Velocity.