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The former “Grey’s Anatomy” star said he was getting ready to take a flight when he found out the magazine picked him as its 2023 selection.
“I was like, ‘Who’s calling me at 7:30 and I’m on a plane?’ It’s my publicist and my manager and they told me then and I was laughing, like, ‘Come on, why are you really calling me?’” he told TODAY on Nov. 14.
“So it was really a great surprise and it’s been a fun ride. I’m grateful for the attention.”
Dempsey, 57, is the second-oldest man to earn People’s Sexiest Man Alive title, following the late Sean Connery, who was 59 when the magazine chose him in 1989. Dempsey says he is thrilled to receive the honor at this point in his life.
“At this age. I’m very happy. It boosts, certainly, your confidence a little bit because you get into your 50s, you think those moments are gone,” he said.
“You change, your body’s changing, your priorities are changing. It was nice. I credit my wife, who’s an amazing makeup artist and has taught me about skin care. So thank you for that. My kids keep me really young and active.”
Dempsey is married to Jillian Dempsey, with whom he has three children: Talula, 21, and 16-year-old twins Sullivan and Darb. He said his kids initially didn’t believe he was chosen as Sexiest Man Alive.
“They were like, ‘No, seriously, who is it, Dad? Who is it?’ They didn’t get it right away. And then we had a good laugh about it and they were supportive,” he said.
That sentiment echoed what he told People about the honor.
They’re “just going to make fun of me and pick on me and figure out every reason why I shouldn’t be,” he said. “Which is good, they keep me young.”
If you'd like to see more of Dempsey and his sexiness, you can check him out in his new film, “Thanksgiving,” a horror flick about a killer terrorizing a small town that opens Nov. 17.
This article was originally published on TODAY.com