Martin Henderson should look very familiar to Virgin River fans. He stars on the hit Netflix series opposite Alexandra Breckenridge as the heartthrob bar owner, Jack Sheridan. The show's second season was recently uploaded so we've been binging it nonstop lately! But who is Martin Henderson? He should also look really familiar to fans of popular ABC dramas.
Henderson grew up in Auckland, New Zealand where he started acting when he was just 13 years old. New Zealanders most likely recognize this Kiwi from his teenage days starring on the soap opera Shortland Street in the role of Stuart Neilson. He also appeared in Australian shows Sweat, Home and Away and Big Sky before moving over to American productions.
The actor told EW that the breakout role that put him on Hollywood's radar was appearing in the 2002 horror film The Ring with Naomi Watts.
"It exceeded everyone's expectations. It's become a classic," he recalls. "It definitely put me on people's radars. Prior to that, I was still sort of running around town, desperately trying to get jobs."
Shonda Rhimes first put the New Zealand actor in the short-lived Off The Map series, but Henderson is really most recognizable for starring as Dr. Nathan Riggs on Rimes' other medical drama, Grey's Anatomy, in seasons 12-14. Yes, he's the guy the network threw in there ASAP to replace Patrick Dempsey's character, McDreamy. We're glad he didn't stick around to romance Meredith Grey for too long because we can't imagine anyone else playing Jack on Virgin River. Over the years he's also appeared in multiple films including Everest, Miracles From Heaven, Smokin' Aces, Bride and Prejudice, and even Britney Spears' music video for "Toxic" which he apparently didn't get paid for.
On Virgin River, based on Robyn Carr's novels, Henderson plays the love interest for Alexandra Breckenridge's character Mel, who moves to his small town in the mountains of California for a fresh start. According to Henderson, he feels extremely grateful to play such a moral character on the beloved show and giving people some hope in goodness and humanity.
"There is something unusually... what's the word... comforting and cozy about it," he says. "It's refreshingly romantic, particularly in an era where so much of what we find on television, particularly on cable and on streaming, is this tendency to keep pushing the envelope toward darker, more sinister material. When I read this, I thought it would be quite nice to just play someone who is wholesome. People do still want some goodness. It feels like an honor to be bringing that to people's homes right now."
Outside of his acting career, Henderson is dating someone named Aisha Mendez. While details of their relationship have been primarily kept private, the two lovebirds look like they've been having quite the quarantine together out on the water (with Henderson's dog of course) and constantly on the beach based on the pics they've each shared on social media.