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Calling Dr. O'Malley

Move over, McDreamy: This doctor wants your ex, and he won't break her heart.

It has been more than a year since T.R. Knight swapped a stage career for a promising role on Grey's Anatomy as bumbling, puppy-eyed Dr. George O'Malley, one of a team of sexy, multicultural surgeons on the hit ABC series.

Knight's Everyman alter ego, George, is Seattle Grace Hospital's resident bleeding heart, wrestling with unrequited love for Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), who pines for Dr. Derrick "McDreamy" Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey).

The 32-year-old Minnesota native spoke about newfound success and that steamy post-Super Bowl shower scene.

AP: Why do you think the show is so popular?

Knight: You have a really - excluding myself - fascinating group of actors who are all very different from each other, exceedingly different. You've got really good writing, and I really like the point of view of our creator, Shonda (Rhimes). I like her politics, I like what she stands for, and I like what she's trying to do with the show.

AP: Tell us about that scene where you fantasized about showering with your female colleagues.

Knight: I love that. I think it was a great, great way to bring people into the show. But it also made sense because the last episode you left it, George was in bed with Izzie and Meredith. So he's got a lot of frustrations with that, and so his desires have to come out even subconsciously somewhere.

AP: Was it fun to film?

Knight: Oh, it was a blast! You know, everyone's really covered up. No one's completely naked. You get body makeup, and so someone's spreading body makeup on you. I think if you were an exhibitionist, you'd kind of be in hog heaven, but I'm not that person.

AP: So why doesn't Meredith hook up with George already? Come on.

Knight: I don't know! That's a great question for Shonda Rhimes. It's very interesting, because it's getting to a point now where George really needs to, like, (get) off the pot already, you know?

AP: Like George says, he needs to stop being a watcher. He needs to be a doer.

Knight: I know! But I think he's starting to realize it. I don't know what's going to happen with the whole Meredith thing. . . . The way he's used to living his life, it doesn't work.

AP: What would you be doing if you weren't an actor?

Knight: That's difficult because nothing else ever clicked. I was not the best student. I didn't apply myself, as they say, very well. I think, you know, as an actor, unless you're exceedingly lucky and you're one of the golden few, a lot of your life you're unemployed, and a lot of your life you're poor. You've got to be a little insane and driven and have it be the only thing you want to do.