Eric Dane on leaving 'Grey's Anatomy,' starring on TNT's 'The Last Ship'

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Eric Dane turned in his scrubs almost a year ago on Grey’s Anatomy and now he’s more than ready to hit the seas in his new role on TNT’s Michael Bay-produced The Last Ship.

Grey’s Anatomy is a world — it’s not about any one individual actor and the storylines were sort of…you know, heading in different directions. So it was an opportunity for me to go and I was interested in something different,” he told EW last night during a celebration for TNT’s 25th anniversary. “I loved doing Grey’s Anatomy. I would have done it until the final episode, but this was something I couldn’t pass up.”

Dane starred as Mark Sloan for six seasons on the ABC drama before being killed off in September at the start of the ninth season. Just one month later, it was announced he was set to star in a new TNT show about a ship commander and his crew who are some of the only survivors of a global catastrophe that decimates the world’s population. The series received a ten-episode pick up in May.

“It’s a physical challenge,” Dane says of playing Commander Tom Chandler. “On Grey’s Anatomy, I didn’t have to move too much. I think I ran through the hospital three times. But this is a more physically demanding role.” (He adds, jokingly, “Mark Sloan would never get on a ship.”)

The Last Ship, based off the William Brinkley novel of the same name, is set to start filming in the fall and will premiere in summer 2014.

But the burning question on some Grey’s fans’ minds? Will Tom Chandler log as much on-screen shirtless time as Mark Sloan? “Well, we’re going to have to eventually bathe on this show,” he said with a smile.

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