What This ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Alum Said About Kissing Patrick Dempsey

The on-again, off-again romance of Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd was off-again in season 4 of Grey’s Anatomy when Derek began dating one of his scrub nurses. Playing the part of Rose, actor Lauren Stamile was one of the few actors outside of Pompeo that got to do a lip-lock scene with Dempsey.

Patrick Dempsey of 'Grey's Anatomy'
Patrick Dempsey of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Scott Garfield/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Lauren Stamile’s first impression of Patrick Dempsey

Stamile had some acting credits to her name when she tried out for the guest role on Grey’s Anatomy. Dempsey was well into his McDreamy fame by the time Nurse Rose was brought into the storyline, and Stamile recalled being introduced to the Enchanted star for the first time.

“I was going in to meet him, and I remember I had this little cardigan sweater on and I took it off before I got in the room,” she told Lynette Rice in the book “How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy”. “Dempsey is one of those people – it’s almost like there’s a light shining around his body, and you feel like you’re the only person in the room.” 

Her first encounter with Dempsey made Stamile a bit more nervous – and warm – than she expected.

“I got so hot and I remember saying, ‘Gosh, I would take off my sweater if I had one on because I’m so hot, but I took it off,’” she shared. “I was just babbling. … I felt so awkward and he was so gracious and lovely. I was having a nervous breakdown. It’s like this ‘it’ factor. I was like, God, whatever he has, I wish I had. … He went out of his way to make sure he introduced me to everybody and made sure I felt comfortable, which he certainly didn’t have to do. But he did.”

Patrick Dempsey and Lauren Stamile of 'Grey's Anatomy'
Patrick Dempsey and Lauren Stamile of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Craig Sjodin/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

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Patrick Dempsey was ‘such a professional’ in his kissing scene with Lauren Stamile

When their flirtation escalated to physical contact, McDreamy and Nurse Rose finally shared their first kiss. Stamile regretted her wardrobe at the time – and her headgear.

“I got to kiss Patrick twice,” she revealed. “The first episode we kissed, I was in my scrubs and had on that scrubs hat. I was like, ‘Oh, geez! Could you put me in something nicer? Could my hair at least be out?’”

Still, the actor had only raves for Dempsey regarding their romantic scenes. 

“Kissing scenes in general are not fun,” Stamile explained. “They’re really embarrassing and awkward. But he was such a professional. He always went out of his way to make sure I was comfortable.”

Fans wanted Derek with Meredith exclusively

Though Rose was a perfectly suitable mate for Derek, she was doomed from the start since viewers wanted him only with Meredith. 

“Fans hated Nurse Rose,” writer Jenna Bans remarked. “[Stamile] is the loveliest person and an amazing actress. But the fans just did not want Derek with anyone other than Meredith.”

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Though Stamile loved her time on Grey’s Anatomy, she agreed that Nurse Rose had to depart so the MerDer relationship could take the next step.

“I wanted to stay on the show forever!” Stamile admitted. “But Rose had served her purpose to move the story forward. She knew that Derek and Meredith should be together and her presence was causing a problem. The best decision for her was just to exit. I think that it showed that Rose had integrity and self-awareness and I appreciated that.”