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What Makes Playing Grey's Anatomy's Dr. Nick Marsh So Unique For Scott Speedman

"I think my heartthrob status expired ... maybe a decade ago," Scott Speedman recently told InStyle. That's still an impressive track record for the actor, who first achieved said heartthrob status upon joining the cast of "Felicity" in 1998. For four years, Speedman starred as Ben Covington, one third of one of the most enduring love triangles on television alongside Keri Russell and Scott Foley.

Speedman followed up "Felicity" with a number of memorable roles, including parts in TNT's "Animal Kingdom," the "Underworld" franchise, and "You." Now, Speedman has returned to television — and is once again taking up the heartthrob mantle, regardless of what he says — as Dr. Nick Marsh on "Grey's Anatomy." Speedman first appeared as the character, a transplant surgeon, in a Season 14 episode in 2018. In Season 18, Speedman returning in a recurring character capacity as a love interest to Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). 

Here's why playing Dr. Marsh has been a unique experience for the actor.

This is Speedman's first experience with such a passionate fanbase

Since Derek Shepherd's (Patrick Dempsey) death in Season 11, Meredith Grey has tentatively dipped her toes back in the dating pool, briefly partnering up with Nathan Riggs (Martin Henderson) and Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti), among others. Her relationship with Dr. Nick Marsh, beginning in Season 18, marks her most serious partnership since McDreamy. For Scott Speedman, the role can be intimidating, especially when it comes to the fervent "Grey's Anatomy" fanbase.

"Viewers...[are] very protective of that character and whoever she's linked with," Speedman said in an interview with InStyle. "I don't think I've ever done anything with this much fandom. Or maybe, over the years, I just haven't been doing shows where there's such a link between the show and their fans and how fierce they are on social media and all that kind of stuff. So, it's been interesting and fun."

Ellen Pompeo, who has been playing Meredith since 2005, is necessarily more tuned in to the caprices and theories of her fans. In 2021, she launched the podcast "Tell Me with Ellen Pompeo" as a means to open channels of communication with "Grey's Anatomy" viewers. "I want the show to be a place of listening, learning, and growth," Pompeo wrote in a press release (via Harper's Bazaar). "I hope to introduce and highlight people from all different backgrounds and industries and create a space for thoughtful conversation." Perhaps Speedman will bone up on the podcast before "Grey's Anatomy" Season 19 premieres on October 6.