The Betty Interview: James Tupper
The “Mercy” star is a fantastic actor, true romantic, great dad, and is fun to look at. What’s not to love?
One thing’s for sure: Anne Heche is a very lucky woman. Her beau of nearly three years, James Tupper, already made a name for himself as the hunky “McTreemy” on the now defunct Men in Trees, where the couple first met and fell in love. His latest nickname on the NBC hit Mercy is “Dr. Zhivago” — and for good reason. As Dr. Sands, the mysteriously brooding and oh-so-sexy Iraqi vet, he’s breaking hearts as fast as he can jump in and out of bed with the ladies of Mercy Hospital. And that’s pretty fast.
In the two months since the show’s debut, we’ve already discovered Dr. Sands’ secret war-torn romance with Nurse Veronica (Taylor Schilling), which led to a brawl with Veronica’s husband Mike (Diego Klattenhoff). He had a between-the-sheets romp with Nurse Chloe (Michelle Trachtenberg), and now is engrossed in a fling with Dr. Jelani (K.K. Moggie). The man gets around!
“What can I say, he’s a whore!” Canadian-born James, 44, jokingly tells BettyConfidential. “Truth be told, it’s odd as an actor. You’re in bed with someone in a scene — sometimes a complete stranger — and you’re like, ‘Oh, hi. How do you do?’ I’m always a tiny bit embarrassed when it comes to the steamy stuff, and then I overcompensate by trying to be funny and playful. Trust me, I’m not lascivious — I don’t enjoy it. I’m not like, ‘Mmm… another sex scene… good!’”
In fact, all of the onscreen bed-hopping just makes him miss his real-life love even more. While Anne’s at home working on Hung in Los Angeles with sons Homer, 7 (from a previous marriage to Coley Laffoon) and Atlas, who’s nearly 9 months old, James is taping Mercy in New Jersey (where he graduated from Rutgers University). So one of them is flying cross-country constantly in order to spend weekends together and they’re busy sending sweet dreams every night via Skype. “Anne’s the most loving, open person I’ve ever met,” gushes James. “She’s created a crazy-joyful life, and is just so fun to be around. I miss her and the boys so much.”
James is going to be missing them a bit longer as Mercy, which is nominated for a People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Drama, was picked up for a full 22 episodes. He’s also promoting his part in the recently released Zach Efron–Claire Danes movie Me and Orson Welles. “As much as I love my job, the way I see it, family is the priority, and work is just a way of supporting our family,” says James.