Rob Lowe Says He Turned Down The Role Of McDreamy On ‘Grey’s Anatomy:’ ‘That Probably Cost Me $70 Million’

Rob Lowe speaks on a TCA panel.
Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Rob Lowe recently opened up about a role that he didn’t take that he says ended up costing him big.

The actor sat down for an interview with WTF With Marc Maron and chatted about a number of topics including turning down the role of Dr. Derek Shepherd, aka McDreamy, on the hit ABC show Grey’s Anatomy. It all began when Maron asked Lowe if he regularly turns down roles in his career and Lowe’s answer was incredibly candid.

“Dude, I turned down Grey’s Anatomy … to play McDreamy,” he told Maron. “That probably cost me $70 million dollars!”

But even though it may have costed him pretty big when it comes to his wallet, the actor still says that he doesn’t really regret not taking the role.

“But at the end of the day, I watched it when it came out, and when they started calling the handsome doctor ‘McDreamy,’ I said, ‘Yeah, that’s not for me.'”

And this was not the only time that Lowe has talked about the role that never was. According to E! Online, he also opened up about the Grey’s Anatomy part in his 2011 memoir Stories I Only Tell My Friends. As the actor explains it, he turned down the role on Grey’s for another role on CBS’ Dr. Vegas in 2004.

Rob says that after a week of negotiations with Dr. Vegas execs, his deal to be on the show was done and the only thing left to do was to sign on the dotted line. However, it was then that he got a call from the producers of Grey’s Anatomy and he agreed to meet with them to see what they had to say. He said that the script was “crisp, real and very entertaining” after admitting that he loved it. After that, he was offered the role.

“Grey’s was a much better script; in fact, there was no comparison,” he dished.

But instead of going with Grey‘s, he decided to take a gamble and star alongside Amy Adams in Dr. Vegas. Unfortunately for him, the show was a flop and it ended up getting canceled in 2004 after just a few episodes. But there is somewhat of a silver lining for Lowe — after turning down the role of Derek Shepherd and then having his show get canceled, the 55-year-old ended up landing a role on Brothers & Sisters where he appeared on the show from 2006 to 2010.

After that, he appeared in Showtime’s Californication from 2011 to 2014 as well as in Parks & Rec from 2010-2015.