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Justin Chambers Online

EST 2007 | The Best Justin Chambers Source for 12 Years

Some great new scans have been added to our gallery of a Justin interview that came in Belgium’s Het Nieuwsblad weekend magazine. A HUGE thank you goes out to Twitter user Ortho Goddess [ @TorresGoddess ] for generously scanning and sending in the interview.

I’ve done the translations for all the other interviews, but this one in flemish (belgian dutch) was out of my league. LOL. Luckily, Anouk [ @nouklemore] was kind enough to do the translation. MASSIVE thanks goes out to Anouk for her amazing work with the translation.

Link to the interview scans is below and also the English translation.

Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium) – September 20, 2014
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Justin Chambers, eleven seasons as Dr. Alex Karev on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’


Originally his character wasn’t even in the pilot of the show, but that turned around. Justin Chambers (44), once a model for Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani, has become one with his character as badboy/ doctor Alex Karev, after eleven seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. No big deal, the actor thinks. “Being a regular on a show has always been a dream. So don’t complain when you get recognized on the streets and they confuse you with your character.”

I did it too when the Chief Editor proposed me this interview. I Googled his name. An interview with “Justin who?”. Until I saw the pictures! Because maybe his real name doesn’t ring a bell, fans of the medical series Grey’s Anatomy know his alter ego Alex Karev very well. “I am my character, and it will stay like that forever”, Justin Chambers said in the 15 minutes I got to share with him in a hotel room in Brussels. “Mostly it goes like this: I notice someone recognizes me on the streets or in a restaurant, then it takes an extra minute before they come over. First they subtly take out their smartphone, Google my name and then confidently they say “Justin? Are you Justin Chambers?” Thankfully I don’t mind, my ego isn’t that big. Or they just scream “Alex!”, that happens often.”

The confusion of him and his character doesn’t go any further than that. Fans don’t ask Justin to listen to their bad cough or to give them a second opinion on their throat infection. “Thankfully! I play a doctor for eleven seasons now but I barely remember any medical details. While studying my lines I already have a hard time pronouncing the difficult medical language, let alone memorize everything so I can use it in quick dialogues. No, the medical language goes in one ear and out the other. I used to cheat on set, write down prompts on my charts, but now they changed all of those to tablets. Now I have to remember everything!” And that was all it took for a way more relaxed conversation than you would expect from a celebrity. He’s surprisingly charming, Karev – um- Chambers.

Badboy versus family man
Justin Chambers, the man who, together with McDreamy (portrayed by Patrick Dempsey) has been a part of Grey’s Anatomy since day one, makes the show just a tad more attracting to watch. Although he has next to nothing in common with his character. He’s a father to five kids and has been married to Keisha Chambers (scout for the modeling agency that discovered Justin in a Parisian metro) for more than twenty years. “The audience has a lot of sympathy for Alex Karev, because they want to save him. He’s damaged, comes from a broken family, but managed to leave all of that behind and become a doctor. Alex is a tough guy. Rude or sweet, you never know what you’ll get. He flirted around for a while but now he found peace. Karev, a family man! Who would’ve expected that? Maybe that’s why I can relate to him a little bit more now, because a heartbreaking badboy is something I’ve never been.”

What does he think of being married for so long while living in Hollywood, known for early celebrity divorces? “People give up really fast, I think, at least in America. They blow up their marriage, start dating and find out it’s a neverending circle. Starting over? No way. From the start I told Keisha that every time we fight we don’t have to worry, we’re in this for the long haul. The real work. And you have to let go of the expectations to be a perfect couple. We find each other in humour and love but also in the space we give one another. Sometimes it happens that I’m in one room and she’s in another. That’s fine, you don’t have to be around each other all the time. “

Father of five
Another tiny detail that excludes Justin from being a regular Hollywood guy: his five kids. “A big family was never part of the plan, but when we had twins after our first daughter, we already had a big family. I’m a twin and normally it skips generations. Which was not the case. Anyway, we continued. [laughs] In the meantime my kids are pretty big and sometimes I wonder how we did this. I remember us living in a small apartment in Queens with five toddlers who slept next to each other on the sofa. I was dreaming of becoming a part of a TV show, and becoming a regular and I told everyone. I knocked on every door, did many auditions, did every job. Those times weren’t easy.”

Chambers’ acting career didn’t have a great start. After his modeling for Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani he got some small roles – daytime television shows – the part of D’Artagnan in The Musketeer, starring Catherine Deneuve and a part in the romantic comedy The Wedding Planner with Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey in 2001 – but nothing big. A lead in a pilot for American TV Channel ABC didn’t get picked up. But everything changed when Shonda Rhimes (writer and producer of Grey’s Anatomy) saw Justin in the failed pilot. “The first episode of Grey’s had been shot completely, but Shonda felt something was missing. Or, someone. Then she cast me and edited the pilot so Alex fit in completely. The audience never noticed.”

Bad habits
And Grey’s Anatomy was a hit. “Grey’s success was beyond my dreams. No one expected it. But looking back, the series had everything to become a hit show. Shonda is a genius storyteller, but also didn’t want to do things the usual way. She started with a diverse group of characters: white, black, asian. All doctors, all equal. In Grey’s Anatomy every aspect of life gets showed, even those that (the show started in 2005) were hidden in other American shows, such as abortion or homosexuality. Then there is the element of soaps; every episode is a story but the storylines between the characters is spread over more than one episode.”

Good segue to talk about the next chapter in Justin’s life: What if Grey’s Anatomy ends? “I tell myself that when the show ends, I’ll start again. I learned a lot on the set of Grey’s, but I’m sure I acquired some bad acting habits by playing the same character for so long. I wouldn’t want to have it any other way, but when the show ends I want to go back to acting school. Discover acting in a different way.” Fans of Karev and the others should not fear; the new season of Grey’s is airing already on Vijf (= Belgian TV Channel). Even Justin doesn’t know what kind of plot twists we can expect: “We find out at the first table read. Mostly these happen two weeks before the episode gets shot. This is one way how the writers keep everything exciting. But I’m sure of one thing: DRAMA!”

4 Responses to ““Het Nieuwsblad” Interview Scans”
  1. Cíntia Mara says:

    What a great interview! I love how Justin is so different from most stars, more people should listen to him and be more like that. Thank you and everyone to helped you to bring it to us.

  2. Diana says:

    You’re welcome. It’s great when fans help each other out. 🙂

  3. *Cripper says:

    Amazing, you guys are the best. If one day he do the Chinese interview, then I can help.XD

  4. Diana says:

    This is awesome. I need to put together a list with people’s names and the languages they can translate. LOL

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