This Is Why Martin Henderson Didn't Last Very Long On Grey's Anatomy

If you're a fan of medical dramas, chances are you've heard of the hit ABC show "Grey's Anatomy." For those who aren't part of the dedicated fandom, the hour-long series follows doctor Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo, as she attempts to balance her personal and professional relationships. Since the series premiere in 2005, "Grey's" has captivated the hearts of millions with its intense storylines, messy love triangles, and, most notably, hunky leading men.

Over the course of 18 seasons, Grey Sloan Memorial hospital -– previously known as Seattle Grace Hospital — has had a revolving door of handsome doctors. From Derek Shepherd and Alex Karev to Mark Sloane and Jackson Avery, the show always maintained a steady roster of eye candy. And at the start of Season 12, New Zealand actor Martin Henderson joined the attractive fray as Dr. Nathan Riggs, as Deadline reported in 2015.

Throughout his short time on the series, Riggs ruffled the feathers of trauma surgeon Owen Hunt and stole the heart of Meredith, who became a widow after Derek's untimely death in Season 11. While fans slowly gravitated towards the idea of Meredith and Riggs becoming a couple, Henderson's time on the show was surprisingly cut short.

Martin Henderson's short run as Dr. Nathan Riggs was planned

After portraying Dr. Nathan Riggs for two seasons on "Grey's Anatomy," Martin Henderson was written out of the series in Episode 5 of Season 14, per Entertainment Weekly. During his last appearance, the character was seen reuniting with his long-lost fiancé and Owen's sister Megan Hunt. While the casting shakeup was a surprise to diehard fans, Henderson's time on the show was always planned as a short endeavor.

"It was always a short-term thing and I was happy to spend a few years doing the show," he told Deadline in 2017. However, Henderson also said he was open to returning to the series before praising "Grey's Anatomy" creator Shonda Rhimes. "If an opportunity came in the future with an interesting storyline, I'd be happy to explore," he said in the same interview. "I definitely feel connected to Shonda and am grateful for the opportunity she has given me,"

Rhimes echoed similar sentiments at the time and revealed that she "couldn't wait" to work with him again. "He has been part of the Shondaland family since the pilot of 'Inside the Box' and he will always be family," she also told Deadline. "I can't wait to find a new project to work with him on in the future." But even though his time as the popular character ended, Henderson has remained booked and busy within the industry since.

Martin Henderson's star continues to rise

After leaving Dr. Nathan Riggs behind, Henderson joined a number of high-profile projects. In 2018, he starred in "The Strangers: Prey at Night," a highly anticipated sequel to the hit 2008 horror film "The Strangers," per IMDb. Alongside his various film roles, Henderson also returned to TV with appearances in Starz's "The Gloaming" and the Australian/New Zealand series "My Life is Murder."

Currently, Henderson plays bar owner and former U.S. Marine, Jack Sheridan, on the hit Netflix series "Virgin River." Like his "Grey's Anatomy" character, Jack is poised as the handsome love interest to the show's main character, Mel Monroe, played by Alexandra Breckenridge. In a December 2020 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Henderson described the series as "comforting and cozy." He then added: "It's refreshingly romantic, particularly in an era where ... [there] is this tendency to keep pushing the envelope toward darker, more sinister material."

Speaking of "dark and sinister", Henderson also filmed the 2022 A24 horror movie "X," according to Collider. Set in the '70s, the film follows a small movie crew as they film a pornographic film amongst a creepy backdrop. In the movie, Henderson plays pornographer Wayne, who he described as an "ultimately optimistic and positive guy" in an interview with AV Club. Although his "Grey's Anatomy" appearance is a thing of the past, there is still plenty of Martin Henderson to go around.