Eric Dane on Why He Was ‘Probably Fired’ From ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ 5

Eric Dane is opening up about being written off Grey’s Anatomy after six seasons of playing Dr. Mark Sloan, aka McSteamy, on the hit ABC series. (Spoilers ahead!)

The actor’s role was introduced at the end of season two as a guest star. He became a regular character in season three after he received positive feedback for his initial appearance. Over the course of the following seasons, Sloan became a fan-favorite character, but after a plane crash in the season eight finale, it was revealed he would succumb to his injuries, dying at the beginning of season nine.

Dane returned to the show briefly in season 17 when Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) was in a COVID-induced coma and was visited on an imaginary beach by Sloan, sister Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh), husband Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), George O’Malley (T.R. Knight) and Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti).

The Euphoria actor stopped by Dax Shepard’s Armchair Podcast earlier this week, where he revealed that he didn’t exactly choose to leave Grey’s Anatomy when he was written off.

“I think I was let go,” he told the host, explaining that he was struggling with addiction at the time. “They didn’t let me go because of that, although it definitely didn’t help. I was starting to become, as most of these actors who have spent significant time on a show, you start to become very expensive for the network. And the network knows that the show is going to do what it’s going to do irrespective of who they keep on it. As long as they have their Grey, they’re fine.”

He continued, “I wasn’t the same guy they had hired. So I had understood when I was let go. And Shonda [Rhimes] was really great. She protected us fiercely. She protected us publicly. She protected us privately. … But I was probably fired. It wasn’t ceremoniously like, ‘You’re fired,’ it was just like, ‘You’re not coming back.’”

During the height of his fame while on Grey‘s, Dane checked himself into rehab for an addiction to painkillers and has struggled with depression over the years. He shared that when he joined the show, he had been sober for three or four years, so he was able to distinguish between what was reality and what wasn’t, but overall, he doesn’t think he handled the fame that came with it very well.

“If you take the whole eight years on Grey’s Anatomy, I was fucked up longer than I was sober. And that’s when things started going sideways for me,” he revealed, adding that the sudden popularity may have played a part in why he relapsed. “It was overwhelming, and I think I just wanted to pretend that it wasn’t and that I was comfortable with it. Act like you’ve been there, but you haven’t been there.”

Dane currently portrays Cal Jacobs on Euphoria, the father of Nate Jacobs (Jacob Elordi), and one of the show’s few adult characters.

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