Grey's Anatomy's Eric Dane isn't the dog you think he is. Unless you're unconscious, odds are you've reveled in one of Eric Dane's sweat-inducing struts down the hospital corridors on Grey's Anatomy, where he plays Seattle Grace's resident cad, plastic surgeon Dr. Mark "McSteamy" Sloan. This month, he takes his smoldering act to the big screen in Marley & Me, the film adaptation of John Grogan's best-selling memoir. As inveterate skirt-chaser Sebastian (hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right, ladies?), Dane convinces his friend (Owen Wilson) that a dog is the best cure for his wife's baby fever.
It's a little ironic that Dane is Hollywood's latest go-to Lothario. "It's so not who I am," he laughs. He claims to live a ho-hum real life in L.A.--rising at 5:30 a.m. and tucking in early. "I think when you're done with work, you go home," he says. Despite exclusive New Year's Eve invites, "We're usually in bed before the ball drops," says Dane, who prefers couching it with his wife of four years, actress Rebecca Gayheart, and their two dogs, a distinctly un-macho Chihuahua mix and a Maltese. "I always thought of myself as a big-dog kinda guy," he sniffs.
Still, after 15 years playing bit parts in a string of flatlining TV shows (Gideon's Crossing, The American Embassy), Dane's not worried about being typecast. "McSteamy's been really good to me," he says. "He's opened a lot of doors." Besides, the lady-killer act has plenty of mileage left. In preparation for Marley & Me, Dane and Wilson hung out in the newsroom of Florida's Sun-Sentinel for four days - and it was Dane, not the Butterscotch Stallion, who drove the staffers gaga. Which raises the tantalizing prospect of his own Grey's spin-off: "Me and McDreamy go back to New York and open a private practice," Dane jokes. "A medical massage parlor." Don't tease us.