James Tupper: Keeping It Real on "Mercy's" New Jersey Set - NBC New York
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James Tupper: Keeping It Real on "Mercy's" New Jersey Set



    With James Tupper on board and the latest addition of James Van Der Beek to the cast, the hospital drama "Mercy" could market itself as a Wednesday evening hunk-alternative to "Grey's Anatomy."

    Tupper laughingly remembers the time when his former show "Men In Trees" went that route.

    "I used to be McTreemy," he tells Popcorn Biz. "They advertised that for like three weeks. There was a McDreamy, a McSteamy and I was McTreemy."

    Tupper has happily made the transition to hospital scrubs from the show which had him playing an outdoorsy biologist and Anne Heche's love interest in small-town Alaska. Still part of his heart remains on the sitcom. "Underneath it all, I'm still wearing flannel," he admits. "Even if it's flannel undies."

    He adds that viewers get a real version of medical life on "Mercy" which is shot in an actual New Jersey hospital, far away from Los Angeles and real-life wife Anne Heche. Meanwhile "Grey's" only pretends to be in Seattle.

    "It's not Seattle. The wettest (the actors) get is taking a hot shower or getting into their jacuzzi at the end of the evening," he laughs about the other medical drama. "They shoot in a backlot in Hollywood."

    "We shoot in New Jersey. It's a tough drama about people. We're going for authenticity."

    Another light-hearted swipe: "(Grey's) is so serious. Every single scene there's a sad song in the background. We have more of a sense of humor."

    As far as the hunk appeal, Tupper won't fight it but isn't going to work for it. With baby Atlas on board and cross-country commutes, he doesn't have time to worry about looking good.

     "I try to keep the sit-ups to a minimum," he laughs. "I don't have a chance for all that. Atlas is my new project."