Chemistry seems to be the buzzword for James Tupper these days. Fans of Grey's Anatomy are watching to see what happens between his character, Dr. Andrew Perkins, and Teddy, played by Kim Raver. On the big screen, another chemistry is brewing. Tupper stars alongside Jim Carrey in the new movie Mr. Popper’s Penguins, which opens in theaters June 17.
Back on the homefront, Tupper is headlining a Lifetime movie, Girl Fight, with real-life squeeze Anne Heche. MORE got the lowdown on all the chemical reaction. An edited version of the interview follows.
More: I have a confession—Grey’s Anatomy is my favorite show.
James Tupper: Who are you voting for, Scott Foley’s character or me to win over Teddy's heart? I was stunned when I read the script that Teddy chose Henry. I am starting an online poll. I still think I am the better match.
More: Any chance Dr. Perkins will come back next season and beg Teddy for another shot?
JT: It depends on this article [laughs]. Want to hear something weird?
JT: Kim Raver’s son is in my son’s class. I am friends with her husband, and they are friends with my family.
More: Wow. What a coincidence. And congrats on your new film, Mr. Popper’s Penguins. What was it like working with Jim Carrey?
JT: He goes in and out of it. Sometimes he is very introverted, and then he goes into his trailer to read a book on psychology. But once he is on set, he is really fun. He knows how to get the best out of people. My nine-year-old was flabbergasted I got to work with him.
More: You have such a successful career yourself. Have there been any positive female role models that helped you get to the level you are at today?
JT: Anne Heche.
More: Speaking of Anne, are you guys married yet?
JT: We just got engaged again. Her birthday was last week, and I gave her another ring. Homer, our nine-year-old, got down on one knee with me and said, “Will you marry us this time?”
More: What did she say?
JT: She said "yes." I have been giving her a ring every year since we met.
More: When is the date?
JT: Anne says we are eternally engaged.
More: You guys met when you both starred in the former TV series Men in Trees?
JT: Yeah, that’s right.
More: Was it hard to build a relationship because of all the stories written about your romance, since you were both married at the time?
JT: We were friends for a really long time. We had the chance to share stories. Then we became really close until it led naturally into a relationship. We maintain a private life unless we are at an airport and the photographers are there [laughs].
More: How would you describe your relationship with Anne?
JT: Fun, loving—and she is a terrific mom.
More: You also share a son, Atlas.
More: Tell me about fatherhood.
JT: I love it. To me, being a father is the most important thing I do. We go bowling, swimming, lie around in our pajamas and make Swedish pancakes every Saturday.
More: Back in May of 2009, you told People this about being a dad: “It's a bit like having an unreasonable employer. He doesn't give breaks.” Does that statement still hold true?
JT: For sure. I was joking when I said that, by the way, but no, he gives me no breaks.
More: You are also a stepdad to Anne’s older son, Homer.
JT: Yes, I am. He calls me Dad, then there is a pause, and he says, "step." We have a real connection and a real love for each other.
More: Were there any challenges to becoming a stepfather?
JT: Not so much. He understands he is loved by three parents and has two different homes he gets to spend time in.
More: Does Homer like having a younger brother?
JT: He says 90 percent. He likes cuddling with him, swimming with him and reading stories with him.
More: Any chance you and Anne will have a little girl?
JT: That is my goal.
More: What stories have been written about either you or Anne that made you really mad?
JT: People characterize Anne a certain way, and I think she is now coming out of that shadow.
More: Are you talking about her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres?
JT: Who? Oh yeah, I heard of her. I guess so, but Anne also had her fair share of troubles in the past, and she wrote a book called Call Me Crazy. Anne had a difficult childhood, and what amazes me is how she is a survivor. The person I am with is a woman who has done amazing work and is now in a great place.
More: How so?
JT: Anne has a great kindness and wisdom. Anne also has a dazzling energy and charm. You would have to meet her to understand that. Anne has a light that just shines on people. In fact, Anne takes piano lessons with Homer, and they play about 15 songs each.
More: Will you and Anne team up again on the small screen?
JT: Yes. We will be starring in a movie for Lifetime TV called Girl Fight. It is being directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal. The film will focus on how a homemade video makes its way onto the Internet and has a horrible outcome on our daughter.
More: It seems lots of celebs are posing nude. Any chance we will see James in the buff?
JT: Yes, I am going to be posing nude tonight in my bedroom. But I am not inviting a camera crew—only Anne.
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